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.
Tags: 1963, chicken tax, commercial, ford, ford transit connect, imported, micro, minivan, recycled, San Francisco, seat belts, seats, shredded, tariff, tarrif, tax, transit connect, turkey, van, vehicle, wagons, windows