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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 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.
AssessmentsOct 24, 2017 | 09:35 GMT
As an island, the United Kingdom has always experienced a degree of separation from the rest of the European Union.
Trade Profile: The United Kingdom Strikes Out on Its Own
For most of the past two centuries, the United Kingdom has been a standard-bearer for free trade. Given its history, this is hardly surprising: The country was once home to the Industrial Revolution and commanded an empire that spanned a quarter of the globe. Armed with the military force to assert and protect its wide reach and competitive economy, the United Kingdom forcefully persuaded other countries to open up their markets to free trade, laying the groundwork for today's globalized system of imports and exports. Now, 70 years after World War II brought the British Empire to an end, the United Kingdom's mighty manufacturing industry and international clout are shadows of what they once were. Yet much of the promise that the British economy boasted in its heyday remains.
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.
SnapshotsAug 30, 2017 | 20:44 GMT
Japan: As Tokyo Focuses on Security, British Prime Minister Prepares to Talk Trade
British and Japanese officials plan to hold informal talks this week on a bilateral trade agreement ahead of the British exit from the European Union. British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Japan Aug. 30 for her first official visit to the country accompanied by a trade delegation. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted May for dinner, with formal talks set to begin Aug. 31 in Tokyo with post-Brexit plans and security issues on the agenda.
AssessmentsJun 25, 2016 | 13:19 GMT
Global markets responded harshly to Britain's vote June 23 to leave the European Union, but the long-term implications of the Brexit vote stretch beyond economic considerations.
What Brexit Means for the World
Over the coming weeks, the frenzy of the financial markets will dominate the world's attention. But what lies beyond the horizon in a post-Brexit world? Stratfor highlights the areas of the world that will be most affected by the latest phase of the European Union's fragmentation.
AssessmentsJun 15, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Russia Is Saving Jobs, but Not the Economy
Russia Is Saving Jobs, but Not the Economy
Russia's economic downturn has left many of the country's biggest companies struggling to make ends meet. Now, AvtoVAZ -- Russia's largest automobile manufacturer and the recession's latest victim -- is on the verge of laying off thousands of workers unless the Kremlin can find a way to prevent it. The company, which employs some 2 million Russians, intends to let some of its people go through a "voluntary" dismissal over the next two weeks, offering hefty compensation packages to those who leave. The announcement prompted the governor of the region housing AvtoVAZ's biggest plant to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 6 to ask for the government's help. But whether the Kremlin props up Samara province's unemployed automotive workers or pressures AvtoVAZ into keeping them, it will not be able to fix the worsening economic conditions that threaten citizens' livelihoods and, by extension, the legitimacy of
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