Volvo is moving electric vehicle production from China to Belgium as the EU considers imposing tariffs on Beijing

Volvo Car AB has begun moving manufacturing of Chinese-made electric vehicles to Belgium as the European Union prepares to impose tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles, the Times reported.

In addition to transferring production of Volvo’s EX30 and EX90 models to Belgium, the automaker could also shift assembly of some Volvo models bound for the United Kingdom, the report said, citing unnamed people. Volvo, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., is seen as the most exposed among Western automakers to potential tariffs, the Times said.

Trade frictions between the EU and China have led to a flurry of anti-dumping investigations against Beijing amid accusations of unfair subsidies. The EU is expected to tell electric vehicle makers in China as early as this week whether it will impose provisional tariffs from July 4 that would increase import duties above the current level of 10%.

Volvo Car denied the Times report, saying “it is premature to speculate on the implications of the findings of this investigation or on possible measures.”

“The decision to also build the EX30 in Ghent reflects our ambition to build our cars where we sell them as much as possible,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. According to the company, the additional capacity in Belgium had already been previously revealed.

Last week, China accused the EU of working to “suppress” Chinese companies and said it will take measures to safeguard its interests.

Accusations of unfair competition against China are completely unfounded, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, citing previous comments by Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. Wang said he hoped the EU would abandon trade protectionism and return to the path of dialogue and cooperation, Xinhua said.

In a separate dispute, Chinese dairy companies are preparing to ask Beijing to open an anti-dumping investigation against imports from the EU, the Global Times reported yesterday, without giving details.

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