November 2018 November 2018 - Page 10

The Impact of New US Tariffs on the Golf Car Industry c k y W o rL D Wa oF s f G L C R The a It is tough to turn on the news lately with- out hearing something about the latest US tariffs imposed by the Office of the Unites States Trade Representative. On July 10, 2018, a complete list of 5,745 affected products was released. Following a six-day public hearing, 297 products were removed from that list based on appeals from various interested parties. The products that remain on the list experienced a tariff increase of 10 percent on September 24, 2018 and are scheduled to receive an additional increase to 25 percent following the first of the year. Golf cars are becoming more important to the every- day life of tens of thousands of Americans every year. Sadly, the tariffs may mean that middle class families become priced out of golf car ownership and person- alization. American brands such as Suite Seats, Strech Plastics, All Sports Lift Kits, and Doubletake will undoubtedly experience an uptick in sales; however, there are countless golf car parts that are not manu- factured in the United States. Customers who were unwilling to pay more for US products in the past will be forced to pay more for all products now. Why are we talking about this? Golf car parts are among the various products that are on the 25 percent tariff list. Parts like lift kits, light kits, brakes, seat kits, windshields, and wheels and tires that are manufactured in China will experience a 25 percent price hike when they cross the US border. Over the past few weeks, golf car parts dealers have received numerous emails from suppliers advising of price increases. Increases ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent have already gone into effect for most golf car dealers. Additional price increases are slated for after the new year. Those who work within the golf car industry have two choices: What Does This Mean for Golf Car Owners? Within the next few months, golf car owners will see prices rise for both the hard parts that they need and also the custom accessories they want. Dealers, like WHEELZ Custom Carts, are doing their best to absorb some of the tar- iff increases, but margins are already fairly low. 10 By Julie Wilson, Owner WHEELZ Custom Carts & Accessories WWW.GOLFCAROPTIONS.COM What Does This Mean for Golf Cart Dealers? • Raise prices • Promote US products Most golf car dealers are implementing a combina- tion of both. Those dealers who have not actively partnered with American manufacturers before are scrambling to form those relationships. Many suppli- ers are engaged with the government seeking relief