Posted by: David Kiley on April 8, 2009
Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen of America and the current chairman of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said today that any measure in proposed legislation to give consumers “cash for clunkers” that excluded imports “would be disastrous.”
There are currently a number of bills in the House and Senate that would give consumers between $2,500 and $5,000 to trade in vehicles at least nine years old for new and more fuel efficient vehicles.
The bills so far make it more attractive for consumers to spend that money on cars or trucks built in the U.S. One bill also offers money, though less, for vehicles built in Mexico and Canada, a nod to the North American Free Trade Agreement. But the bills so far exclude vehicles that are imported from outside North America.
Excluded vehicles therefore include fuel efficient cars like the Toyota Prius, Saturn Astra and Honda Fit. And it would also exclude certain VW vehicles built outside of North America that would otherwise qualify for Federal incentive.
“If such a bill goes through, and it is not open to everyone, you will see trade barriers go up all over the world,” said Jacoby. “It should really be modeled after the program in Germany, which was very effective, and was open.”
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