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AssessmentsFeb 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows workers at Dongfeng Motor's joint venture with Honda in Wuhan, China.
China's Virus Outbreak Has Dented Its Automakers' Bottom Lines
China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has left few of its economic sectors unscathed, but the effects of shutdowns on its auto manufacturing operations have been -- and will continue to remain -- especially acute. Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, has asked companies not to restart shuttered operations until at least Feb. 21. Production for a number of auto companies outside of Hubei had already been delayed past the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 10, and in some cases, production still remains offline. Nevertheless, even once the outbreak subsides, Chinese consumer demand for automobiles will take a substantial hit this year, with estimates showing that demand could fall by at least 5 percent because of the economic slowdown associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
AssessmentsJan 31, 2020 | 18:47 GMT
This photo shows a masked vendor and customers of his wares in an alley in Wuhan, China, on January 31, 2020.
Measuring the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak that has killed scores and sickened thousands is set to deliver a significant blow to China's already-weakening economy. Quarantines and travel bans put into place to limit the spread of the illness already have disrupted one of the country's busiest travel and spending periods of the year, the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Jan. 25. The lockdowns have created major supply chain disruptions in Hubei province, the key Chinese transit hub and major manufacturing center for automobiles, fiber optic cable and machinery where the outbreak started. Public transportation, including trains, planes and ferries in and out Hubei -- whose provincial capital, Wuhan, was the epicenter of the outbreak -- have been suspended, with the freedom of movement curtailed for some 60 million people. The disruptions are not limited to the province, however, as business and industrial activities across the nation, already substantially slowed or even suspended
On GeopoliticsNov 15, 2018 | 22:22 GMT
This image shows vehicles traveling through Brooklyn. The White House will decide soon whether to claim the power to impose tariffs on auto imports it deems unfair.
For Trump's Auto Tariff Threats, Credibility Is the Name of the Game
You cannot have national security without economic security. That has been a rallying cry for President Donald Trump since he moved into the White House in 2017. Trade has been a particular area of administration focus, and with that has come scrutiny of the buying and selling of automobiles and parts. For the past three months, Stratfor has examined what would happen to the global auto market if the United States moved forward with the administration's proposed tariffs on imports of vehicles and parts. It appears as if the White House is close to a decision on whether it can claim legal justification to impose those levies.
AssessmentsOct 23, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Employees assemble parts and make final inspections of Honda Activa scooters in Narasapura, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India.
Can India's Auto Industry Become the Bedrock the Country Needs?
U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of drastically raising tariffs on cars imported to the United States has unnerved the global automotive industry. Yet India appears unfazed. Washington and New Delhi have certainly sharpened their arrows as they jostle over disagreements on trade. Trump, who has called India the "tariff king," wants to chip away at the $23 billion bilateral trade deficit by gaining greater access to various sectors of the Indian market, including dairy and medical devices. And New Delhi has threatened to impose $241 million in retaliatory tariffs against Washington for refusing to grant waivers on its steel and aluminum shipments destined for the American market. But India's largely domestically focused automotive sector will fly beneath the radar of Trump's auto protectionism and continue to focus on serving a vast internal market of nearly 1.3 billion consumers.
AssessmentsOct 8, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A worker assembles a vehicle in a Hyundai plant in China's Hebei province. South Korean automakers have increased their manufacturing capacity in China to  A significant proportion of South Korea's auto manufacturing capacity in China to 2.1 million vehicles annually.
U.S. Auto Tariffs Would Deliver a Particularly Painful Sting to South Korea
Despite bending to U.S. pressure and agreeing both to revise the countries' free trade agreement and to accept export quotas on steel and aluminum, South Korea could still face tariffs on its vehicle exports to the United States. The government in Seoul is seeking ways to avoid the damage that tariffs could inflict on its auto manufacturing sector. But as U.S. President Donald Trump concentrates on strengthening U.S. manufacturing and rebalancing its trade relationships, the $22.6 billion trade deficit in goods between the two countries looms large. Although that deficit represents only a third of that between Japan and the United States and a small fraction of its $375 billion deficit with China, the South Korean trade imbalance has come under particular fire because of the role of automotive exports, which account for about 94 percent of that deficit.
AssessmentsSep 3, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Workers in Toyota City in Japan's Aichi prefecture assemble a Prius. Japan's auto manufacturing sector is heavily export-driven, and the United States is a prime destination for its cars.
Japan's Auto Sector Is Poised to Weather a U.S. Tariff Storm
For more than four decades, automobile manufacturing has been a key pillar of Japan's industrial sector. And today, auto exports remain a mainstay of the Japanese export economy, with exports to the United States accounting for a significant share. As with all other exporters who ship autos into the U.S. market, Japan's carmakers are facing down the threat of a tariff of up to 25 percent on their products. But unlike some other auto-exporting countries, Japan, which has car manufacturing operations spread across the continental United States, is positioned to absorb some of the damage that auto tariffs could bring. Citing concerns about national security, the White House has considered the auto tariffs as it aims to reduce the overall trade deficit and shore up the U.S. domestic auto sector. The U.S. trade imbalance with Japan, a target of Donald Trump's ire long before he became president, totaled $72 billion in
AssessmentsAug 13, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
Cars sit on an assembly line.
Why Hitting the Gas on Car Tariffs Could Stall Everyone
Today, much of the Western world is holding its collective breath, wondering what comes next as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to pummel the global auto industry with tariffs on imports. In 2017, the United States imported $350 billion worth of vehicles and parts, most of which came from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and South Korea – all U.S. allies. But just as he did with steel and aluminum, Trump is threatening to levy tariffs totaling as much as 25 percent on the vehicles and parts of his country's closest allies as part of a Section 232 national security investigation. In doing so, Trump is threatening to upend seven decades of consistent integration in the global automotive industry – something that could have grave ramifications for all.
AssessmentsSep 15, 2017 | 12:22 GMT
Governments and automakers are charting the transition from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to electric ones, though it will be decades before all fuel pumps go the way of the dinosaur.
The Automotive Market Switches Gears
Over the past several decades, numerous technologies have emerged that could rival and eventually replace the internal combustion engine and, with it, oil. Though vehicles powered by natural gas or hydrogen are gaining ground, particularly in Asia, electric vehicles -- both hybrid and fully battery-powered models -- are poised to give gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles the biggest run for their money. Falling costs and rising energy density stand to level the playing field between electric cars and their more traditional counterparts. By 2040, researchers project that fully electric vehicles and hybrids will account for more than half of all new automobiles purchased worldwide. Government initiatives will be crucial to incentivize and facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles, and countries such as France, the United Kingdom and China are doing their part to kick-start the transition.
AssessmentsJun 6, 2017 | 01:36 GMT
The Japanese flag flies in front of Mt. Fuji. In this installment of Stratfor's Trade Profiles series, we examine the Japanese economy.
Trade Profile: Japan Adapts to Its Aging Population
Global trade is changing. The kinds of multilateral agreements that characterized the postwar years have stalled out over the past two decades, prompting countries and economic blocs to try to negotiate smaller deals with fewer partners. Nations and blocs have more leeway under this new model to negotiate the trade agreements that best suit their interests and to avoid those that don't. Now, more than ever, the future of international trade depends on a country or bloc's defensive interests, offensive interests and underlying factors of production. Our fortnightly Trade Profiles aim to break down these factors to facilitate an understanding of where global trade stands today and where it's headed. In the second installment, we focus on Japan.
On the RoadApr 9, 2017 | 13:02 GMT
Much has changed in Medellin over the past 20 years.
Colombia: The Space Between War and Peace
Colombia stands at a pivotal point in its history. In mid-2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group signed a peace agreement, formally bringing an end to Latin America's longest and deadliest insurgency in modern history. After narrowly losing in a public referendum in October, the deal was revised, and Colombian Parliament approved it in November. The agreement is now in the early stages of implementation, which has brought with it opportunities for peace and greater stability as well as a whole new set of challenges and uncertainties for the country. A recent trip from Bogota to Medellin shed light on how Colombia got here -- and where the convalescing country may be heading.
ReflectionsFeb 1, 2017 | 00:38 GMT
Japan Changes With the Times
Japan Changes With the Times
Japan has mastered the art of the quick change. Throughout its modern history, the country has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to adapt its policy to suit the demands of the day. In the late 19th century, Japan's leaders undertook a rapid industrialization campaign, known as the Meiji Restoration, that catapulted the country to the rank of world power in a single generation. After World War I, Japan flirted briefly with constitutional democracy before turning sharply toward military expansionism, sensing that the future lay with the totalitarian governments of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini -- and not with Europe's constitutional democracies. Japan's leaders switched course again after World War II and refashioned the country as a liberal democracy and an essential U.S. ally in the Cold War. Today, Tokyo seems to be adjusting its policy stance once more, this time to accommodate the new administration in Washington. Reuters reported Tuesday that it
On GeopoliticsJun 7, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
Just as technology spurred globalization, so, too, will it revolutionize how countries do business with one another once again. Automation, advanced robotics and software-driven technologies are ushering in a new era that will leave fewer opportunities for the developing world.
The Rise of Manufacturing Marks the Fall of Globalization
Whether you're reading this article on a smartphone, tablet or laptop, chances are the device in front of you contains components from at least six countries spanning three or more continents. Its sleek exterior belies the complicated and intricate set of parts inside that only a global supply chain can provide. Over the past century, finished products made in a single country have become increasingly hard to find as globalization -- weighted a term as it is -- has stretched supply chains to the ends of the Earth. Now, anything from planes, trains and automobiles to computers, cellphones and appliances can trace its hundreds of pieces to nearly as many companies around the world. Its assembly might take place in a different country still. As avenues for producing and assembling products' parts have spread worldwide, countries have found it easier to climb the production value ladder. States at the bottom, extracting
AssessmentsOct 23, 2015 | 20:17 GMT
Mexico Braces for Hurricane Patricia
Mexico Braces for Hurricane Patricia
Hurricane Patricia poses a threat to trade, tourism and security on Mexico's western coast. Landfall is imminent for the hurricane, a Category 5 storm, in Jalisco state on Mexico's western coast and then head northward. Evacuations are underway along the coast, and Mexican authorities have declared a state of emergency for 56 municipalities in the storm's path in Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco states. The storm not only threatens life and property in its path, it also bears major economic consequences for Mexico and tangentially for the United States.
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