Detroit auto show: What's new and tariffs
Updated 19:44, 17-Jan-2019
By Daniel Williams
An array of new cars have been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.
So what cars have managed to get pulses racing in Detroit? Toyota's two-seater Supra returns after a two-decade hiatus. This is a car that can hit 60 miles-an-hour in 4.1 seconds.
But if you are after a little extra speed, Ford claims their Shelby GT500 is the company's most powerful street-legal Mustang ever built. The company says the car can go from 0-60 in the "mid-three-second" range.  At the other end of the scale, and if a gigantic pick up is more your thing, then look no further than Ram's heavy-duty trucks that come with an unprecedented 1,000 foot of torque. And then there is a glimpse of the future with concept electric vehicles from Chinese automaker GAC as well as EVs from Nissan and Infiniti.
Despite the glamour, there is a cloud hanging above the auto industry.
The trade dispute between the U.S. and China has seen tariffs imposed on key auto components.
Toyota Supra, which is capable of going 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. /CGTN Photo

Toyota Supra, which is capable of going 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. /CGTN Photo

Added to that, is the threat from U.S. President Donald Trump, that Washington may impose a 25 percent tax on all imported automobiles. That is something that Jack Hollis, Toyota Group Vice-President of North America, disagrees with. 
“Tariffs are taxes. To raise the prices of the vehicles somewhere in the range of 1500 to 2000 dollars per vehicle across the board, is that good for the auto industry? Is it good for the economy? I've got to tell you the answer is clearly no.”
That is a view echoed by Volkswagen.  
The German company announced here that it will be investing 800 million dollars into an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Tennessee, creating 1,000 jobs.
It comes after the company held discussions with President Trump late last year.
Nissan's IMs concept car is an attempt to create a new type of car. /CGTN Photo

Nissan's IMs concept car is an attempt to create a new type of car. /CGTN Photo

But VW CEO Herbert Diess remains deeply worried by the tariff threat.“That's a big concern for us. We are very strong in China so we have a high interest that the trade dispute between China and the U.S. could be sorted out. I think it would be beneficial for both economies and for the car market. It is really the biggest concern we have worldwide.”
Carmakers are also concerned about tariffs' impact on global supply chains. Roman Mica is an Automotive Journalist with The Fast Lane Car. “Once upon a time, American cars were built in America, Japanese cars were built in Japan and German cars were built in Germany. It was that simple. That model is long dead. So when you are talking about tariffing like President Trump is German cars that are being imported to America. It doesn't exist anymore. German cars are built in America.”
Across the showroom floor are vehicles automakers are banking on selling in large numbers in the coming years.
They look promising… if the auto industry can get past the roadblocks obscuring their view.
(Top image: The Selby GT500, Ford's fastest "street legal" Mustang. /CGTN Photo)