Aisin Seki expects to take ¥40 billion hit if U.S. hikes auto tariffs

Reuters

Aisin Seiki Co. said Friday it expects to take a hit of ¥30 billion to ¥40 billion if the United States raises tariffs on autos and auto parts.

“Any dramatic change (in tariffs) would be a concern,” Kiyotaka Ise, president of the auto parts giant, told reporters.

Global automakers and components suppliers are bracing for the possibility of a rise in U.S. auto import tariffs, which could cloud their outlook as it would raise the cost of selling cars in the world’s second-biggest vehicle market.

So far, Japan’s biggest automakers and components suppliers said they have seen limited direct impact from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, but they acknowledge they could take a significant hit if Washington delivers on proposals to hike tariffs on autos and auto parts to 25 percent.

Aisin, a Toyota group supplier that produces vehicle transmission systems, electronics, and door and roof parts, has said that steel and aluminium tariffs implemented earlier this year had raised its costs by around ¥1 billion annually.

The firm expects its half-year operating profit to rise 11 percent on the year before to ¥120 billion, due largely to demand for its automatic transmission systems.

Along with other Japanese components-makers, Aisin manufactures parts in the United States and other countries, and sources production materials from a range of countries. While much of their production is localized, they also export from Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp. said last week a 25 percent U.S. tariff on cars and car parts would increase the cost of its U.S.-made Camry sedan by $1,800, while it would increase the cost of models imported from Japan by $6,000.

The biggest supplier to Toyota, Denso Corp., which makes components including air compressors, radiators and electronic control units, has said it expected to take a hit of about ¥2 billion from U.S. tariffs on aluminium and steel this year, adding that this was already factored into expectations.

Tariffs on autos and auto parts would knock off up to ¥80 billion from its profits this year, Denso has said.