Yet another car affected by a trade war.
This week we are testing the 2018 Toyota CH-R for an upcoming review. As a bit of a force of habit, we like to check the VIN to see where the car we are testing was built. The CH-R has an unusual VIN starting with the letter N, meaning it was built in Turkey. We always recommend that people pay attention to where their car is built because we would have assumed that the CH-R was produced in Japan or the United States. So why does all of this matter? Well if you haven't heard, the US hasn't exactly been playing nice with other countries recently.
General Motors has already asked for a tariff exemption on its Chinese-built Buick Envisions SUV. Now Toyota may be in a bit of trouble, as Bloomberg reports that Turkey has just declared a 120% tariff on US-built cars. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has responded to US sanctions, which were imposed on the country due to human rights abuses. Turkey imprisoned 50,000 individuals, including 20 Americans, in response to a failed coup d'etat in 2016. Without going too deep into the issue, Turkey will now impose additional taxes on a number of US goods including automobiles.
So where does the CH-R fit in all of this? Since it is built in Turkey, Toyota would stand to lose profit if the US decides to respond with tariffs of its own against Turkey. Turkey exports approximately $25 billion worth of vehicles each year from facilities owned by Toyota, Honda, Fiat, Renault, Hyundai, and Ford. Ford may also be hurt if the US retaliates, as the Transit Connect is built in Turkey and exported to the US.