Mercedes chief expects EU decision on Chinese EVs tariffs soon

german chancellor scholz visits factory 56 of mercedes benz in sindelfingen

BERLIN – Mercedes Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius expects a decision on EU’s import tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles soon, he said at an industry conference on Thursday.

“A decision is imminent,” the German luxury carmaker’s chief executive told the CAR Symposium 2024.

The decision was initially due this week but was postponed until after next week’s election in the bloc.

The European Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 27-nation European Union, launched an investigation in October into whether fully-electric cars manufactured in China were receiving distortive subsidies and warranted extra tariffs.

Kaellenius once again stressed his stance against restrictions, but acknowledged that World Trade Organization (WTO) rules are not keeping some countries from supporting their national producers.

It is better to counter that with trade stimulus than with protectionism, especially for Germany, which has a strongly export-oriented economy, he added.

Mercedes, like its German peers BMW and Volkswagen, heavily relies on revenues from its biggest market China and produces some of its models there.

(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Ilona Wissenbach, and Philip Blenkinsop, writing by Andrey Sychev; Editing by Ludwig Burger)

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