Daimler warns US-China trade war will hit its profits

Carmaker Daimler has said it expects lower earnings this year amid a growing trade spat between the United States and China. China has imposed tariffs on cars imported from the U.S.in response to President Donald Trump's $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese-made products.

Daimler expects earnings in its Mercedes-Benz cars division to be slightly below past year as a result. It had previously pencilled in a slight rise.

It foresees lower-than-expected sales of Mercedes-Benz due to a tax on the import of U.S. vehicles into China.

Shares in Daimler fell 3.3% on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while BMW lost 2.7% and Volkswagen 1.3%.

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Mercedes-Benz had record sales in the first three months of this year, led by China, where sales increased by 17%. However, this is unlikely to last because of the trade spat, the carmaker warned.

"This effect can not be fully compensated by the reallocation of vehicles to other markets", Daimler said.

Daimler said the Chinese tariffs will result in "fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs", which won't be completely passed on to customers.

It cited several other factors that also contributed to the gloomier outlook, including a new worldwide certification process for light vehicles, a recall of diesel vans, and declining demand for its buses in Latin America.

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