FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - A report about possible Chinese tariffs on high-performance cars put pressure on manufacturers' share prices on Wednesday. According to insiders, China could impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles from the European Union (EU) and the USA, as the lobby organization "China Chamber of Commerce to the EU" announced on the online service X. The USA recently drastically increased tariffs on electric cars from China. The EU is also debating imposing tariffs on Chinese cars in the near future. Tensions between the trading partners have been increasing significantly for some time now.

Alongside German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Toyota would be the most affected by such measures, wrote automotive expert Daniel Kollar from consultancy firm Intralink. This would drag the Japanese car manufacturer into the trade dispute between China and the USA and the EU. Most imported vehicles in China belong to the premium segment. Last year, the top ten brands included the sports car manufacturer Porsche AG and the Audi brand, which is also part of the Volkswagen Group.

Morgan Stanley's team of automotive analysts continues to see the threat of an escalation of the customs dispute as a significant risk for the industry in the current year. Among Germany's manufacturers, Porsche would suffer the most, as the company does not have its own production facilities in China. On the other hand, Renault and Stellantis would be potential beneficiaries - both companies make the majority of their profits in Europe and have little business in the Chinese market. They could therefore benefit from protection against cheap Chinese imports into the EU.

Porsche AG was one of the biggest losers in the leading German DAX index, falling by 3.6 percent. BMW, Volkswagen's parent company Porsche SE, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen recorded losses of 1.5 to 1.9 percent.

Renault fell by 4.7 percent despite its reduced dependence on China, which meant one of the last places in the French Cac 40. Since the beginning of the year, however, Renault has still recorded an outstanding increase of over 27 percent compared to the rest of the European industry. Meanwhile, Stellantis shareholders only had to cope with a 0.8 percent fall in the share price on Wednesday.

The European car index led the long list of losers in the market-wide Stoxx Europe 600 with a drop of 1.9 percent. The chart picture has clouded over considerably with the downturn of the past few days. However, the sector barometer is still above the 200-day average line, which is considered an indicator of the long-term trend./gl/men/stk