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Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.



  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    I must have missed that. Where and by whom was this right conferred?
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    I believe NAFTA covers that.

    And as has been established before, it is not illegal to buy a vehicle in Canada, as long as it meets US safety and emissions standards.

    Now, many vehicles that are not offered here, such as a Mitusbishi Lancer Evo7 are not cost effective to bring here. But, they can be legally brought here.

    But that comparison is apples to oranges, please show me where it is illegal to bring a vehicle sold in Canada into the United States.

  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Nowhere have I said that it is illegal. In fact I have made the point in a couple posts that it is quite legal.

    So let me get this straight. I have found some computer components to be cheaper in the U.S. than in Canada even after the exchange rate. The problem is that many of these U.S. companies refuse to deal with Canadian purchasers. Are they in violation of NAFTA?
  • masspectormasspector Posts: 509
    I never mentioned the importer problem because I agreed with you and did not feel that it was necessary to mention it again. Sorry if I did not explain myself well. The difference I see is that the manufacturers should be going after the real problem, the importers, not your individual car buyer.

    What tboner mentioned does not apply in this case. He is talking about used equipment that his company knows nothing about its use. I am talking about brand new cars. Why would they have to be certified? I am sure tboners company does not ask you to pay for a certification on brand new equipment that you buy form them and they provide the standard warranty (apparently anywhere in the world, according to his post).

    landru---I do not feel that i am entitled to anything that I want. But I can express a desire for the way that I would like things to be, not only for me, but for every buyer. I do not single myself out to be ahead of anyone else.

    I am not sure about your use of the term "rights" so I will not argue that point. But I will agree with tboner that people have certain reasonable expectations and I agree with what he posted above.

    And as for the airlines, consumers have been taking your advice, Here in the US Southwest and Airtran (the low cost, no frills, no fancy fare rules airlines) were the only ones to make a profit the last couple of quarters. All of the big 7 are losing millions.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Sorry, but it's been sounding to me like you would like to enjoy some savings at the expense of another country's consumers.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    The manufacturers are going after the problem, the importers. But as I've noted before, the individual consumer gets caught up in it and lost what was a great opportunity. In a simplistic format, no one in the 3rd grade classroom gets recess becuse little Horatio wouldn't listen.

    IMHO, the manufacturer will not set up a system to exclusively deal with what you say are just a few people who would do this. The mfrs are huge companies and to establish what you think would be an easy system, would require huge investments of their time, money, and resources. Big companies do not easily set up simple programs. Additionally, by doing so they undercut the sales potential of the US dealers that would have to handle the process in the field.

    This policy does not apply only to autos but most consumer electronics. Try calling Sony, IBM, Panasonic and see what they say.

    As for the certification process, you noted before that tboner "hit the nail right on the head". I presumed you agreed to paying for certification and conversion to US standards.

    The system is what the system is. Pricing is different in Canada due to the nature of their economy. Canadians have to pay their national GST (15%??), some AC fees, etc. We may not like it, but that's the way it works. The manufacturers make less money in Canada than they do in the US. The US market is priced higher because it can be. The mfrs protect that pricing differential because a reduction in US sales in exchange for Canada sales is not a zero sum gain. As a shareholder in more than 1 auto company (and most of us through mutal funds/401ks, etc.), I'd prefer to see them earn more profits.

    As for your warranty card in the coffee maker, did you ever notice they ask more questions about what magazines you read and what you do as opposed to your name and address? Those registration cards are more for marketing purposes than for warranty/recall purposes. Your name may be registered in a database, but guess how many times I've been contacted about a recall that I know about other than by an auto mfr - 0, zip, zilch, never.

    As for pricing differences, look at a Honda CRV LX equivilant in the UK - 17,595 british pounds. At today's rate that is US$27,272. A US unit is US$19,260 - about 12,425 pounds. And they are made in the UK and shipped here!!
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    Very much earlier in the topic. I've not purchased anything from Philips/Magnavox for about 13-14 years now for the very same treatment that many customers are now getting from automakers.

    Landru, you said that consumers don't have the right, and that is what I took exception to. Consumers have the right to buy anywhere, provided what they are buying is legal (I.E. consumers don't have the right to purchase illegal drugs, kiddie porn or whatever the laws the society forbid.)

    Any seller can refuse to sell the vehicle, that is true. But again it may not be right to refuse based on Nationality. But they do have the right to sell to anyone they want.

    However, because of the Byzantine system the carmakers have set up, you can't by a car from the carmaker. You buy the car from the dealer. So now the carmaker is telling the dealers who they can and cannot sell to. As a dealer, I would be a bit concerned about that, as it seems to limit your market place.

    However, as I think about it, I do know that there are often geographical restrictions on rebates or other incentives. But I know of no restrictions stateside that prevent say dealers in Missouri from selling to citizens of Illinois or other.

    I guess I'm just a free market kinda guy. These additional layers, from the consumers point of view, only add costs to the car. What benefit do I as a consumer get from additional layers between the selling dealer and ultimate parent company? None that I know of.

    Please notice that I don't say the carmakers can't do what they are doing. They certainly can. However, the bottom line is, consumers don't know about Ford of Canada or Ford of USA or Ford of Fill in the Blank. They simply see Ford on that blue oval and want Ford to stand behind their product.

    Let them do what they want, but don't complain about the consumer when he or she begins to look at another brand.

    Sure, the other brand may do that too. But why take the chance that the consumer might get a perfect car than never needs warranty service from the other brand and it is never an issue.

    The hardest customer to win is one you've previously lost.

  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    As far as I know, every manufacturer is taking steps to stop exporting/importing. So what other brand are you going to look at?

    So a Canadian dealer should be concerned about losing the market of American buyers but shouldn't be concerned that these sales result in no service/parts/bodyshop business?
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    Should be pretty clear. Flatten the organization so there isn't Brand XXX USA, Brand XXX Canada, Brand XXX Japan.

    Ford and GM in particular irritate me because most of the models they make that appeal to me are not even for sale in the USA. I.E. Mondeo, Falcon, and much of the Holden hardware from down under.

    This is where the consumer loses.

    And I hope you don't think I blame you or hold you accountable for this because I really don't. I think dealers get a rather raw deal from the carmakers themselves.

    Perhaps if each business unit of a dealership could turn a profit, you wouldn't need to rely on service/parts/bodyshop business.

    All I know about is providing service. That's what I do for my customers.

    Dealerships are in the unenviable position in so much as they bear the major burden of customer satisfaction, but are often hamstrung by the car maker.

    I wish you well.

  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    and I just thought of these. I believe BMW and Volvo let you buy their cars in Europe and bring them back to the US. At least with the BMW, the pricing is below what you would probably pay at the dealership.

    So there is a model that seems to work for one or two car makers.

  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    As a citizen of the U.S. you do not have the "right" to even be in Canada. Just as I do not have the "right" to enter the U.S. It follows that you do not have any "right" to buy anything in Canada. These things are allowed by the respective governments but they are certainly not rights.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Like you, I love some of the cars the domestics offer for sale in other countries. Especially Australia. But in defense of the automakers. If they thought for a minute they could sell those products here and make the type of profit shareholders expect they would....Those pesky shareholders always screw things up..haha

  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    I guess that's the difference between me and you. I believe that we are born with all sorts of rights.

    Only governments and God can take them away.

    So you are telling the that the Canadian government doesn't want me to have the right to buy a car in Canada, or is it just Ford that doesn't want me to do that?

    Again, if there is no law prohibiting my purchase, then I DO have the right.

    Is there such a law?

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I think where youcross yourself up is, BMW and Volvo are domestics in Europe. They don't also build their complete line of vehicles in the US for US consumption. Those European Delivery discounts reflect the fact that BMW and Volvo don't have to go through the trouble of getting that car to the coast for the big canoe ride. You do it yourself. Ford is domestic in the US, so bringing the same model Ford from Canada isn't doing yourself any favor in that regard - Ford is not discounting the car because they're saving some shipping costs. There's no Ford-sponsored "Canadian Delivery" program. Instead, you're dealing strictly with an exchange rate issue between the US and Canada. This is why the DOMESTIC manufacturers are trying to block this practice - they lose money on it!

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    Yes - BMW, Volvo, SAAB, MB all let you take delivery of US SPEC units built in Europe. You can't take delivery on a non US spec unit and bring it in without going through major EPA headaches and NHTSA paperwork and I believe limitations on usage.

    As for getting rid of Ford US, Ford Canada, Ford Mexico, these subsidiaries are set up to meet local laws of presence, taxation, and incorporation. There is almost no way around those requirements short of relying on a local company to act as your distributor but then you risk having your name destroyed.
  • Myself to chase a rabbit, rising to the "right" question.

    The bottom line is there are US consumers who buy "Canadian" cars every day and then find they are without warranty coverage. My original point, going back to my post about my experience with Philips/Magnavox is that the consumer has a reasonable expectation that the manufacturer stands behind the car. And all the denying of warranty coverage will do to the customer is alienate the customer from the car maker. What ever happened to service? All those commercials about the carmaker being there for you don't count if you buy the car in Canada?

    I believe in all of these cases, the manufacturer sells/transfers the car to Brand XXX Canada, or Brand XXX USA, regardless of where the car is made. (It might be made by yet another division.)

    Sure, make all the divisions you want carmakers, but then stand behind your product, and don't put up barriers to customers who are looking for a better value.

    I just see this as another way to annoy customers instead of helping them.

    What's next, outlawing currency exchanges or the stock exchanges.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    "...the consumer has a reasonable expectation that the manufacturer stands behind the car."

    It's all what you define as reasonable of course. Manufacturers deem warranting what they consider to be gray market products as unreasonable. Even if they alienate customers, the numbers are relatively small and it probably doesn't worry them.

    I've staged a one man battle against Goodyear since 1988 due to the incompetence of a tech at one of their stores (I never quite understood the need for using a screwdriver and ball peen hammer for weight removal from alloy rims). I basically was told by Goodyear corporate to pound sand. Since then I have refused to buy Goodyear tires or a car equipped with Goodyear OEM tires. It makes me feel better even if it doesn't hurt them in the least.

    Once again it comes down to stopping the mass importers - the individual consumer just gets caught in the net.
  • I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

    On these very boards, car dealers complain that the new car sales typically are at a loss.

    So we have US dealers complaining because consumers are not giving them the chance to lose money by selling the car.

    So what do they get. The manufacturer will not pay them for warranty work. Some warranty work is gravy, easy money. Other warranty work, the dealer loses his shirt on. However, warranty work, in my view, is how a dealership can earn the trust of their customers. Do that part right, and you'll have a great chance of getting additional service work. Screw up the warranty work, and you won't see the customer until they are ready to buy a new car, maybe.

    Once the average customer learns that there is no warranty coverage, do you really think he will return to his local dealer. Nope, probably won't return to the dealer for service, or the next car.

    Yes the numbers are small. But again, the easiest (and probably cheapest) customer to keep is the one you have.

    As long as the customer is maintaining his vehicle, not taking out for the World Rallye Championship, why not stand behind it and keep the happy customer?

    If the Canadian dealer is selling the car for full sticker, I find it hard to believe that no money is made on those deals.

  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    The used car store across the street from me
    sells TONS of Canadian imported vehicles !
    I live in northern NY along the US-Can.
    border. This guy also owns a Ford dealer
    too.....I will ask what it costs to bring
    them over from Canada monday and post..geo
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Er, you do realize that Canada is a country and not another state don't you?

    The fact that different countries have different requirements to operate businesses is the reason for the "byzantine" distribution systems as you put it. Just like I can't just go and start doing business in Nevada without going through a bunch of "byzantine" red tape. Just like I can't go to the U.S. and take an American worker's job without going through the U.S.'s "byzantine" immigration system.

    You want to import a new car from another country? Be my guest. But be prepared to go through some "byzantine" inconveniences.
  • It seems Ford is able to ship cars built in the USA every day to Canada.

    So why is it ok for Ford to move cars across borders and not individuals?

    And borders do not change the logo on the hood, so please stop trying to change the subject. Ford and other carmakers build the cars and hide behind the system setup, required or otherwise, to provide an excuse not to stand behind the product they produce.

    All I want is for the carmaker to support the car they build.

    What does a border have to do with that?

    And if that car was built in the USA, shipped to Canada, then purchased by a US citizen, why is it ok for Ford to sell cars to Canadian businesses, but not ok for US citizens to buy from those Canadian businesses.

    When you boil it all down, it really doesn't make sense for a carmaker to not honor the warranty when they ship vehicles across borders every day.

    That is point? Why do you keep trying to make this a discussion of citizenship?

    Who got A's in history and geography, although that was a few years ok, but I do remember much of it 8^)
  • yes I did, I do know that Canada is not another state.

    Now answer my question, why do dealers cry about losing money on new car sales and then complain about customers who may:

    1. Pay full sticker knowing the price is much lower in Canada.

    2. Desire to have the vehicle serviced at their local dealership.

    I find it odd that many who complain about losing money on new car sales are the very ones who then complain to the carmaker about not being able to lose money on selling some US citizen his car.

    I find it odd indeed that, at least in the US, new car dealers have fought every attempt to bypass them in the sales process, yet many note or complain here, that new car sales is a money losing activity.

    So why do dealers hold on to such a loser? Why not just do the service and used car sales and let someone else lose the money?

    I await the answer.

  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    You think a car maker just ships stuff across the border without any importing red tape? Please.

    And most dealers would love to do away with their new car departments but dealers don't get to pick and choose what aspect of the business they want to pursue. But that would be rather shortsighted from a dealer's point of view. You want to be a Ford/Dodge/Toyota dealer? You have to provide the full package if you want that big sign out front.

    You must've missed the earlier discussion of how the mass importing of vehicles has a detrimental effect on an entire market. I happen to think that protecting the market that I make my living in is a little more important than if some American can save some money on their next car purchase. What is bothering me about some of the arguments here is when people feel that their need to save a few dollars should outweigh another country's entire car-buying population.
  • I never once said that cars are not shipped across borders without red tape. And if an American buys a new car in Canada, I expect that there will be red tape.

    Heck, there is red tape for us when we buy a car here at home, so it is reasonable to expect red tape to bring a car across the border.

    But it must be obvious that I am anti-protectionist market practices. What support is the seperation of the two markets. (EDIT, I have no idea what that last sentance was about, so I don't even know how to change it.) I don't agree with that, pure and simple. Nothing personal, so I hope you don't think I'm picking on you, I just don't agree :) (Plus I'm a bit miffed, a stock Ford Taurus, say a 97-99, just cleaned my clock at the Auto Cross event I returned from. He is allowed race tires, but I don't think he was using them. It was just insane watching him drift that 3L, Automatic sedan through a very tight course. I turned a 29.8 to his 28.8, so I'm a bit grumpy!)

    Are there really that many people who can travel to Canada to buy a car and bring it back to the USA to significantly change the Canadian Market?

    I'm a free market guy, and know/believe that artificial barriers (such as the withdrawl of warranty support or governments instituting trade barriers) in the long term artificially raise prices and stunt economic growth. Free trade allows the participants to find areas of relative advantage and capitalize on such advantages.

    This of course is in the macro view of the world. Of course there will always be individuals who are adversely effected. But even this should be short term as people and businesses can/should adapt as well.

    So just put me down as a free trader.

    As much as I don't like what the automakers are doing wrt Canadian imports, it's minor compared to my contempt for Microsoft's Business practices.
  • If you want to buy a car from a Canadian Ford Dealer, by all means, do so. If you want Warranty service on said car, have it performed by a Canadian Ford Dealer. They sold you the car. Ford Canada warrants the car. To ask a U.S. dealer to warrant the car is ridiculous. They (the U.S. dealer or Ford U.S.) did not sell it to you. Won't get reimbursed by Ford. Why this has gone on for almost 200 posts is beyond me. Just my two cents.
  • I recalled when I was in the military and shipped my Chevy Beretta to Germany. You know what, the Opel dealer was more than happy to perform warranty service on my car. In fact, I was able to contact GM about what to do with my car and how to get service while overseas. They were very happy to give me a list of dealers who would support my car. I did take advantage of this as well, as I had an issue with an exhaust component that would creak and pop under acceleration/decelleration. The Opel service was excellent.

    If an Opel dealer across the ocean can support cars they don't normally sell, and provide warranty service, why can't a Ford dealer in the United States provide warranty service to a nearly identical vehicle? (The question about the differences still hasn't been answered, BTW.)

    Like I've said before, I believe it is just wrong for a manufacturer to not stand behind the vehicle they build.


    Off to BBQ
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    Bought a Canadian Imported truck from the little
    dealer across the street. Had a warranty issue
    and took it to the local US ford dealer. Paid
    the 100? problem.
    But as I read lately they are denieing (spl)
    warranty work on Can. Import cars. Who knows !
    Will talk to the used car dealer across the
    street about it and how much it cost to bring
    a used one over from Can. and post.....geo
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    from 192:
    It seems Ford is able to ship cars built in the USA every day to Canada.

    So why is it ok for Ford to move cars across borders and not individuals?

    Ford is sending untitled inventory to Canada, not sold titled cars. No different than Japanese-assembled home electronics being shipped to the US for sale. Not an apples to apples comparison at all.

    From 193:
    Now answer my question, why do dealers cry about losing money on new car sales and then complain about customers who may:

    1. Pay full sticker knowing the price is much lower in Canada.

    2. Desire to have the vehicle serviced at their local dealership.

    Dealers sell new cars at low margin in the hopes that the majority of their customers will return for parts, maintenance, repair, warranty/recall, and repeat business. THAT is wheree they make money. I can use myself as a good example for this. I ordered my Ram in Feb of 1996, and it was delivered in May. Sticker was $33,991 - invoice was 29,278. Selling prioce was 30,376, giving the dealer almost 1100 in gross revenue, plus almost all of the $1019 of holdback because that truck was there just long enough to be prepped. Good deal on both sides. And for the last 6+ years, I have all service except tires and alignment done there. They made LOTS of money there - thousands of dollars. And in return, I get price cuts on service and parts. I don't get the runaround when I do say something is wrong because they see that truck regularly. You know what another of my rewards was? When my dad was shopping for a minivan in August of 2001, they sold one to him for invoice and added a $2000 rebate to that. And knowing how well they treat my Ram, Dad goes there for all his Grand Caravan service too. It's all about establishing a relationship. And next spring, I'll likely be back to order a 2003 Ram that will sticker for $42,000.

    Now, had I purchased the truck in 1996 and never shown up there again, then expected another great deal in 2003, I likely wouldn't get one.

    From 197:
    I recalled when I was in the military and shipped my Chevy Beretta to Germany.

    Military and diplomatic personnel in other countries are considered guests of that country - you weren't establishing residency and becoming a German citizen, nor were you a German citizen bringing a brand new Beretta into the country from the US. Again, your situaltion was not an apples to apples comparison.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • Yes I was a guest in Germany. But if GM can service my car there and honor the warranty, why can't all car makers honor a warranty on a product they build?

    And titled or untitled really makes no difference mechanically. Assuming the car can be serviced in either country, what difference, morally speaking, does titled vs untitled have to do with it? A Ford Taurus built in Chicago or Atlanta is almost identical whether it is shipped to Ontario or St. Louis. Probably the only differences are daytime running lights and a speedo that reads in kilometers vs miles. So tell me how does the title status impact the carmakers ability to support the vehicle? It doesn't one bit.

    In my scenario, the customer still wanted/desired his vehicle serviced at his local dealership, so if we are to believe that new car sales is a money losing proposition, then why fight so hard to prevent buyers from buying from someone other than your local dealer?

    I guess what I'm saying is I don't really buy the argument that new car sales is a money losing proposition.

    And I don't buy any argument that has an automaker denying warranty coverage on a vehicle, regardless of where it was sold, unless the owner has abused the vehicle to cause the failure. I.E. if the vehicle truely failed due to a substandard part or design in normal use during the warranty period, it should be repaired by the manufacturer or the local service representative of that manufacturer.

    What part of having the carmaker stand behind their vehicle is unreasonable?

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    TB, your question was:
    So why is it ok for Ford to move cars across borders and not individuals?

    Here's why titled versus untitled DOES make ALL the difference: Ford is "selling" the car to the dealership - the dealership is NOT the end user! They are the retailer who in turn will sell the car TO that end user. The dealership will not be driving the car. And Ford can't sell directly to a consumer.

    As far as warranty coverage is concerned, your Beretta wasn't brought to Germany in an attempt to save money on the identical domestic product. GM was honoring warranty work on a US-spec vehicle, bought in the US buy a US citizen, who happens to be overseas in the military. It was a goodwill gesture for GM because parts needed would have to be flown over from the US at considerable expense.

    The equivalent situation to the US/Canada gray market would be (and this is pre-Euro monetary unit), a German citizen goes over the border to Belgium and buys a BMW because it's cheaper there, then brings it back to Germany to register and drive it. The issue is, someone from a given country going over the border to buy a product that is domestic to them because the foreign country sells it for less. Because the auto industry does not retail directly to the consumer, they are losing money on a Canadian gray market car because the invoice price is ALSO less.

    TB, make yourself the producer/manufacturer. You build Widgets in the US. You also sell these Widgets in Canada, but they're cheaper there because of the exchange rate and the market is substantially smaller, so you make less on a Canadian-sold Widget. You also have to mark the Widgets destined for Canada in Metric units. Aren't you the least upset that US citizens are going to Canada and buying your Widgets for less, which reduces your income on that Widget than if you had sold it in the US to the same person, the customer then goes to a fourth-party shop to install US measurements, then this consumer demands the same level of after-sale service despite the fact they are slicing your revenue stream that helps pay for that very service? "Morally right" is a nice idea, but it doesn't pay the bills in big business. Not saying I agree with it or even like it, but that's the way it works.

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
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