AP Photo/Martin Meissner.

Berlin - The global automotive industry could lose 700 billion euros (or about R11.6 trillion) in sales over the next seven years, due to trade war started by the US government.

This is according to estimates that were released on Wednesday by the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR) at the university Duisburg Essen.

According to CAR director Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, the US-started trade war was one of the "main reasons for the drop in sales of the worldwide automotive industry". 

The automotive think-tank estimated that between 2018 and 2024, US trade policies could lead to global vehicle sales declining by more than 35 million units, resulting in 700 billion euros of lost sales. 

"Since the Chinese market is a key market for the German auto industry, the German auto industry has been severely damaged by US customs policy. The behavior of the USA is thus the opposite of alliance policy," Dudenhoeffer stressed.