VW Type 2 Split Screen Body Parts & Trim

A Short History Of The VW Type 2 'Splitscreen' (cont.)

Whilst VW stopped production of the Split-screen bus at Hannover in 1967, as with a lot of models, production was moved to a less developed country, in this case Brazil.

One bizarre story that affected bus sales in the US was the “Chicken Tax”. In the 1960’s France and West Germany placed tariffs on the import of American chicken, diplomatic discussions ensued and failed, and in 1964 two months after taking control of The White House, President Johnson retaliated by imposing  25% import duty (around 10 times the average US tariff) on potato starch, dextrin, brandy and light trucks.

According to official lines, the tax was equal to that of the lost revenue for the exported chicken. Audio tapes from the White House revealed slightly deeper routed reasoning’s, with discussions between Johnson and the president of the United Auto Workers union resulting in a deal where the Union wouldn’t go on strike just before the 1964 presidential election, providing President Johnson acted upon VW’s increasing number of vehicles being imported into the US. The chicken tax affected all commercial variants of the Type, so panel vans, and pick-ups; this was to have a massive effect on VW’s sales, with Type 2 Commercial sales falling by over a 3rd between 1963, and 1964. The effects of the chicken tax were that by the late 60s VW commercial vans were virtually non-existent in the US. As of 2010 the chicken tax still remains in effect.

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