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Anyone read of more info on this development: Ford will soon end production of passenger “multivans” like the Transit Connect

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Anyone read of more info on this development: "According to Reuters, Ford will soon end production of passenger “multivans” like the Transit Tourneo and Transit Tourneo Connect (that's the Euro name for the Transit Connect)." Do you think this means 2019 is the last model, or further out? Thoughts?

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Very Interesting!

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That looks to only affect the passenger wagons in Europe, not the cargo vans. Ford is doing essentially the same thing here in the states, stopping car production by 2022 except for Mustang & the new Focus Active (I think that was the name of it, some crossover thing that just recently came out & looks similar to Subaru Outback). All we'll have here is 'Stang, trucks, SUV's and CUV/crossovers because passenger car sales are abysmal. 

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Makes sense.  Other than people on this forum, nobody buys these cars.  Every one I see is commercial use.  

 

 

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@govandlaw - Thanks for sharing - interesting read.

Curious to know how the sales are divided between cargo and wagon models.

I see mostly cargo models in SoCa and most appear to be fleet type vehicles for repair services. Very popular now. Occasionally I'll see a wagon model but not very often.

I wonder if Ford would consider building the TC in the US now that the Gen 2 TC is building some momentum. Sure would be cool to cut down on that long lead time for import from Spain.

MBenz is building the 2019 Sprinters in South Carolina now rather than building in Europe and then disassembling for import to the US, which seems ludicrous if you think about it.

 

 

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7 hours ago, windguy said:

 

I wonder if Ford would consider building the TC in the US now that the Gen 2 TC is building some momentum. Sure would be cool to cut down on that long lead time for import from Spain.

MBenz is building the 2019 Sprinters in South Carolina now rather than building in Europe and then disassembling for import to the US, which seems ludicrous if you think about it.

 

 

 

 

Politics.  Not even Trump politics.  Chicken Tax goes way back.  

 

What makes sense to you, does not make sense to the guys with the calculators.  What they are doing is the most cost effective way to sell the car and make a profit.  

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 I have the feeling that most of the TC's  are used in the EU market to Spain is a more central location. I just hope that the Passenger model sells enough to continue.

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Interesting how Ford and GM are abandoning the car market.  Last week I drove over to Atlanta.  Left downtown at 4:50PM - right into the heart of rush hour.  What did I see?  An interstate filled with SUVs?  No, it was cars everywhere with some SUV mixed in.  I think they have just given up on the car market because it is too difficult for them to compete with the Japanese and Korean cars.  Certainly lots of SUVs are being sold but when you go into a Chevy dealership, what kind of cars do they have?  Not much that interests me, Ford had a good car in the Focus but didn't stay on top of the market and keep it updated with current trends.  If you look at the Honda Civic Sport it is very similar to the Ford Focus ST, the Honda Clarion is very similar to the Chevy Volt.  I put the blame on poor leadership.  Both Ford and GM have plenty of talented engineers and designers but WAY too many accountants and a lack of leadership with a vision.  OK that's my rant for today.

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1 hour ago, PhotoAl said:

 OK that's my rant for today.

Thanks,  Ford and GM are under the instant profit model .  The good long term decisions are displaced by short term stock price pressures. 

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2 hours ago, PhotoAl said:

 Ford had a good car in the Focus but didn't stay on top of the market and keep it updated with current trends.

 

 

 

They dropped the ball with the Taurus.  Toyota Camry & Honda Accord stole the market segment, because Ford failed to keep the vehicle up to date.  Not that there weren't other issues.  The Taurus just did not compete price wise, mileage wise, or comfort wise.  Even today, I would buy a Honda, over any American small car, if I needed a small car.

 

 

2 hours ago, PhotoAl said:

 WAY too many accountants and a lack of leadership with a vision

 

 

Maybe.  Maybe not. The accountants figured out that the company was so far behind in the small car segment, that they may as well give up and focus on the vehicles which sell at a profit.  The accountants are the ones who figured out that it was cheaper to import a passenger van, strip it to sell as a cargo van, and it would still be more cost effective compared to USA production.  The accountants figured out that it was not economically feasible to continue to market the Mercury Brand.  The leadership has a vision of profit.  They can see the numbers on the spreadsheet, presented by the accountants.  

 

While the consumer who may want to buy American is left behind.......we'll all figure out that Honda is produced in Ohio, and we actually are buying American.  

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13 hours ago, G B L said:

 I just hope that the Passenger model sells enough to continue.

 

 

The sales figures don't look that way.  But an aftermarket may develop.  With the low price point on cargo vans, Transit Connect may become something offered by coach builders who do custom conversions.  Maybe we'll bet the stretched version with a wet bar.

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11 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

Maybe we'll bet the stretched version with a wet bar

Damn , too late for me  gave up drinking.

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Wouldn’t be surprised at all. I bet wagons sell maybe 5% of the total of vans. Even worse on the full size transit. 

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Just like with the Econoline vans.  How many E-150 were sold to private buyers?  Most went to livery companies, airport shuttles, school & church vans, and rental companies.  Most of us just don't have 8 or 10 kids anymore.

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I read somewhere that due to how import tariffs work, TCs are imported in to the US as passenger wagons and converted to cargo vans.  Anyone know if there's any truth to that?

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That's how it's done.  It's called "The Chicken Tax".  Politics.  Not even Donald Trump politics.  But exactly the same thing.  Import tariff to protect American auto manufacturers.  This goes back to The Johnson Administration.  Before most of us were born, and for some of the older guys, before they were old enough to drive.  The Chicken Tax is what killed the VW Scooby Do Mystery Machine and gave us the stupid looking Subaru Brat.  

 

Related imageImage result for subaru brat

 

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Except in this case it's not protecting American manufacturers but screwing them instead. 

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The real problem is that the first thing that is being made is  money.  That has changed from making something and that would make you money.

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On 1/16/2019 at 3:22 AM, Fifty150 said:

 

 

Politics.  Not even Trump politics.  Chicken Tax goes way back.  

 

Your 'politics argument' would mean that it would be much cheaper to build them here, rather than import them and have to pay the 25% tax on the imports

 

The Chicken Tax never applied to passenger VW buses, or any other passenger based vehicles for that matter  -  It originated specifically when VW started making a pick-up version of their van for business use and the tax only applied to 'commercial use' vehicles, like small trucks and vans aimed at small business owners

 

Don

Edited by Beta Don

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Disallowing American companies importing their own products from overseas factories tax free is really counter productive. There is no point of tooling every factory for producing every single model. It’s obviously logical to produce the Connect in Europe where the main market of that  body type is. Just like there’s no point of producing Mustang in Europe where it’s a rarity in parking lots and streets.  

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Tariffs are always counter productive in the end.  Producing products where they can be made the best and cheapest  keeps every body honest.  Is is usually the governments protecting a special interest that fouls things up.  

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As with every law, you have the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law.

 

Then you have all of the various opinions on how effective the application of the law is.  

 

The intent may be to protect the US market from a flood of lower cost imports, at the same time, preserving manufacturing jobs for Americans.  Does it work?  

 

With a pickup truck or van, almost all sales are Ford, GMC, & Ram.  But that's because most of those are fleet sales.  Government agencies, utility companies, large construction companies, all buy American trucks and vans.  Sometimes there are ordinances which require purchase orders to be Made in USA, unless otherwise unavailable.  

 

We all know that Toyota Tundra is a very well engineered truck.  It lacks the 8' full bed length which most commercial users want.  And it's always sold with a higher trim level, as opposed to something like Ford's XL basic package for commercial use.  Only Mercedes sells a full size Sprinter to compete with Ford Transit, Chevy Express, & Ram.  

 

For me, the pricing is why I have a F-150 and Transit Connect.  I'm not spending double to ride in a Tundra.  And the extra $10K is not an incentive for me to buy a Mercedes mini van.  I suspect price fixing has also protected the American manufacturers with discounted fleet sales.  

 

Does The Chicken Tax work?  Yes & no.  Who do you blame?  The manufacturers' lawyers & accountants who figured out how to circumvent it by importing a passenger van & stripping it down?  The labor unions who want so much for their workers, that the cost of labor is what throws the balance sheet off?  Congress or The President for keeping an import tariff from 1964 intact?  The oil industry whose interest is in us not being able to buy more efficient vehicles.  Big 3 greed buying off politicians to protect their monopoly on commercial sales?  

 

The consumer, you & I, benefit from a free market.  It forces sellers to be competitive in pricing.  But that free market is what has driven manufacturing to other countries.  It's simply less expensive to produce everything in another country, bear the cost of shipping & import, and still sell at lower retail w/ a higher margin. 

 

I'm no expert on global economics.  I'm just like the next guy who wants to save a little money.  I eat a bucket of chicken, without any thought as to how The USA is still using farm bills, subsidizing chickens and eggs, to leverage trade with other nations.  When you start thinking about how The USA subsidizes farming, to flood the global food supply with below cost food staples, then leverages that against foreign governments with trade agreements..........I'm just a fat American, driving a large truck, eating a bucket of chicken.

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Not that it really matters, but the latest article in 2018, in The Washington Post, creates a different impression.  The only thing that is really important is that for the time being, Transit Connect is still retailed at a competitive price point.  Otherwise, we would be in the $30K base price market.  And if production is shifted to The USA, who knows how much higher.  If Mercedes begins assembly in USA, and their price drops, as Ford Transit Connect price climbs........a lot of us will be on the Mercedes forum.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-strange-case-of-fords-attempt-to-avoid-thechicken-tax/2018/07/06/643624fa-796a-11e8-8df3-007495a78738_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f3bcef32d989

 

It  sounds as if Ford still imports passenger vans, strips them, and pays the import tariff.  The case is still going through the courts.  Ford expects a refund of all tariff paid, if & when they win the final verdict after the case has exhausted all appeals.  

 

But the most interesting thing that I read was from: http://1stclasseconomics.com/ford-beat-usas-chicken-tax-tariffs/

 

"Customs officials claimed that Ford because so efficient reassembling a passenger truck into a cargo truck that the sneaky task took them less than 11 minutes."

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