Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.



  • landru2landru2 Member Posts: 638
    mass, how would you propose to get everyone to pay MSRP? And what do you mean Canadian buyers are not going away? Do you think our supply of cars is unlimited? If every F-250 and F-350 truck is bought by Americans (which they practically are) where do Canadians go to buy them? Want to buy a V6 2WD Escape? Canadians can't buy them. Our store has been allocated three 2003's until November. These three will sell for MSRP - $1200- whoopee. The shortage is not so much because they are being bought by Americans but because the supply is all diverted to the U.S. If supply in the U.S. was plentiful, prices would come down and the flow of U.S. buyers would slow down. There are definitely supply issues.

    You do bring up a good point about NAFTA. Ask the tens of thousands of Canadian forestry workers who just lost their jobs because of U.S. tariffs what happened to NAFTA.
  • janzjanz Member Posts: 129
    As I read it, doesn't have anything to do with NAFTA, free trade or dealer profit. It has to do with the volume of canadian vehicles brought illegally into this country, where titles are washed, and the potentially very negative impact this can have on the innocent buyers of such cars.

    There are people making a ton of hard to trace cash on these deals and because the source of the cash is Canadian and no one except the traders are profiting.

    You can legally import a car from Canada. Canadian specifications are so close to those in the USA the only things that require changing are the odometer and the headlights. The issue is that so many cars are coming into the US illegally and people are unknowingly buying these cars not necessarily at a lower cost because they DON'T KNOW THE CARS ARE FROM CANADA. Those bringing them in are illegally profiting from the difference.
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    landru- I did not say that all buyers should buy at MSRP. What I was trying to say was that if I as an american buyer could freely buy your car at MSRP, it would probably be cheaper for me and I would gladly pay you MSRP, if I were close enough to get the car home with a short drive, or the price was like half what I would pay in the US for a long drive. I do not know how the supply system works for cars, but unless it was a limited production run, I would assume that if you sold all of your blahmobiles and called ford and said I need 200 more blahmobiles they would make them and send them to you (more profit for you and them). This concept seems simple enough to me. Again, read my post about me never being a businessman. If the supply is so low everywhere then why all of the rebates and incentives to move cars? Also canadians can buy a 2wd escape if they want to, we have plenty of them down the street here in Ga. Why such a low price if there are only three? Seems if they were in demand they would sell for MSRP or more. I agree from your post and others on TH it seems that the auto manufacturer distribution system stinks. But that is between your dealership and the manufacturer, not you and the customer. Again silence from the manufacturer's corner.

    I sympathize with you about the lost jobs, just talk to almost all of the US manufacturing sector. The more developed countries are being drug down to the lowest wages in the world, instead of the developed countries bringing up the wages of the underdeveloped economies.

    janz- you are right on and make alot of very good points. Like any other illegal activity, there has to be buyers or the crooks would be out of business soon. There is obviuosly a demand for these vehicles or no one would go to the trouble to ship them down here. The point I was trying to make was if the manufacturers supported US buyers buying canadian and stopped voiding warranties, then maybe most buyers would buy through legit channels and have a car that they know the history on and know they have a warranty. You are right, illegal grey market is bad, but a US buyer knowingly going to canada to buy a vehicle for their personal use should not be punished for trying to save some money.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    You also forget to include the agreements the US auto makers have with their unions...You can rest assured their contract clearly addresses Canadian new cars.

    I think its hilarious what lengths people will go to save a few dollars. These are the same people who think rules are for other people.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    ..... Not to go into all the Impacts, Trade agreements, Corporate espionage, yatty, yatty, yatty .com ... I'm not agreeing with - pro or con.

    What you are missing here, is the real deal, the American consumer .. a bunch of these vehicles come over the border with KM from the factory (no big deal to me) .. they get converted over to Miles, by the "Nice guy Change O matic" speedo store down the street in the States. And by law, it get converted back to ---0--- as in ZERO, not 1,500 miles or 159 miles or the 298 that was on the vehicle -- ZERO as in less than one... as all speedo's are done by Federal law. There is no conversion here, no translators, no 1x6= 6 stuff ......... just plain old boring Zero, see where the problem starts ...? And see were it will go in 2/4/6 years at trade time ...?

    Mass, would you ever purchase a vehicle that you thought there might be a 1,0/2,0/3,000 mile discrepancy .. I don't think so ..! l..o..l...

    Currently it cost around $800, now that it's done you have a title change from Canadian to American (MSO is from Canada) ... it starts in KM and ends up in mph.

    Now most people don't even bother to do this til' 8/12 months down the road .. IF, they even decide to do it at all --- At this point in time ... What is the mileage ..? Once a speedo get's changed by a "Factory Rep" that in itself, gets tuff enough. That's when that nice low KM vehicle, ends up being worth about 50% less than market. -- The whole point is what Audi just mentioned ---

    **I think its hilarious what lengths people will go to save a few dollars. These are the same people who think rules are for other people.**

  • mpynempyne Member Posts: 120
    I live near detroit and could purschase a new car and drive it back pretty easily (geographically speaking). I havent seen anyone really address the difference between buying 1000 cars (ie the dealership) vs. a consumer buying 1 car. Why couldnt there be some type of limitation on how many cars you could buy? I would be more than willing to be able to purchase only 1 car from Canada then would not be allowed to purchase ever again.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    About 6 months ago I considered buying an 02 Maxima SE. There was a very thoughtful fellow on these boards, Jon Lofquist, who explained in great detail how to buy one in Canada. At that time you could buy a Nissan in Canada and bring it back to the US without voiding the warranty.

    By doing so I would have saved about $4,000 over the price of a US-purchased Maxima. (The exchange rate was 1.60/1 then.) I figured that it would cost me about 2 days time and trouble. There was a discussion about this process, and everyone (including Terry) agreed that if you bought a new Canadian car, brought it home, _and_ drove it till the wheels fell off, you were getting a great deal. The trouble, of course, is that most people will want to sell or trade a lot sooner than that--if you do, so long to the savings!

    But the point is, $4,000 is not just "a few dollars". Not to me, anyway.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    Imagine that you're a dealer in Detroit (or Buffalo, or someplace else near the Canadian border). Your potential customers walk across the border and buy their cars at prices _you_ can't get.

    Wouldn't you feel that Nissan (or GM, or whoever) was burning you pretty badly? I sure would. I'd start complaining to Nissan that I was losing business, because Canadian dealers got their cars cheaper than I did. Some solution would have to be worked out, or I'd be out of business.

    The solution that the automakers seem to have worked out is to discourage consumers from taking cars across the border, by voiding the warranty. Not exactly inspiring, but if I were a dealer in a border city, I'd prefer that to going out of business.
  • mpynempyne Member Posts: 120
    Okay a couple scenarios

    First I used to play guitar and could spend a couple grand on a guitar. Lets say hypothetically I see the same guitar priced lower in Canada. Should I not buy it because music stores in Detroit will go out of business?

    Also why do so many Canadians work in Michigan? Because they can exchange their US pay check and exchange it for more Canadian currency than if they worked in Canada. So should we close the borders because its taking away jobs from qualified US citizens??

    So why cant US citizens take advantage of the lower value of the Canadian dollar by purchasing cars?

    disclaimer:Im not anti-Canadian by the way
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    It's like I have always said....let's not let ethics or values get in the way of saving some money...hahaha. those things only apply to others that I judge, not me.

    Can somebody explain why breaking the rules is acceptable?

  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    are challeging the rules rather then breaking them.Just because something becomes a "rule"does not give it validity.The main point I see here is -the cars are sold to Canadian dealers for less.This kind of upsets the concept of free trade.I can see the need for restricting US buyers because of this disparity in cost.
    The easiest solution would be to annex Canada.Oreilly would never stand for this.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    If somebody doesnt like the prices here in the US why dont they MOVE to Canada and pay in Canadian dollars. simple.

    If you don't like the rules move or get them changed....whining and cheating the system isnt a way to run a railroad.

    I have to laugh at everyone jumping on the free trade bandwagon...These people are the same ones who fought it tooth and nail..but if it benefits them its great..haha. oh to live in a "me only" world.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Does anyone actually know the rules? I mean, there are lots of comments here and some of them are quite definitive. But who knows exactly what the laws are?

    I think there's a whole lotta assumin' goin' on and not a whole lotta knowin'.

    And I'm with Rich here; cheating the system for your own personal gain doesn't make it right.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    You asked in post #27 why you couldn't buy just one car from Canada. I'm explaining why capitalism, as it exists today, prevents you from doing that.

    Each entity in this scenario is trying to look out for its own interests. The automaker splits its market, charging two different prices, in order to make more money. This creates an opportunity for you to buy a car in Canada, which would save you money. Your taking advantage of this opportunity would cost your local dealer some potential business, so he complains to the automaker, because he wants to make money selling cars. The automaker then creates policies (e.g. voiding warranties), because it values the relationship with the dealer. (The dealer buys cars from the automaker, which makes the automaker some money. Not to mention that the automaker wants to maintain the split market.)

    Thus capitalism, or each entity acting in its own interest, prevents you from buying a car more cheaply.

    BTW, if you find a cheaper guitar in Canada, go buy it! Like I said, I'm all for capitalism.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    Jon Lofquist had done thorough, excellent research on this and concluded that no rule was being broken in the scenario I described. There were Canadian tax-related forms to be filled out. (US citizens are entitled to refunds of certain Canadian taxes.) You had to prove to the Nissan dealer that you were a US citizen (photocopy of passport). You had to pay duties at the border (2.5%) for importing a car.
    You needed a letter from Nissan (which Nissan was then willing to provide) stating that the car met US emissions and safety standards.

    While I don't have every detail at my fingertips, in outline the main "rules" are these:

    By law: Canadian law entitles US citizens to refunds of certain taxes, provided the proper forms are filled out and proof of citizenship is provided. US law requires you to pay duties when importing a car from Canada. State law (NY) requires you to pay sales tax on the new car you just bought in Canada.

    Thus, our governments do not have a law preventing this importation process.

    Currently, all automakers require their Canadian dealers (by contract) NOT to sell to US citizens. (Nissan was the last exception.) This is an agreement between the dealer and automaker.

    Further, the warranty, which is a contract between the buyer and the automaker, is written so as to be void if the car is imported into the US.
    So, strictly speaking, _importation_ of the car does not violate a rule, it's just something most buyers wouldn't do.

    Currently if you buy a brand-new Canadian car and bring it into the US, either you deceived the dealer, or the dealer failed to exercise proper diligence as required by his contract with the automaker. In fact, there's a step in the tax refund process where you need to show the dealer your passport, if I recall correctly. Thus, the violation of terms of the contract occurs in the _purchase_.

    So, currently the only way to import without a dealer conspiring to violate the terms of his contract with the automaker is to import used Canadian cars. Of course there is also the odometer kilometer/miles problem as Terry explained.

    The present setup makes it more trouble than it's worth, for me.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    I thought some readers might be interested in the older discussion of these points. It's called "Buying in Canada", and it's in "Smart Shopper--Archived Discussions".
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    You have made many comments about "rules", which aren't clear to me. Maybe we can make this more concrete.

    Would my purchase of a Maxima in Canada (see #28) have violated a rule? (As I posted earlier, it would if I did it now, but that's not the question.)

    In "Buying in Canada", the archived discussion, you mentioned (in post #88) that "I also have about half a dozen canadian units with washed indiana titles here on my lot. I'm not going to miss out of the gravy train but I also would not buy one myself." Have you violated any rules by buying and reselling these cars?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    I can't speak for all MFG...But some have very clear rules in their dealer agreements concerning importing/exporting and brokering of cars.
    Violations of these contractual agreements can mean fines, loss of allocation, loss of warranty, loss of franchise etc...
    Some are not so clear and a few don't even address the issue at all...I don't know Nissans rules so I can't comment on your particular experience.

    Like it was mentioned earlier...used cars are a different animal. We buy Ford-Lincoln and Mercury used products in Canada 4 times a year. They are all converted and get united States titles. (many midwest and souther states wash titles) All of the buyers are informed they are Canadian units. So far, nobody has balked. Ford has no problem (at this point) with warranty coverage of these vehicles.

    Unlike most...we are not going there for price (savings is nowhere near what people think) but selection. There isnt anywhere we go that has a better selection of used (2001-2002) Lincoln Navigators and Lincoln LS's. If somebody is doing the proper canada to US change-overs the savings is quickly eaten up....People claiming to save $5000+ are either fibbing or had an "iffy" converter do the work and US certification.
  • dikrandikran Member Posts: 12
    I see then that it is possible to make use of the "gray market" without breaking any rules. So perhaps we can put that rules issue to rest.

    It sounds like you have also managed to get the odometers converted to miles without having the title branded "TMU" (true mileage unknown). I realize this isn't precisely what you said, but you did say that nobody has yet balked, and my guess is that many shoppers would put up a fuss over a TMU title.

    Is this right? I ask because it was a bone of contention in the previous discussion.
  • mpynempyne Member Posts: 120
    "I have to laugh at everyone jumping on the free trade bandwagon...These people are the same ones who fought it tooth and nail..but if it benefits them its great..haha. oh to live in a "me only" world. "

    But when it does not benefit big business it okay to change their tune?

    Also why did the auto makers push for NAFTA in the first place? hmmmmm I wonder
  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    in the US its illegal to discriminate (not to sell them the product) against someone because of their nationality.

    and a product HAS to perform its function - irregardless of any written warranty or lack thereof.
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    royce..thanks for the clarification...Is what you explained a US law? It does not make sense that if I see a car with 1000km that I change the speedo and have 0 miles on it. Is this a limitation of not being able to clock the new "miles" odometer to the right reading? Sounds like someone forgot about common sense when they wrote that law. Like I said before it appears that this would be less of a problem with a vehicle that is brand new and low miles anyway.

    mpyne...good posts

    dikran...I agree with you, $4000 is not just a few dollars to me either. Also some very good points.

    audi...not sure what rules you are talking about..but like others pointed out on here, it appears that there are no laws being broken. Also, if there is such a big difference in the price of new canadian cars, why does this not translate into better prices for used cars? Do canandian vehicles go up in value as they age?

    lleroi....exactly. Any rule, or law for that matter, is only valid if those being governed by it agree to follow it.

    Everyone...People are selfish. Companies are selfish. Yes I am going to jump on the free trade bandwagon if it benefits me, just like automakers did to support NAFTA, even as they ship manufacturing jobs out of the US. Does this make them and me selfish and greedy. IMHO, yes. Get over it, its human nature. There is not a company out there that runs it business based on what is really good for the consumer or worker. They run it based on maximizing profit and stock price. If we truly embrace free trade, like NAFTA, then it has to be a two way street. Companies and consumers should have the right to buy any product from anyone that they choose. What is happening with gray market cars from canada is that the auto makers want to artificially tilt the playing field in their and their US dealerships favor on the consumer end, while following the tenets of NAFTA and free trade when it benefits them as a company.

    Question for landru or speedometers in canada have KMph and mph, like US speedos have both? If so, why not just leave the speedo and odometer in the car and then there is no question of the miles.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,142
    dusti, I don't understand your point. The illegality occurs in the importing and selling of cars without following proper procedure. Therefore, selling the product to anyone (yes, regardless of nationality) is illegal.

    And, if there's no warranty, there's no warranty, period.

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  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    "and a product HAS to perform its function - irregardless of any written warranty or lack thereof." True - for products sold in the US.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,142
    Alfox, but there's a limited extent to which the implied warranty applies. The implied warranty probably only lasts til the car is driven off the lot and manages to start & stop on command. If it has an engine and goes forward and in reverse, that really meets the requirement of the product performing as an automobile. I somehow doubt that the "implied warranty" is bumper-to-bumper 3 yrs/36,000 miles.

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  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    I was implying that US warranty laws apply only to vehicles sold in the US. Someone buying a gray market car from Canada should not assume they are protected by US commerce law.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,142
    gotcha. I'm a little slow some days.

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  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    An American citizen can't walk into a Canadian dealership, answer the [non-permissible content removed] question about "are you planning to export" with the only legitimate answer - "none of your business" ...

    and expect to drive away with the car.

    The dealer - under orders from the manufacturer - won't sell SOLELY BECAUSE the buyer is American.

    The fact that the American buyer might illegally export has nothing to do with it.

    The fact that the American buyer might LEGALLY export back to the United States with almost no modifications and only a small duty, thereby saving mucho granola, has everything to do with it.

    This behavior is illegal in the US. Can't reject a sale because of nationality.

    Illegal because it is WRONG.

    It is also wrong to sell someone 20k worth of goods and leave them with absolutely no recourse if that 20k worth of goods turns into a pile of horse manure - which is what the auto manufacturers are doing when they void the warranties for Canadian buyers.

    Again this behavior is illegal in the US. Don't think an implied warranty is effective? Ask the American plane manufacturers just how effective they can be. They have turned mostly toward manufacturing kits the buyer puts together so they don't have to deal with these "ineffective" warranties.

    Illegal again because selling 20k horse manure is WRONG.

    But the auto makers and the dealerships that encourage and defend these practices could care less about what is right or wrong or anything else that resembles a principle.

    Free trade? Only if they can make a buck off it.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Have the kms on top and mph on the bottom.
    The odo. on them read in kms tho. (gm-ford)
    I own a motel in NY 1000 islands along
    the border. A few of my buddies own a
    few Can. imported vehicles one with km
    speedo and one with swapped mph speedo
    with conversion sticker on door.
    Used car dealer across the street from me
    has many CAN. used cars for sale.
    This guy also owns a Ford dealer too....geo

    BTW; these guys paid thousands less than
    if they bought a US truck !
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    Nicely put.

    Thanks for the info sonjaab.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    ...... There is a few places to purchase vehicles around you (we took a boat trip up there last year) ..

    All this stuff about the legal, not legal, good stuff, bad stuff, green stuff, blue stuff, etc, etc, etc. really isn't the point here.

    The simple point is: If you buy Canadian, you save some big money, no doubt about.

    What the consumer HAS too remember is: You save a lot upfront -- But, when you trade, you get slammed. So if you are going to keep the vehicle for 50/60++ months, then it becomes a good deal .. and if you are aware of this, and Stay Aware of it .. and will except it, then it's not a problem.

    Just don't get short term memory loss when you go to trade it, cus' the numbers .. you won't like.

  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    These guys keep them till the wheels
    fall off anyway. So resale value is
    not a concern to them. MY one bud had
    a 85 ford pu well worn out snowplwing.
    Was looking for a late model ford xcab
    4x4.....a 99 at the ford dealer us truck
    22k.....Can imported one at dealer across
    street 19k.....3 grand savings!....geo

    BTW; He had a warranty issue and took it
    to Watertown ford dealer no problem...
    He paid the 100 deductible they fixed it !
  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    Nicely put dusti, but I'm not sure it's totally correct as stated.

    The assessments of what's right and what's wrong in all this I'll leave alone - we can each decide this for ourself, since it's not a matter of imutable fact, but a judgement to be made based on our personal values.

    The assesment of what's legal and illegal I will also leave to others who know the law. I don't.

    But the question of the warranty I is one of which I am reasonably sure. U.S. warranty laws do not apply to items bought in foreign countries. Even though it may be the same precise product (and who's to say it really is?) the Federal laws of implied warranty do not apply. State laws may vary by state. I believe the law was written this way to protect manufacturers from liability for products made for foreign markets that do not meet U.S. codes and standards for product safety.

    Even with identical vehicles, Canadian laws regarding warranty and liability may differ significantly from ours (I don't know - anyone know that? Where's iceman?) A warranty has a cost - they are not free. Cars are priced such that the manufacturer's warranty is covered in their selling price. If a car is sold in a country where a lesser warranty or liability is permitted by law, the car can be sold cheaper, since the manufacturer has less exposure to suits. One way to circumvent that is to but the car where the price is less because liability is lower, and move it to where liability is higher. That may explain some of the reason for this whole thing.
  • janzjanz Member Posts: 129
    and it is clear that money can be saved by buying Canadian. Just like certain modifications to a vehicle can void the warranty, there are valid concerns about factory warranty support on these cars not built to US specs. To those who think warranty should be supported, for this reason quite frankly, why should they?

    However, the problem as pointed out in the Grey market article posted on, there is a HUGE difference between a consumer choosing to go to Canada to save money on a new vehicle purchase (warranty or not) and the illegal importing of Canadian vehicles into the US being sold to unsuspecting American owners, that MAY not have warranty support and most likely have rolled back odometers.

    These people are victims in every sense of the word as they paid for a new or nearly new car with low miles and probably have the impression the vehicle is under warranty. Not to mention the fact thay they MIGHT not even legally own the vehicle. These vehicles are misrepresented as having with low miles, and are paying way more than the actual value of the vehicle. These owners DO NOT GET THE BENEFIT OF THE COST SAVINGS. The illegal importers do in the payoffs and reselling that occurs to bring these illegal vehicles into the US.

    That's my rant. Thanks, Janz
  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    to tell a car built for the Canadian market vs one built for the U.S. market using the VIN#?

    My local VW dealer, for example, seems to be dealing in "program cars" these days. They are (they say) cars that were allocated for various dealers as executive cars, etc., but were not used as such. But because they were allocated as program cars they can sell them $1,000 or better below market price (TMV). They apparently collect these things from other dealers. I saw two Passats and two Jettas, nicely equipped, that fit that description. All had no mileage (<10.)

    Now I wonder if they could really be gray market Canadian cars trucked down here and being sold illegally. Possible?
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    Hi alfox. As you may have seen, recently published an article on Gray Market vehicles. At the end of this article, there is a section on how consumers can protect themselves from unknowingly purchasing a Canadian vehicle in the U.S. Here is the section, it may help you out:

    "How You Can Protect Yourself

    Protecting yourself from purchasing a gray market car can be a challenge, as even investigators who work full-time on gray market cases often have a hard time identifying these vehicles. Investigators offered these tips for consumers purchasing a used car or a "near-new" or "demo" vehicle from the current model year with low mileage.

    1. Make sure the speedometer and odometer are in miles, not kilometers.

    2. Look for a label on the driver side door or door jam stating the vehicle was imported from Canada via a registered importer.

    3. Check this area for a Canadian Maple Leaf symbol. (Note though that this may simply indicate the vehicle was manufactured in Canada for sale in the U.S.)

    4. If you are purchasing the vehicle at a franchised or independent dealer, ask the salesperson for the auction invoice, car jacket or warranty report and look for any notations of the vehicle being imported or a sale or repair in Canada.

    5. If you are purchasing the vehicle through a private party or at an independent dealer, write down the VIN (stamped in a metal plate located on the driver side of the dashboard near the windshield). Go to the service department of a dealer who carries that franchise, tell them you are thinking of purchasing this vehicle and you'll be using them for your service. Ask them to run the VIN and give you a copy of the warranty report. Look at the warranty report for notations of repairs done in Canada or the vehicle being shipped there originally.

    6. Regardless of the seller from whom you're buying the vehicle, write down the VIN from the plate on the dashboard and run a report on If the report has language such as, "Vehicle inspected. Found to meet U.S. highway safety specifications," it is likely to be a gray market car. Investigators cited Carfax as a resource for their investigations, noting the strength of its database, which includes more than 2 billion records covering vehicles with 17-digit VINs.

    7. If you know or have reason to believe the car you are purchasing was imported from Canada, or if you just want to double-check, run a report on, which accesses the databases for all of the Canadian provinces. The Smart Search, which costs $24.95 Canadian (about $17 U.S.), will show data from all provinces or a specific province can be checked for a reduced rate."

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  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    So the answer to my specific question is no. A dealership could (in theory) truck new cars from Canada and sell them as "new" US program cars and you couldn't easily prove it.

    I assume that if you get your warranty service from that dealership, they can cover it, provided it's enough for them to eat. Major repairs could be a problem.

    I'd love to hear vwguild's take on this....
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    I thought that those of you who have visited this particular discussion might find the following article interesting:

    "Car Makers Lose Power to Stop Gray Market

    SOURCE: North American Automobile Trade Association

    The European Commission introduced bold new laws today to stop car manufacturers from restricting gray market sales. The new laws are designed to give consumers the benefits of free trade and to allow them to cross borders to buy cars. Independent vehicle dealers and consumer groups in Canada and the United States are already pushing for similar changes in North America.

    The new laws became necessary when manufacturers tried too hard to keep gray market sales out of Europe. DaimlerChrysler, the company that has taken the harshest measures against gray markets in North America, was fined (euro) 71.825 million last October by the European Commission. Volkswagen AG and General Motors Nederland BV were hit with similar fines. The European Commission found that manufacturer imposed restrictions hurt consumers and new rules to protect the gray market were needed.
    Brian Osler, President of the North American Automobile Trade Association (NAATA), applauded the changes. 'It is completely unreasonable for manufacturers to restrict cross-border sales within a free trade zone like North America or Europe. Consumers should have a right to buy a car wherever they want, as long as safety and emissions standards are met.'

    The new rules in Europe protect the rights of gray market dealers to buy cars for export. A press release issued today by the European Commission notes that manufacturer restrictions on cross-border sales '...hamper what is a perfectly legitimate trade, and they will in future be prohibited.'

    'If manufacturers get too aggressive in fighting the gray market in Canada and the U.S., they will end up facing similar laws here too", says Mr. Osler. "Consumers are fed up with manufacturer price fixing. They want the gray market to bring them identical cars at lower prices.'"

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  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Member Posts: 188
    Anybody wants to place a bet that the car manufacturers, evetually will raise the prices of their cars in all region to a similar price? i.e. If car A costs $20,000 US dollars in the U.S.. and costs $18,000 CAD in Canada. Now the same Canadian car will cost $26-$27K Canadian? So that there won't be a reason for gray market anymore? Except for hard to find rare vehicles? Just a thought.
  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 708
    It will probably force manufacturers to offer the same warranties in both countries (US and Canada), which would probably accomplish the bulk of the price equalization.

    There were a slew of other changes made by the EU for European auto sales at the same time. Be interesting to see how the other changes relate to the US business model. It sounded like the EU is forcing manufacturers to allow dealers to look more like they have looked here for years, with multiple brands at the same dealership.

    Wonder if they will begin to do more badge differentiatiation between Canadian cars and similar US models.
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    The common man marches on. Thanks for the post car man.

    "Anybody wants to place a bet that the car manufacturers, evetually will raise the prices of their cars in all region to a similar price?"

    How predictable. Heaven forbid the manufacturers keep the same system (which they seem to be making plenty of money on). Lets just raise the price. Just like the fact that no companies in america pay any corporate tax. It is all passed on to the consumer in the price of the product.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    In those car companies! You can share in the fortunes!
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    And reward that kind of behavior? Not with my money.
  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    on what some corporations will do to make a buck.

    afraid of big government? me too, but that's not the only BIG power to be concerned about.

    check this link out to see the police state that's in the making.


    what these corporations need is a good crack upside the head...

    and unfortunately the government is the only entity powerful enough to give it to them.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    AS you know I have been shopping for a
    new CTS. But the dealers are not doing
    the GMO/GMS deal. So I have been looking
    at used 02 Devilles. I can get a new one
    for 35k. But a used 02 for around 29k.
    In Syracuse NY Caddy dealer.
    Since I have a summer motel in the 1000
    Islands NY I am over to Canada a lot !
    NEW CASINO in gananoque Ont.
    Stopped a local Caddy dealer used 02 Deville
    roof,chromies,bose, etc... in Gan. 39k can.
    25k amer.. Dealer sez no prob. with bringing
    and reg in ny. Remember the speedo and odo.
    has a switch on dash for km or mph !
    Will go back wed. after the pope leaves and
    things settle down in Canada !.........geo
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Dealer will bring it to NY and take care of
    the duties $250 can. and I will only have to
    pay NYS sales tax.and reg fees !They are also
    taking my 96 Deville in trade 6k Amer.$
    Warranty issues no problem. Called local Cad
    dealer they said no problem ! Will post more
    if I do the deal...........
  • ajspecvajspecv Member Posts: 3
    HI, I'm planning buying 2002 Nissan Sentra Spec V.
    And i'v been thinking of going over my friend's house in Toronto and get back to MA with new Sentra. Is it a good idea?
    I'm American, am i allowed to buy a Nissan car in Toronto? If i am, what procedure should i take?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    The automotive news had an article a couple weeks ago about GM changing their exporting rules for Canadian dealers. Essentially they are eliminating US dealers from doing any warranty work on canadian units plus charging back the canadian dealer any and all rebates, inccentives and then putting them on allocation hold...

    This is in the works now...I'm not sure if its a done deal or not but its close...
    chrysler did the samething last week.

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    ........ Unfortunaltly, even with all the $$ you might save .. you get no warranty with a Nissan product from Canada ..

    Also keep in mind .. unless you are going to keep this puppy for 5/6 years you are going to loose about 40% of the value as soon as it's titled, in comparsion to it's American counterparts.

    So, just make sure you do the math .. and no what your futere mught be, cuz if you have to trade it in 20/30/40 months, it will get ugly.


    Audia8q ..

    Hi Rich,

    That seems to be the decision and that will become "retro" as of Jan ist of 02 .. so it doesn't give the consumer much of a break .. Ouch..!

  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    I read that article too. Gonna buy a extended
    warranty locally anyway. Resale thats why I
    am going used again. Heck my 96 Cad is only worth
    5000 trade in the US ! MY 97 gm full size xcab
    4x4 I got 16500 trade last year on GMS deal !
    I won't get much for the Caddy in 6 yrs anyway
    gray market or not. Them GM trucks sure hold
    their value in NY. So them i will buy new !

    BTW; That Chevy dealer sold my 97 truck the NEXT
    day for 19k !
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