The possible implementation of tariffs on car imports to the USA would influence all four carmakers operating in Slovakia in different ways. All of them, namely Trnava-based Groupe PSA Slovakia (PSA), Žilina-based Kia Motors Slovakia, Nitra-based Jaguar Land Rover Slovakia (JLR) and Bratislava-based Volkswagen Slovakia (VW SK) are monitoring the situation with tariffs closely.
Reliable international conditions
“Kia Motors Slovakia produces the models Ceed, Sportage and Venga mainly for the European market,” said Ján Žgravčák, the carmaker’s spokesperson, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
The plant monitors the information concerning the tariff war between the USA and the EU, even though Kia has plants directly in the US and also in Mexico, he added.
VW SK supports free and fair trade and partner cooperation.
“Our experience shows that one-side protectionism did not benefit anyone in the long term,” said its spokesperson Lucia Kovarovič Makayová, as quoted by SITA. “Only free and fair trade can ensure the development of welfare.”
The automotive industry, with long-planned cycles of investments, products and production, depends on reliable international conditions, she added.
Key market for Jaguar Land Rover
Meanwhile, Groupe PSA does not export to the USA at all.
“Exports to the USA do not involve Trnava car-maker Groupe PSA Slovakia,” said Peter Švec, the manager of external relations for Groupe PSA Slovakia, as quoted by SITA.
However, the US is a key market for JLR. “Fair trade without additional tariffs is necessary for us to stay competitive as a company,” said its spokesperson Stephanie Jones, as quoted by SITA.
The car manufacturing industry is global and depends on open and fair trade to reach its customers, she added. The company would be concerned about any new tariffs on imported goods that would influence their business or the economy in broader sense.
PM Peter Pellegrini and Economy Minister Peter Žiga (both Smer) said on February 21 that if any extra tariffs are imposed on cars exported to the US, the government will be ready to help to Slovak carmakers by introducing special measures.