Ford is in a bit of a pickle for importing and selling Turkey-built Transit Connect cargo vans as passenger vehicles in the US, then converting them to commercial-vehicle specification stateside in an effort to bypass a 25-percent tax imposed on vehicles imported for commercial use. Automakers are required to pay a 2.5-percent tax on imported passenger vehicles.
Local manufacturing has become the watchword (or words) when it comes to foreign automakers entering the Chinese market, and for a number of reasons. For one, the market is plenty large enough to make sense out of manufacturing locally instead of importing from overseas. For another, joint ventures with local automakers have been encouraged by the still tightly regulated economy. And now there's another reason: imported vehicles are about to face an extra measure of importation duties.
According to a report by Reuters, the Chinese government has suspended the importation of Hyundai and Kia products from South Korea. The importation ban allegedly stems from complaints filed by dealers that the automaker violated anti-trust laws in China by throwing more support behind its own dealers and thus limiting the support offered to independent retailers.