Skip to comments.To Outfox the Chicken Tax, Ford Strips Its Own Vans
Posted on 10/03/2009 12:44:33 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
Logic Takes a Back Seat -- and Windows, as Auto Maker Plays Tariff Games
BALTIMORE -- Several times a month, Transit Connect vans from a Ford Motor Co. factory in Turkey roll off a ship here shiny and new, rear side windows gleaming, back seats firmly bolted to the floor.
Their first stop in America is a low-slung, brick warehouse where those same windows, never squeegeed at a gas station, and seats, never touched by human backsides, are promptly ripped out.
The fabric is shredded, the steel parts are broken down, and everything is sent off along with the glass to be recycled.
Why all the fuss and feathers? Blame the "chicken tax."
The seats and windows are but dressing to help Ford navigate the wreckage of a 46-year-old trade spat. In the early 1960s, Europe put high tariffs on imported chicken, taking aim at rising U.S. sales to West Germany. President Johnson retaliated in 1963, in part by targeting German-made Volkswagens with a tax on imports of foreign-made trucks and commercial vans.
The 1960s went the way of love beads and sitar records, but the chicken tax never died. Europe still has a tariff on imports of U.S. chicken, and the U.S. still hits delivery vans imported from overseas with a 25% tariff. American companies have to pay, too, which puts Ford in the weird position of circumventing U.S. trade rules that for years have protected U.S. auto makers' market for trucks.
The company's wiggle room comes from the process of defining a delivery van. Customs officials check a bunch of features to determine whether a vehicle's primary purpose might be to move people instead. Since cargo doesn't need seats with seat belts or to look out the window, those items are on the list.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
"We thought going through the recycling process was best," he said. "The steel is valuable."
I am encouraged. If obama care pases, there will be work arounds....................
The company I work for just recieved delivery of one of these vans for use by service technicians.
Government, you have to love it. I feel protected already.
forgot to mention.....it came complete with a ladder rack on top......
“Tell me the rules and I'll play the game.” — anonymous
If we did MORE of this, then we could put more people to work shredding car seats.
Obama, take notice! LBJ has an idea for you!
“If we did MORE of this, then we could put more people to work shredding car seats.”
Government induced economic stimulus.
I never noticed until now how much Michelle Obama looks like Bizarro Lois.
BTW, Clock King?! As far as super-villains go, he’s not too fear inducing.
Always wanted one of those...:) sadly i was a child when they were new and now well I don’t want to think about what kind of maintenance nightmare one might be.
Rube Goldberg Motors
You would think that after 46 years someone might have thought this needed to be dumped?
There are no rules, their being made up as we go along. Business thrives on predictability so an admin that hates business won’t give them that. Just like back when FDR was President.
You realize those vans could have been made by poor, starving underage waifs who were paid slave wages, don’t you?! Moreover, why would German chicken farmers in good conscience allow dirty, disease-ridden American chickens into their country?
You don't know the half of the BS they go through to design and build ....
BTW, this car is selling quite well. What is ugly about all of this is, with the seats it will be a niche car for customizers, small families needing a around the town scooter, and that is just for starters.
To saddle a success story with such nonsense is could be construde as a reason we have tea-parties, no common sense in Washington or in Intl affairs....
Aren’t we still paying some tax on our phone bills meant to help fund the Spanish-American War?
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