Webasto Group Chairman Dr. Holger Engelmann made a statement at the Public Hearing of the U.S. Department of Commerce on the Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles and Automotive Parts
Washington, D.C./Stockdorf – July 19, 2018 – Webasto Group Chairman of the Management Board, Dr. Holger Engelmann, today testified at the Public Hearing conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce on proposed automobile and auto part tariffs. Webasto, one of the top 100 leading suppliers to the automotive industry, opposes the imposition of tariffs, a position also held by the vast majority of the U.S. auto industry. The company has six sites in the U.S., employing approximately 1,800 employees. Its regional Americas headquarters is based in Rochester Hills (MI). Since the mid-1970s Webasto has been continuously expanding its U.S. presence and just recently acquired AeroVironment’s Efficienct Energy Systems business segment for EV solutions – now Webasto Charging Systems, headquartered in Monrovia, California.
In his testimony, Dr. Engelmann emphasized Webasto’s commitment to the U.S. economy and Webasto’s U.S. employees. “We are committed to further expanding our footprint in the United States. Being experts for sunroofs, convertible roofs and heating systems, we are now investing massively in E-mobility solutions like chargers and batteries. In general, we currently plan to continue to make further investments in the U.S.” But Engelmann also stated his deep concerns about the negative impacts of the proposed new tariffs on the U.S. facilities and colleagues at Webasto. “If the proposed tariffs are levied on automotive parts, Webasto will be significantly and adversely affected both in the short- and long-term. Webasto as well as the auto industry has been thriving in recent years. The 25 percent tariffs would again add uncertainty. Therefore, the recent development is concerning for us, for our American colleagues and our suppliers.”
After testifying, Dr. Engelmann met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to further discuss the tariffs and their potential impact.
The Department of Commerce expects to make a decision on the proposed tariffs in August 2018.