WASHINGTON – Toyota Motor Corp and Tesla clashed with Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union over a proposal by Democrats in the U.S. House to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive. In a letter to Congress, Toyota said the plan discriminates against nearly half of American autoworkers who do not belong to a union and called on lawmakers to reject giving “exorbitant tax breaks” to wealthy buyers of high-priced cars and trucks.
The bill, set to be taken up on Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill, would benefit Detroit’s Big Three automakers – General Motors, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV, the parent of Chrysler – which assemble their U.S.-made vehicles in UAW-represented plants.
The proposal boosts the maximum tax credit for these electric vehicles to $12,500 – including a $500 credit for using U.S.-made batteries – from the current $7,500, which stays the same for all others. The bill also does away with phasing out tax credits after automakers hit 200,000 electric vehicles sold, which would make GM eligible again, along with Tesla Inc, although Tesla would not receive the higher credit.
Tesla and foreign automakers operating in the United States do not have unions representing assembly workers and many have fought UAW efforts to organize U.S.