How Recycling Can Be Bad – Those New Ford Transit Connect Vans and the Chicken Tax

All right, work with me here. This is a very small (by ‘Merican standards) panel van called a Ford Transit Connect. (Yes that sounds like a MUNI-related initiative created by Alex Tourk, but it’s just the name that Ford chose.) Microvans like this one are all over town these days, as you might expect considering that they’re marketed to small bidnesses in urban areas.

The thing is that these work vans are made in Turkey, but Ford can’t just have them shipped over here as work vans because then it would have to pay a 25% tariff on each vehicle sold. Why? Cause of the 1963 Chicken Tax. So, Ford has unneeded windows, rear seats, and seatbelts installed over in Turkey and then pulls all that stuff out as soon as the vehicles get here. Shipping these things as “wagons” and then selling them as “commercial vehicles” reduces the tariff down to 2.5%.

See that panel with the logo for BioCair? That used to be a window:  

Click to expand

This is all ably explained by Matthew Dolan here.

What happens to the stuff that buyers don’t want? All that gets shredded and “recycled,” which means some of it goes to a landfill.

Does this make sense? I don’t know.

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2 Responses to “How Recycling Can Be Bad – Those New Ford Transit Connect Vans and the Chicken Tax”

  1. calvin says:

    The Transit Connect comes in two versions, a van and a wagon. Van = 2 seats, Wagon = 5. I don’t know what the ratio of sales is between the two, but I would venture to guess that 50% or so will use the second row seats that come with the vehicle from Turkey. Maybe they ship the other half back to Turkey and re-use them.

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