BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - German car manufacturers are opposing possible European punitive tariffs on the import of electric cars from China. The German Association of the Automotive Industry called for a willingness to engage in dialog on both sides. "Anti-subsidy measures such as additional tariffs would not solve the challenges for the European and German automotive industry - on the contrary: the purpose of countervailing duties intended by the EU Commission could quickly have a negative impact in the event of a trade conflict," said association president Hildegard Müller to the newspaper "Welt am Sonntag". According to her, a trade conflict would also jeopardize the transformation towards electromobility and digitalization.

Since last fall, the EU Commission has been investigating whether electric cars in China are benefiting from illegal subsidies. According to the Commission, Chinese electric cars are normally around 20 percent cheaper than models manufactured in the EU. An anti-subsidy investigation can lead to punitive tariffs being levied. A preliminary announcement by the Commission is planned by June 5, according to Welt am Sonntag.

According to the Duisburg-based Center Automotive Research, the Germans sell 30 to 40 percent of their cars on the Chinese market. In the event of European punitive tariffs, German car manufacturers could therefore be the first target of possible Chinese countermeasures./bf/DP/zb