The recent souring of diplomatic relations between the US and Germany over policy towards Iraq has led to a number of media reports speculating that a US boycott of German products could gather momentum and that the Bush administration may even place higher import taxes on German products, including cars. Reuters reports that analysts are saying that German carmakers stand to be especially hard hit by any boycott of German products in the US. "If the boycott against German products in the US is further inflamed by politics, the carmakers could suffer," said Michael Punzet, analyst at Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz, in remarks reported by Reuters. In 2002, Volkswagen Group sold some 424,000 vehicles in the US and BMW Group sales were 256,600 units. Mercedes-Benz sold some 213,000 units in the period.