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Canadian car buyers blocked from cheaper U.S. prices
CBC News ^ | November 22, 2013 | Megan Griffith-Greene

Posted on 11/22/2013 1:36:05 PM PST by Stoat

Canadians are being given a hard time when they try to buy from dealerships south of the border

By Megan Griffith-Greene, CBC News Posted: Nov 22, 2013 5:00 AM ET

Canadians planning a trip south of the border next week to take advantage of Black Friday deals may run into roadblocks if a car is on their shopping list. A CBC Marketplace investigation reveals automakers are preventing Canadians from taking advantage of cheaper car prices south of the border.

Marketplace found price differences of thousands of dollars in the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the same model car on different sides of the border, but many U.S. dealers refuse to sell a new vehicle to Canadian customers.

In some cases, cars manufactured in Canada were more expensive to buy at Canadian dealerships than in the U.S.

Vancouver resident Caitlin Mayne, comparing prices for a new Volkswagen Beetle, found that the car’s MSRP was about $3,000 less in the U.S., only an hour’s drive from her home. “That’s a lot of money,” she told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson.

In one case Marketplace found a Dodge Grand Caravan listed at an MSRP that was approximately $7,000 cheaper in the U.S. than on Canadian lots

Steve Rogers, who runs a business that buys cars in the U.S. for Canadian consumers, says that the price difference can run even higher. Last year Rogers bought his wife a new car, taking advantage of lower American prices.

“The car was $60,000 in Canada and I paid $40,000 in the U.S.,” Rogers said. “You know, I have a hard time with the fact that I’m paying more as a Canadian just because of where I live.”

The full Marketplace  investigation, Price Wars, airs tonight at 8pm(8:30pm NT) on CBC Television.

Undercover investigation

To see what Canadian consumers face, Marketplace staff spoke with salespeople at more than 30 car franchises inBellingham, Wash., and Buffalo, N.Y., both close to the Canadian border.

In many cases, they were told that the dealers were not permitted to sell new vehicles to Canadians. Many dealerships refused or discouraged a sale when they realized the potential buyer was Canadian.

Some dealers provided incorrect information when pressed for a reason, saying that the law only permits them to sell cars to U.S. citizen or residents. “For whatever international tariff laws or transaction law,” one dealer explained, “U.S. citizens can only buy in the U.S. and Canadian citizens only in Canada.”

There is no law that prohibits Canadians from buying cars in the U.S., although the transactions are subject to the same taxes as vehicles bought in Canada.

According to Chief Tom Schreiber at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "you do not have to be a U.S. resident or have a U.S. address if you are a Canadian citizen and you wish to purchase a car in the United States and export it to Canada."

In some cases, dealers said that vehicles purchased in the U.S. and brought across the border would not be protected by warranty.

Rogers says that in his experience bringing cars across the border, this has not been the case. “Some manufacturers do not honour the warranty in Canada, but very few.”

Some U.S. dealers warned not to sell to Canadians

Some U.S. dealers told Marketplace staff that company policy prevented them from selling new cars to Canadian customers. A memo obtained from one car manufacturer explained this policy to dealers, stating:

“It has come to our attention that a growing number of dealers are conducting an increasing amount of sales outside of the United States. Although your dealer agreement does not expressly prohibit such activity … any vehicle sales made by U.S. dealers outside of … the continental U.S. are discouraged.”

It continues: “Vehicle sales made by U.S. dealers to individuals or organizations residing outside of the continental United States will no longer be eligible for any … incentive payment/programs such as vehicle incentives, ascent program payouts, quarterly/monthly dealer sales volume bonuses, Chairman’s Roundtable awards, etc.”

Automakers denied that their policies penalized Canadians or prevented them from buying cars in the U.S., telling Marketplace that such policies protect sales territories and help dealers build a network of local clientele.

“There is nothing to prevent Canadians driving to the U.S. to buy a car,” one automaker wrote in an e-mail. “A large part of any dealer’s operations is in service and so it is always better for a dealer to sell locally and retain that service business.”

Some dealers were more accommodating to Canadian consumers, though this varied by location. Ford, Kia and Nissan all agreed to sell new cars to Canadian customers, though the Kia and Nissan dealerships said they could not guarantee their warranty would be valid in Canada. And in all cases, the vehicles have to be paid up for upfront, as financing isn't available.

Price difference 'really galling for Canadians'

 

George Iny, the director of the Canada-based Automobile Protection Association, a consumer advocacy group, says the difference in cost is unfair to Canadians.

“I know that’s really galling for Canadians,” Iny says. “You might be punished if you brought in a new vehicle from the U.S. depending on the brand you’re buying.”

“The manufacturers want to protect the price in the higher-price market as much as they can,” Iny adds. “Our sense is that it’s a strong-arm tactic and it’s an indirect way to restrict the trade of vehicles.”

Iny says it’s up to the government to step in to protect consumers.

“It’s absolutely designed to restrain the trade of vehicles between the borders - and that, that’s an element of equity,” he says. “The carmakerbenefits greatly from free trade in cars and car parts, and the customer should at least be entitled to that benefit as well.

“If we are going for free trade for the carmakers, then it should to some degree be free - equally free - for the consumer,” he adds.

While cheaper car prices in the U.S. keep him in business, Rogers says that the difference still surprises him.

“I could never find the reality, the rule where they come up with pricing them differently,” he says. “It’s strictly just a fictitious line that prevents us from driving across. Why is there this huge discrepancy in cost?

 


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automobiles; automotive; autos; blackfriday; canada; cars
Steve Rogers, who runs a business that buys cars in the U.S. for Canadian consumers,

I love Capitalism....giving people what they want.

1 posted on 11/22/2013 1:36:06 PM PST by Stoat
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To: GMMAC; fanfan

Canada ping, eh? ;-)


2 posted on 11/22/2013 1:37:32 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Stoat

Years ago, I think the problem was just the opposite; new cars actually being cheaper in Canada. And you could buy a car there if you were an American, but the warranty would not be honored if you brought it back to the States.


3 posted on 11/22/2013 1:39:21 PM PST by steelhead_trout (MYOB)
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To: Stoat
In some cases, cars manufactured in Canada were more expensive to buy at Canadian dealerships than in the U.S.

While stationed in Germany, I bought a BMW made in Germany. (as opposed to SC) The car was not only cheaper than what I would have paid in the US, but MUCH cheaper than the cost in Germany! The VAT drove the price through the roof!

4 posted on 11/22/2013 1:44:02 PM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: Stoat

It’s because Canadians have tails and they require modifications of the vehicle seats.


5 posted on 11/22/2013 1:45:46 PM PST by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: steelhead_trout
Years ago, I think the problem was just the opposite; new cars actually being cheaper in Canada. And you could buy a car there if you were an American, but the warranty would not be honored if you brought it back to the States.

 

According to the article, the warranty issue may still exist as well as a lack of financing options .

In some cases, dealers said that vehicles purchased in the U.S. and brought across the border would not be protected by warranty.

Rogers says that in his experience bringing cars across the border, this has not been the case. “Some manufacturers do not honour the warranty in Canada, but very few.”

(edit)

Some dealers were more accommodating to Canadian consumers, though this varied by location. Ford, Kia and Nissan all agreed to sell new cars to Canadian customers, though the Kia and Nissan dealerships said they could not guarantee their warranty would be valid in Canada. And in all cases, the vehicles have to be paid up for upfront, as financing isn't available.

6 posted on 11/22/2013 1:45:51 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Gamecock
The VAT drove the price through the roof! 

Tax-hungry bureaucrats can't just sit back and allow people to get a good deal....that would be terribly unfair....to them   ;-) 

7 posted on 11/22/2013 1:49:41 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: tumblindice
It’s because Canadians have tails and they require modifications of the vehicle seats.

And those heated maple syrup dispensers can get pretty costly.  Oh wait, that actually sounds like a great idea....  (scurrying off to Patent Office)

8 posted on 11/22/2013 1:52:16 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Stoat

Indeed. I see an opportunity for American FReepers near the border to buy cars on behalf of their FreeDominion brethren in the Great White North.


9 posted on 11/22/2013 2:03:54 PM PST by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
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To: null and void
Indeed. I see an opportunity for American FReepers near the border to buy cars on behalf of their FreeDominion brethren in the Great White North

Agreed; providing any warranty or financing concerns could be resolved, it sounds like a great opportunity.

10 posted on 11/22/2013 2:08:04 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Stoat

The Canadians should tell the dealers they are here illegally, buy the car, and then return to Canada - hopefully before amnesty passes.


11 posted on 11/22/2013 2:22:30 PM PST by posterchild
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To: Stoat

I’d be happy for the opportunity to buy direct from the factory in the US and drive it home myself instead of paying ‘destination charges.’


12 posted on 11/22/2013 2:28:00 PM PST by posterchild
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To: Gamecock

In 1962 as a member of the USAF in Europe I bought a VW 1200 (Beetle) and paid $1120.00. The price at that time in America was $1595.00 so I saved $475. Doesn’t seem like much until you realize it amounted to a 30% savings.


13 posted on 11/22/2013 2:36:32 PM PST by billyboy15
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To: null and void; Stoat
You can get some great deals in Mexico.


14 posted on 11/22/2013 2:37:44 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: billyboy15

I made a similar purchase from a VW dealer in Manila and picked up the car at the Burlingame California dealer.

I don’t know who did what but there was a large savings


15 posted on 11/22/2013 2:41:10 PM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: Stoat

Now if he could sell me Viagra pills in the US what they sell for in Canada, he’d have a business running both ways.


16 posted on 11/22/2013 3:12:24 PM PST by BipolarBob
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To: DannyTN
You can get some great deals in Mexico.

I get that gull-winged baby would clean up real good.

17 posted on 11/22/2013 3:15:44 PM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. [Ludwig Von Mises])
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To: BfloGuy

It’s starting to show a little bit of rust.


18 posted on 11/22/2013 3:25:06 PM PST by posterchild
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To: posterchild
It’s starting to show a little bit of rust.

Heh. Wait'll it goes through a Buffalo winter.

19 posted on 11/22/2013 3:29:12 PM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. [Ludwig Von Mises])
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To: Stoat

But it is cheaper to have your US car service in Canada than in the States.

Labor charges in the local VW dealer here in NJ are $110 an hour. It is about half that in Canada, and the parts are the same.


20 posted on 11/22/2013 3:49:42 PM PST by docbnj
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To: docbnj

That’s good to know, thank you! Perhaps the next time the stoatmobile needs a major service done I’ll drive it up to The Great White North :-)


21 posted on 11/22/2013 5:30:41 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: DannyTN

Might sound funny, but that would bring big money in Newport Beach, California.


22 posted on 11/22/2013 5:30:43 PM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: Stoat
I was under the impression that registering a U.S.-made vehicle in Canada was part of the problem. Another problem is that the sales tax on vehicles sold in Canada can be very high (6% national sales tax plus provincial taxes as high as 9%).

All of the gauges are in the wrong units, too. LOL.

23 posted on 11/22/2013 6:26:11 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: Stoat; Squawk 8888

Hi Stoat!

Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry for the late reply. I’m not online as much anymore.

I’ll forward this to Squawk8888 who has the Canada ping list now.


24 posted on 11/23/2013 3:40:41 PM PST by fanfan ("If Muslim kids were asked to go to church on Sunday and take Holy Communion there would be war.")
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To: Stoat; Clive; exg; Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; ...
To all- please ping me to Canadian topics.

Canada Ping!

25 posted on 11/23/2013 4:31:18 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: Alberta's Child

“All of the gauges are in the wrong units, too.”

Speedometers are ‘bi-lingual’, and the other’s don’t matter much. And it’s easy to multiply miles by 1.6 if for some reason you gotta know how many kilometers you’ve gone. Or if it’s 100 km to the destination, multiply by .62 to know when you’ve gone far enough in miles.


26 posted on 11/23/2013 4:47:25 PM PST by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: fanfan; Squawk 8888; neverdem

Thank you so much, and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well :-) I apologize for not pinging this correctly but I was going by this pinglist which is VERY much out of date

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1811878/posts

Neverdem has been collecting names of current pinglist holders but I haven’t seen a finished list of the updated names yet :-(


27 posted on 11/23/2013 7:50:44 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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