AUSTRALIA’S car industry is set to make a major coup in the face of the new US tax on carbon dioxide emissions, as the company that makes its vehicles in Japan is poised to buy up to $1.2 billion worth of US car-making assets.
Key points:The company that produces the Lexus RX450h is also in the process of buying up to 500,000 vehicles worldwide from other Japanese car makersThe US has been trying to limit the amount of CO2 emitted by cars as part of its climate change targetThe Japanese car industry, which is dominated by Toyota and Honda, has long been critical of the US tax that the Japanese government has announced it is planning to introduce.
The move by the Japanese car maker is part of a broader push to reduce CO2 emissions in the US, where the government is aiming to reduce emissions by 28 per cent by 2030.
Under the tax, carmakers in the United States will have to buy their vehicles from Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi over the next decade and pay a levy of $9.20 per tonne.
This will be an increase of up to 3 per cent over the previous year, as it is estimated the levy will increase the cost of buying and selling vehicles by up to 12 per cent.
“This is going to make it more expensive for American car makers to make vehicles in the U.S. They’ve always made their products here and they’ve been able to make them at a much lower cost,” Toyota’s senior vice-president for global operations, David Schatz, said on the company’s Australian operations website.
“It will impact their ability to produce the products that are going to be exported around the world, so this is going be a huge hit to them.”
Schatz said the tax would also hurt the Toyota business, which makes the Toyota Highlander SUV, the Lexio compact SUV, and the Lexicrux small SUV.
“We are very disappointed by the move that the US is taking and we’re going to do everything we can to help Toyota and Mitsuzu and other car makers avoid this,” he said.
“As we have said before, it’s not our goal to hurt other carmakers.”
Toyota, Honda, Mitsubashi and others are making the vehicles here and the US will not allow them to continue making those products.
“Mr Schatz said Toyota was confident the new tax would not impact Toyota’s sales.”
They’ve been very, very strong in the marketplace,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.”
The new tax will be phased in over a period of two years and Toyota will continue to be competitive and the new taxes will be reflected in our business.
“Toyota is not the only carmaker that has been critical over the US emissions tax.
Ford and General Motors have both said they would be looking to reduce their emissions if they were not exempt from it.
However, Toyota has not yet announced a price for its acquisition.”
In the near term, the purchase will be for $1bn,” Mr Schatz added.
Toyota says the purchase would be worth around $1,000 per vehicle.