Volkswagen needs to set up its own production in the United States to benefit from the boom of electric pickups. Jens Heidmann says the plan will not fail because of the demand.
Hanover.Long-forgotten trade conflicts have unintended consequences: farmers in Germany, France and the Netherlands fear imports of cheap poultry from the United States have led to import bans and increased tariffs. When protests by American farmers went unnoticed, Washington faced import tariffs on agricultural products in 1963. As of now, light commercial vehicles and vans are subject to the “chicken tax” – and this prevents Volkswagen from exporting its Amarok pick-up model to the United States at competitive prices.
Of course you can tactfully try to avoid such obstacles. VW Partner Ford, for example, shipped its Van Transit Connect from Europe as a passenger car, then removed and reassembled it to make it a lighter commercial vehicle. But this kind of tax evasion eventually called for US customs officials to take action. Aside from the fact that such tricks are not questionable for Volkswagen after billions of fines in the diesel scandal – they really do not help set foot in the United States: you need a huge amount of it.
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