You remember how the Ford Transit Connect [made in Turkey] is a utilitastic little European commercial van which can also be outfitted with rear seats and windows to transorm it into a nice little five-passenger wagon? Yeah, well, it turns out that because of some random chicken-vs.-vans tariff left over from the Johnson administration, all Transit Connects actually are wagons, which get a five-minute makeover to turn them into panel vans as soon as they hit US soil. That helps them avoid a 25% import tariff on foreign vans and trucks.
The Wall Street Journal has a funny/infuriating story about the operation in Baltimore where Transit Connect wagons are stripped of their seats and windows and turned into vans. The seat pads are shredded and dumped, but the glass and steel are recycled. The Journal makes it clear, too, that there are TC's that stay as wagons and keep right on rolling.
Which all sounds suitably goofy, of course, but it also means that TC wagons should be available now, no waiting until April 2010. Amiright?
Now let's hear how it only takes five minutes to install the third row seats from the UK peoplemover version, the Tourneo Connect. I understand if it takes a day or two for the translucent B-pillars. Because who keeps those in stock?
To Outfox the Chicken Tax, Ford Strips Its Own Vans [wsj, thanks dt readers seth and jj daddy-o]
Ford Tourneo Connect, 5- or 8-passenger models [ford.co.uk]