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Monday, October 22, 2007

Car-buying thought experiment

So U.S. auto dealers are banned by their companies from selling cars to Canadian citizens, in attempt to stop Canadians from buying the same cars south of the border for as little as half the price.

Thought experiment: what would the ACLU set do if U.S. auto dealers refused to sell to customers who were Mexican citizens?

Posted by Ezra Levant on October 22, 2007 | Permalink


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Used vehicles will be sold to Canadians shopping in the US - so if that's what you are after,

Go South, young man!

Albertans should know that if they purchase a vehicle in B.C. (or elsewhere in Canada), they can register it in Alberta and THEN pay the Federal sales tax - and pay no taxes at all in B.C.

What's the advantage? B.C. car dealers will give you a great deal if you shop around. Being from Alberta, they realize that you are "a godsend". Without giving you a serious discount from what's available in Alberta, they will not get your business at all.

And then you can flaunt the new car at your Alberta dealership to demonstrate that you are prepared to shop elsewhere if they don't give you a great deal next time.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-22 4:31:10 PM

They'd probably say that Bush conspired with the auto makers to forbid sales to Mexicans on the basis of race. What else would they say?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-10-22 4:47:02 PM

Did anyone say NAFTA/free trade/open borders? This should not be allowed, since our money hungry regime would get its share in taxes when the vehicle is registered here.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-22 5:32:33 PM

It isn't citizenship that is relevant, it's country of residency. Just a technicality. Either way, Canadian residents get screwed by the automakers of the Master-Province.

Remember back when they fought against and succeeded in preventing the oil pipeline to the East so they wouldn't have to buy Alberta oil because the Venezuelan oil was cheaper. Then the 70s came along with OPEC and the NEP ensured that the Easterners would be sheltered from the world price at Alberta's expense.

Just continue to be good Western hicks and do what's good for Ontario.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2007-10-22 6:08:34 PM

I heard that even with the taxes and duties levied when buying a US car, it is still cheaper than buying in Canada.

I just bought an HDTV and a Blu-ray DVD player. Total price, including 3 DVDs, an HDMI cable and a warranty plan, was about US$1,360 (C$1,330).

If I bought the same in Canada, it would be C$1,506 (US$1,540) or US$180 (C$175) more.

Thank goodness I moved to the US when I did!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-10-22 6:15:46 PM


i know it sucks, but the Free Trade Agreement can't dictate how companies run their business, and neither should it. i'm on the side of capitalism on this one. i can boycott the companies by buying a good used car in the States for dirt cheap until Canadian car dealers get their acts together. (i'm thinkin' about it.)

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-22 8:21:26 PM

I agree with Shel that the car manufacturers have the property rights to enable their discriminatory pricing against Canadian residents. I suspect underlying extortion favouring Ontario IE. You want the auto industry in Canada (Ontario), you pay big time. I also support the rights of Canadian consumers to engage in such actions as picketing US Car lots to raise awareness to the MSM. Big companies hate bad PR. Maybe even Ezra's beloved ACLU would get involved but that might require visible minority participation.

Success just might cost you the (artificial?) economy of Soutern Ontario.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2007-10-23 10:48:02 AM

John and shel I was not suggesting government intervention here nor am I opposed to the free trade agreement. However the fact is that we are still not dealing, business wise, with a level playing field. For me a true free market is based on a level playing field without government intervention or interference whatsoever. Unfortunately we are still a long way from there.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-23 12:03:50 PM

I suspect underlying extortion favouring Ontario IE. You want the auto industry in Canada (Ontario), you pay big time.

What a load of BS. The worst offenders are the luxury manufacturers that don't build cars in Canada, where some models are close to 40% higher in Canada than the US. Porsche today announced a 10% drop in Canadian prices for its 2008 models. Even with that decrease its still substantially cheaper to buy a new Porsche in the US.

Posted by: lotus 25 | 2007-10-23 12:38:02 PM

J. Macleod may know more about this, apparently Mystique Ventures in Moncton NB is bringing in about 7 cars a week form Maine

Posted by: lotus 25 | 2007-10-23 1:34:32 PM

Actually lotus 25 I recently heard on the radio that even with the drop in Canadian prices for Porsches, the exact same model remains $30,000 more in Canada. Now granted that the difference between American and Canadian prices is not so great on other makes, but there is no way to justify it.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-23 2:17:10 PM

Alain - Actually lotus 25 I recently heard on the radio that even with the drop in Canadian prices for Porsches, the exact same model remains $30,000 more in Canada

You're probably referring to the 911 Turbo. Though we still do a lot better than buying one in the UK.

2006/2007 CDN MSRP: 170,700
2008 CDN MSRP: 158,300
Current U.S. MSRP: 126,200
Current UK MSRP: £100,270 = $198,722 CDN

Posted by: lotus 25 | 2007-10-23 2:32:58 PM

It could be lotus, since I am not familiar with the different Porsche models. I fear any of them would be out of my price range, but I am happy there are those who can afford them. They look great.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-23 2:40:45 PM

Bought a U.S. made family van last week in a northern state.[Dealer is ignoring edict from manufacturer]

After deducting air fare and one night hotel, I saved $11,000

Posted by: healer | 2007-10-23 4:04:15 PM

I can imagine that Northern US border state car dealers would ignore the company's ban. There's too much money to be made. Which would they prefer: incurring head office's wrath or selling out their entire inventory to Canadians?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-10-23 4:07:33 PM

What the saavy car buyer needs to do is take full advantage of NAFTA, buy a oneway ticket to Puerto Vallarta, holiday, and purchase a new car in Mexico to drive back in.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-10-23 4:17:06 PM

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