Wes Lutz Talks Auto Industry, Tariffs

Wes Lutz is the owner of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, but is also Chairman of the National Auto Dealers Association. He recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. The hot topic was tariffs, which are already impacting car prices. “We just got the numbers back on aluminium tariffs and it looks like that is going to result in about a $300 per vehicle increase; we don’t know if the manufacturer is going to pass that onto the consumer yet, but that’s just what that steel and aluminium tariff will cost.” Lutz said.

He is scheduled to head back to D.C. in July to resume lobbying, juggling several different issues. “I’ll be in front of the Commerce Committee…to give an impact statement on behalf of consumers and auto dealers.” he said. “It’s a huge concern, but I will tell you there is movement. The European Union has a 2.5% tariff that they’ve agreed that they should eliminate.”

Lutz says that the current administration needs to do a better job selling the situation to the American people. “The Administration, in my opinion, has done a rather poor job in getting their point across. I think what they should be talking about is parity.” Lutz said. “You know, if we have a 270% tariff on milk going into Canada, but we have nothing coming back, it doesn’t seem right. I’m not sure anyone cares what the tariffs are, as long as they’re equal going both ways.”

Lastly, we changed gears to talk about autonomous vehicles, to which Lutz says don’t hold your breath.