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Tesla hit hard by new Chinese tariffs

American-made cars will see import duties double in China.

The hits keep coming for Tesla. The electric carmaker was already dealing with Autopilot safety concerns following a fatal Model X crash as well as Model 3 production issues, but yet another gut punch comes with Bloomberg reporting that China will impose new tariffs on American products including automobiles.

Previously, US-built vehicles brought into China were hit with a 25 percent import duty, but under the new regulations an additional 25 percent would be piled on. With a 50 percent tariff in place, the price tag for American-made vehicles would likely be pushed out of reach for a large part of the Chinese car-buying public.

A Tesla in China is about to get more expensive.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The new Chinese tariffs on American goods comes after the US imposed its own new import duties for steel and aluminum coming into America.

This is bad news for the Michigan-built Ford Mustang, which is China's best selling sports car, and BMW's X3, X4, X5 and X6 lineups that are assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina for worldwide export. However, it's particularly bad for Tesla who builds its entire vehicle portfolio that includes the Model 3 sedan, Model S sedan and Model X SUV in California.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reached out to President Donald Trump over Twitter in early March to work on equal and fair trade rules between the US and China for cars. At the time, Musk noted the tenfold difference between the 25 percent import duties for American cars going to China, while Chinese cars coming to the US only levied a 2.5 percent tariff.

We can probably guess how Musk feels about China's new tariffs.

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