Could Transatlantic Partnership Allow Ranger Imports Just in Time for It to Not Matter?
Before the whole One Ford initative, many of us lamented that we don’t get the good Ford products here in the United States. Sure, the F-150 is great and all, but the Europeans had the awesome Transit van, the Ford Focus RS, and more. Now, Ford is changing that with their new products, but there’s also a change happening with U.S. law that might make it easier to import those vehicles we really want, such as the Ranger, just it time for it not to matter.
Our good friend Tim Esterdahl, writing for BestRide, discusses why it’s hard to import trucks into the United States. As we’re all aware, the Chicken Tax puts a huge burden on individuals and OEMs to bring trucks into the United States. Ford has, in the past, been creative in getting around the high import tariff on the Transit Connect. They literally import the van as a passenger van, and then after it clears customs convert it to cargo van duty, recycling all the passenger van stuff at a facility in Ohio.
Another reason why imports are hard are due to non-standardized crash test requirements. The European Union’s requirements for occupant and pedestrian safety vary from the United States’ requirements. Something as simple as the design of the wiper blade can make a car legal in the United States but illegal in the United Kingdom.
Assuming that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) makes the Chicken Tax obsolete, safety requirements would still stand in the way, of just importing the Ranger here. But this progress by the government ultimately is too little, too late. Ford is most likely going to build the new Ranger here, along with a new Bronco.
But, the abolishment of the Chicken Tax would sure make it easier to get Transit Connects stateside for sale. Now, if we can only get universal safety standards, we’d be all set!
What do you think? Sound off your thoughts over in the forums!