For those of you who know me, I have chickens (but my sister tends them along with her flock). According to the title of this post, you COULD be taxing my chickens, but let’s be positive. Well, this isn’t a chicken blog, but a car blog. So how does a chicken tax relate to cars?
What in the world do chickens and trucks have to do with each other? Apparently a lot. The chicken tax has been in action in the U.S., since 1963. If foreign automakers sell trucks not built in North America, than the automaker will have to pay a 25% “chicken tax.” The term originated when, in 1963, Germany imposed a heavy tax on frozen chickens coming from the U.S. to Germany. The U.S. retorted by imposing the chicken tax on any foreign-built pickup truck, or other small truck coming into the U.S. This also applies to vans, as they are built on truck platforms.
The chicken tax forced Honda, Toyota and Nissan to build their trucks here. But, the chicken tax is imposed on the Ford Transit Connect (a small car-based platform, cargo van). After figuring out a loophole, Ford decided to use it as a solution to the chicken tax problem. The Transit Connect comes to America with the rear seats in. This qualifies it as a station wagon. Ford realizes that most Transit Connects will be sold in the cargo van configuration, so the rear seats are ripped out of most and sent to a company, where the steel from the seats will be recycled, and the remaining part of the seats will be sent to the dump. How green can Ford be? Pretty tricky….
The other truck that is in danger of the chicken tax is a Mahindra pickup truck. The Indian firm, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is in high hopes of selling their pickup stateside by December 2011. But, there is the chicken tax. The plans are to have complete kits of the truck sent to the U.S., and then be assembled in a plant in Ohio; thus avoiding the chicken tax. That’s pretty smart, and green!
Even though there are very few American frozen chickens in Germany, the chicken tax is still there. At least no one is taxing my chickens!