Canadian Government Blocks U.S. Auto Imports
As we've reported, thousands of Canadian cars buyers have headed south of the border to save money on new and used cars. Several manufacturers have [belatedly] responded to the exodus by offering incentives that bring Canadian new car prices back in line with their American equivalent. But not all, and used car prices are still significantly lower. So the trade continues apace. Only now the Canadian government has stepped in and staunched the wound. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Transport Canada now refuses to license imported American cars until they're fitted with a Canada-compliant anti-theft immobilizer. Seriously. They're stopping vehicles at the border and/or allowing new car buyers to drive them home– and that's all. At least until the device is fitted and the car inspected (and Honda of Canada says they know of no legal aftermarket conversion). Transport Canada spokesman Patrick Charette moved to quash conspiracy theorists (that's us) by pointing out the new reg was announced two years ago. Mr. Hill ain't buying it. The Calgary financial consultant bought a 2008 Sienna in the U.S. last month, saving CA$15k. The vehicle is currently sitting on a dealer's lot 320 kilometers away from his driveway. "This is either collusion or unintended consequences." While dozens of frustrated buyers cry foul, the list of banned vehicles was broadened last week to include 2008 models manufactured after Sept. 1 and sold in the United States by Ford, Hyundai and Suzuki; all 2008 GM models, several Honda vehicles and about half of the Toyota Motor Corp. lineup.
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