The Detroit News reports automakers are coming out in support of proposed free trade legislation between the US and the European Union. The Association of Global Automakers, representing major Asian manufacturers, says the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will promote economic growth, increase jobs and make US and EU companies more competitive on the global market. The legislation will also open the door for EU and US regulators to agree on one standard for emissions, crash protection, child restraints, fuel systems and tire pressure monitors. If that happens, automakers could save millions of dollars by being able to build and sell one car for both markets.

Jaguar-Land Rover North America also stands behind that move, but would also like to see the US completely eliminate its current 2.5 percent tax on imported cars. The company isn't alone. Ferrari has also spoken up in favor of eliminating the tariff, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, comprised of Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Toyota and Daimler among others, also supports harmonizing regulations between both markets.

All told, the EU and the US make up 32 percent of global vehicle production and 35 percent of the total buyer market. The Detroit News reports the US exported some $8 billion in cars to Europe last year and another $5 billion in parts.


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  • 45 Comments
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      The best consequence of this pact would be that automakers could offer the whole bevy of powertrain combinations that they offer in Europe; small displacement gas engines, diesels, manual+automatic, AWD+2wd. No more of this "we sell 46 powertrain combos in europe, US only gets the big gas engine+auto" crap.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        Matt: Most of those wheezing little power trains, while fine for trundling around the cities, will not stand up to US highway motoring. Ask BMW why they pulled the E30 318i from the US market back in the '90s. Ask Peugeot, Alfa, and Fiat how they fared when the picked up the Euro models and dropped them into the US Market. There will initially be a flood of those power trains then one by one they'll quietly disappear from the scene.
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Specifically, I'm thinking of the Bluemotion VWs and Efficient Dynamics BMWs with small turbodiesels that are getting 65+ MPG. Both accelerate to 60 about as fast as a base camry, which is plenty fast.
          johnnythemoney
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Seriously?! Do you know that most European countries have highways and plenty other roads with speed limits around or higher than 65 mph? And that people live there with no problem at all with as little as 54 bhp? Do a trip, rent a Fiat Panda, watch the world from a different point of view. Christ, in Italy, Fiat own country, the legal limit is 80 mph and people go even faster! Most cars in Europe have less than 100 bhp and everything is fine, nobody dies because he was run over on the motorway and you can overtake as many rigs as you want.
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          The E30 318i had and has no problem on a US highway. Also, it was not pulled from the US market. BMW continued to offer teh 318 with that same engine in the E36 body .
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          BTW: The JDM manufacturers already know this, which is why we only see a fraction of the models they produce. It makes no sense to bring products to this market that will damage the reputation of your company.
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          icemilkcoffee: Actually, the E30 318i was pulled because of terrible reliability issues. A re-engineered 318 motor was later re-introduced. It was published at the time that they pulled it to save their reputation. I know, because I actually had money in hand, ready to buy when it was cancelled.
        Jonathan Knapman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        I see where you're coming from, and I agree partially. Living in Europe, and seeing how the real world MPG figures for a lot of these small displacement petrol engines are less than impressive, I would be slightly less bothered about not receiving them. Ford's Ecoboost and Fiat's Twinair, for example, are providing real world readings of about 35 MPG US, which frankly requires a lawsuit given the claimed figures. That said, I completely agree with you about diesel engines. The US, to me, seems perfectly suited to diesel engines, and I can't understand why they're not more popular, particularly in the large truck market (apart from high taxes, obv.). Huge roads that go on for hundreds of miles that just don't exist in Europe are crying out for a torquey, efficient diesel that can just soak up the miles.
          RGT881
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jonathan Knapman
          I strongly believe in diesels than hybruds as a smarter long-term solution to those who wish to own their car longer than 3-5 years. Hybrids are fine to lease short-term. As for large trucks, there is currently an industry trend to move towards CNG.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good idea.
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      i agree with the one car for all markets....but that 2.5% tax the US has shouldnt be a problem with automakers, especially if they are selling in China.......i for one think the everyone (europe, US, Indina) should increase their taxes to match whatever taxes everyone is dishing out so it could be equal.....Example being China, they are getting away with bloody murder with their tariffs and sell their cars here.......is China has these tariffs on american cars then we should have them on theirs........then we will see how (honda, toyota, Acura, lexus, etc.) sales will be affect
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      Holy hell! Does this mean we can potentially get models available in the EU that aren't available here? I can think of many many cars I would want to see on our shores such as the BMW M3 GTS/CRT (even though they're no longer for sale), Renault Clios, VW Scirocco..list goes on and on.
        Street King
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        Blah blah....everyone \"wants\" those cars, until they are over here at the dealerships. Then its nothing but excuses from the same clowns that were begging for them 2 years earlier. Stop dreaming and start buying if you want that to change buddy.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      What we really need is unified crash test and emissions standards. The federalization costs are higher than the small tax.
      car czar
      • 1 Year Ago
      Im Pretty sure this has more to do with lining the pockets of these mega rich companies. This is Autoblog so we are only focused on the car side to this agreement. Yes this will standardize safety and emissions which will save the companies manufacturing cost. The question is will that cost be passed down to the consumer?
        mazeroni
        • 1 Year Ago
        @car czar
        Yes, increased fuel economy standards, safety regulations, and light weight materials costs huge sums of money. As it stands now those expenses are being passes onto you as a consumer. If automakers can hundreds of million, or even billions from the development of the cars by adhering to one single standard the costs will at the very least not impact the consumer as much.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Mark
      • 1 Year Ago
      Im all down for it but I sure hope this trade pact wont bring EU's bs regulations, taxes on engine sizes and on emissions state side.
        DeathKnoT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mark
        There emissions regulations are pretty close to EPA emissions in Euro 6.
      schizzle
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does this mean that American automakers will have to raise their hoods to match European pedestrian crash standards? I hate how the raised hoods have made the viewing profiles of many Euro cars so ungainly.
        creamwobbly
        • 1 Year Ago
        @schizzle
        I hate the long bumpers that US vehicles suffer. I also hate hood ornaments and these stupid red turn indicators. So if harmonization of safety standards is on the table, I'm all for it. Personally, I'd prefer to see this fast-tracked so that both markets recognize that the other's standards are equally stringent, if not equal in the details, and allow EU-market vehicles which meet current standards to be sold unmodified in the US, and vice versa.
          aatbloke1967
          • 1 Year Ago
          @creamwobbly
          Red rear indicators were legal in Europe until August 1962. Real-world testing over the years has proved there's no significant safety advantage of amber indicators, and I doubt the legislation will change to accommodate it.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @schizzle
        A trade agreement has absolutely nothing to do with harmonising UNECE and FMVSS safety standards. The styling you're referring to comes from UNECE pedestrian anti-impaling requirements.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @schizzle
        So I wouldn't glean too much from the rhetoric in the article. The trade agreement will far more likely harmonise supplier usage between the two continents and integrate tax concessions more than mesh safety standards. I doubt that'll ever happen.
      belfagor
      • 1 Year Ago
      I dig that Fiat Croma in the lower-right corner
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Unifying the standards is a huge step forward. Now that is worthwhile change. Now it will no longer be so daunting for the 2nd tier manufacturers to import their cars into the US market.
      Zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      This would be absolutely amazing! We'd finally be able to buy all the cool euro diesel hatchbacks! Just pay for shipping, and off we go!
        Zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        And all the manual transmissions we could possibly want!
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          Audi A3 Sportback, diesel, manual, Quattro would be my dream car. The kind of car we never see in the US, but is probably one of the most popular configurations in Europe.
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