Ford forsakes plan of selling China-built crossover in US due to tariffs

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Ford Motor Co. has forsaken the plan of bringing its new China-built Focus Active crossover to the United States as a result of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by President Donald Trump, the U.S. automaker announced Friday.

The Dearborn-based automaker originally planned to build the vehicle in its joint venture in China and ship it to the United States for sale by late 2019. But recent tariffs imposed on imports from China by the U.S. administration would have trimmed profits on an already low-margin vehicle, according to the Detroit News.

Unlike General Motors Co. which had asked for an exemption from the tariffs for its China-built Buick Envision, Ford did not seek an exemption for the Active, the Detroit News reported Friday.

"Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we've decided not to import this vehicle from China," the local newspaper quoted Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America, as saying.

"This is just the first of many such announcements," said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research. She predicted tariffs on Chinese imports, compounded with a possible 25-percent tariff on all imported cars and parts, would push a lot of products out of the U.S. market.

"Many models will be withdrawn from the U.S. market, and many won't be built in the U.S. at all," she said. "There are a whole lot of implications for the automotive industry and for consumers in terms of choice and prices."

Ford had projected to sell fewer than 50,000 Focus Active crossover vehicles annually in the United States. It will have options for its U.S. consumers now, Galhotra said.

Ford is in the transition from sedans to new crossover in America and other major markets. It projects that by 2020, nearly 90 percent of its vehicles sold in North America will be trucks, SUVs or commercial vehicles. 

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