Porsche and Audi are seen as the most vulnerable in a 25 percent tariff scenario, Reuters notes, as they lack us factories, while BMW and Mercedes-Benz could lose the business case for half of their lineups in the States if the tariff is applied.
Aside from playing to his nationalist populist base, it remains an open question as to what Trump's ultimate goal is with the ban as the majority of German vehicle manufacturers, including Mercedez-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW - already produce their cars in the United States.
US President Mr Trump allegedly told French President Emmanuel Macron he wanted to go through with his aggressive trade policy to prevent Mercedes-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in NY, says the report by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.
In 2017, Mercedes had about 17 percent of this market, BMW had 15 percent (about tied with Toyota Lexus) and Audi had 11 percent, according to Statista.
The largest plant that BMW operates is located in the U.S.in SC.
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The President then attacked US free trade policies. And they sold some 1.35 million "light vehicles" - cars, SUVs and trucks - in the U.S.in 2017. More than 70 percent of the plant's SUVs are exported to 135 countries, making it the second-largest automotive exporter in the USA, according to the company.
Mercedes a year ago announced plans for a $1 billion investment to start production of electric passenger cars there over the next decade. Among automobile manufacturers under attack are Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen.
Volkswagen (VLKAF) has a large factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it makes the Passat sedan and the Atlas large SUV. That plant employs about 3,400 workers.
Trump would also likely have to pull out of NAFTA, the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, to prevent automakers from building vehicles in Mexico and shipping them into the states.