Strong public support for tougher tariffs on Chinese EVs

Nearly two-thirds of people believe the UK should impose tariffs on Chinese electric car manufacturers, following similar actions by the US and EU.

The findings of the July edition of the Startline Used Car Tracker reveals that 43% of those surveyed think the UK needs to protect its existing car manufacturers, 21% argue that Chinese car makers benefit from government subsidies resulting in unfair pricing, and 12% advocate for tariffs to level the playing field.

Further, 21% believe increased competition from Chinese manufacturers will improve UK car makers, 19% support consumer access to cheaper Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), and 16% argue that affordable electric cars will help reduce carbon emissions.

Recently, the US imposed a 100% tariff on Chinese electric cars, while the EU has introduced varying tariffs on Chinese manufacturers up to 38%.

Paul Burgess, CEO of Startline Motor Finance, commenting, said: “The impact of trade tariffs is often unpredictable and many experts in the US and EU fear these measures could provoke a trade war with China, which has not yet responded.

“However, our research indicates strong public support for tougher tariffs in the UK, which could pressure the new government to implement protective measures.

“Interestingly, support for tariffs among EU car makers appears relatively low, due to concerns about losing access to the vast Chinese market or facing retaliatory tariffs on their vehicles manufactured in China. Similar sentiments are evident among some UK manufacturers.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker, compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, a firm renowned in the motor industry for business intelligence and customer experience programs, surveyed 307 consumers and 62 dealers for this report.

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