Did Chickens Cure Or Kill U.S. Pickup Trucks? Page 2

August 7, 2013

Mitsubishi GR-HEV hybrid pickup concept: Geneva Motor Show live photos

So now, both side want something. Japan wants to import trucks to the lucrative U.S. auto market, and the U.S. wants broader access to Japan's marketplace, too. If Japan will ease its import restrictions, the U.S. will likely do so, too, by ending the "chicken tax".

WHAT WILL IT MEAN?

If the "chicken tax" is abolished, it may not have much of an impact on U.S. truck sales -- at least not for the next few decades. Truck buyers are among the most brand-loyal shoppers around, and Detroit has had 50 nearly hassle-free years to build its pickup truck brands.

In other words, today's drivers aren't likely to switch from a Ford or Ram to a Subaru or Mitsubishi or Volkswagen just because the trucks are cheaper. Those shoppers' children and grandchildren may make the jump, but for now, U.S. marques are sitting pretty.  

On the other hand, if the "chicken tax" goes the way of the dodo, truck prices would likely fall due to increased competition. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- after all, truck prices have climbed about twice as fast as car prices over the years. Detroit would be forced to give up its easy money and innovate, but in exchange, it would have easy access to new markets.

Is the trade-off worth it? Sound off in the comments below.  

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