By on December 24, 2013


Canada and the European Union’s newly inked free trade agreement will eliminate the 6.1 percent tariff on imported vehicles, but one big obstacle remains: the lack of harmonization between Canadian and European vehicle standards. According to a report by The Globe and Mail, Mercedes-Benz Canada’s President is calling for an end to the differing standards, which feature unique requirements and add costs to Canadian vehicles.

Speaking to a group of reporters, M-B Canada’s Tim Reuss said

“Are you really going to say that a car that has been deemed safe enough and environmentally okay for Europe is not environmentally okay and safe to be driven in Canada or vice versa?”

Reuss said that harmonized standards would allow for the sale of the A-Class and an AWD variant of the Sprinter, as well as new safety technologies like flashing brake lights that warn of a sudden stop. Canada’s own regulations are slightly different from the American FMVSS regulations, but are more similar to the United States than the UNECE standards.

Other auto makers would no doubt be glad to have a single set of regulations for Canada. A TTAC source claims that VW would be able to sell the Polo in Canada, which is sized and packaged right for Canadian market tastes, but the cost of homologating the car make it economically unviable for sale in Canada, given the volumes it would do.

By contrast, Australia, which has a similar sized market, accepts UNECE regulations, and has a notoriously crowded market full of brands and nameplates, while Mexico, another NAFTA country, accepts both sets of regulations, and has many European brands and nameplates that would be more suited for the Canadian market, but are currently not sold here.

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66 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Urges Canada To Adopt EU Regulations As Part Of Free Trade Agreement...”

  • avatar

    More cars with a brick face like Audi in order to protect pedestrians. Lovely.

    • 0 avatar

      Brick face? That train has left the station. Look at every pickup truck sold in the last few years.

    • 0 avatar

      Audis are about the best looking cars on the road. Do you prefer domestic jelly beans?

      • 0 avatar

        Other than the front ends, Audis are very attractive. But you can’t really say that slab sided schnozz is pretty. And no, I don’t care for jellybeans either, no matter where they come from..

    • 0 avatar

      Not just the brick face, noticed how they all have the same hood side profile now too! Car makers figured the driver can’t see anything out anyway so let’s compromise the front visibility even further to save the dude that’ll get run over instead.

      • 0 avatar

        I fear that if this harmonization happens without some reasonable adjustments to some regional peculiarities, most cars are going to end up like the Fusion/Mondeo or Sonata. Slab-sided tanks with gun-slit windows; all with the same profile and overhangs.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m trying to find an article I read which stated the the Canadian’s will have Euro and US vehicles on sale at the same time.

    Access to competitive products can only benefit the populace. The Canadian’s are better positioned to receive the best possible range of vehicles globally (outside of the insular US).

    For a while in Australia we had both forms of vehicles available.

    Here’s an interesting link that would be attractive to someone who’s interested in this subject. Plenty of articles and news.

  • avatar

    And they should! Then French Canadians can own French cars.

  • avatar

    Why should we compromise our standards to appease the Euro’s?

    For years we built cars on the same assembly line. 80 percent of our production went to the USA. We built cars to meet American standards. We built cars to meet Canadian standards. That’s the price you pay if you want to sell cars in that country.

    If the Euro’s have an issue with that, leave your cars in Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      What is the compromise? You think this would be less safe? Why?

      • 0 avatar

        EU standards are lower. You can debate whether that translates into many lives lost, but there is no doubt that US and Canadian requirements are more demanding.

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          I would say “different”, but not necessarily “lower”. A standard that is more “stringent” is not necessarily “safer”, particularly if the standard is so restrictive that it limits the use of new technology. The US headlight standards are a prime example … and it so happens that Transport Canada already accepts e-code headlamps.

          • 0 avatar

            No, the US standards are definitely more rigorous. This isn’t debatable — there are more requirements and tougher crash standards.

            The US has a roof crush standard for rollover protection. Europe does not.

            The US has a 35-mph full frontal barrier crash test, which is the equivalent of a head-on collision of two vehicles traveling at 35 mph. Europe has no such test.

            The US side impact test involves a 3,015-pound barrier moving at 38.5 mph. The Euro NCAP test barrier weighs about 900 pounds less and travels at only 50 km/h (31 mph).

            US car interiors have to include padding to protect passengers in a crash that European market cars do not.

            US airbags are designed to work without seatbelts.

            The US mandates airbags. The EU does not.

            There are also differences in rear-impact standards that can result in design differences, such as fuel lines in being rerouted in the US-spec cars in order to reduce fire risk.

            It would seem likely that those differences do save some lives. But some of those differences don’t come free of charge — they can add materials and weight that have to be paid for — so one can argue whether the cost-benefit is there.

          • 0 avatar

            Well regardless of which regulations are stronger or weaker, the tougher specific regs from each side would prevail. And the all involved OEM’s R & D and assembly costs will be dramatically increased. So it’ll just be a ‘wash’ once the dust settles. The biggest losers would likely be EU OEMs and niche car builders, same as before.

          • 0 avatar

            There’s no instance in which the EU has a more stringent test than the US, but for pedestrian safety design.

            If the EU built all of its cars to meet FMVSS spec but with consideration for the EU pedestrian safety rules, then they could use one car to comply with both US and EU crash standards, as what is done to comply with US rules generally doesn’t conflict with their own standards. (The lighting and the wireless electronics would be different, but that’s about it as far as design goes.) However, they would rather build two versions of the same car — presumbably, that saves them money.

          • 0 avatar

            Your just plain wrong on this one pch101. There are plenty of standards like bumper height that are different. It has nothing to do with crash testing. If crash testing was the only obstacle companies would just make the car meat the tougher standard and be done with it. The problem is that many of the rules are mutually exclusive. The headlights mentioned above are a great example. You can’t tell me a Euro headlight is any less safe than the DOT equivalent. The Euro almost always has a superior beam pattern that lights up more of the road with less glare at oncoming traffic. It’s the mutually exclusive rules that add cost. If VW wants to sell something like the Polo mentioned in the article they probably don’t have enough of a profit margin to justify a new bumper and headlight design for the small number that would be sold in Canada. If they could just ship over the Euro car, it wouldn’t cost them anything else.

          • 0 avatar

            “There are plenty of standards like bumper height that are different.”

            The US requires that passenger cars (not light trucks) have bumper protection at a height of 16-20 inches.

            ECE conducts the bumper test at a height of 445 mm, which is about 17 1/2 inches. You’ll notice that 17 1/2 inches is between 16 and 20 inches.

            Automakers try to save money where they can. The US-spec cars require more materials, and they like to save money where they can get away with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            If you research why Americans’ require extra padding in their vehicles is because they don’t adhere to the wearing of seat belts all the time.

            I can also present stats and data to show that GlobalNCAP can be harsher than FMVSS/NHTSA testing as well.

            This is a fruitless attempt on your part to protect an industry in NA.

            How much are you being paid for your commentary?

          • 0 avatar

            When you have the facts on your side, pound on the facts.
            When you have the law on your side, pound on the law.
            When you have neither on your side, pound on the table.
            When all else fails, accuse your counterpart of being a paid shill.

  • avatar

    “Australia, which has a similar sized market, accepts UNECE regulations, and has a notoriously crowded market full of brands and nameplates”

    To clarify, the Aussies will now also accept cars made for FMVSS.

    The Aussies get more variety because of the law of supply and demand: They pay more for cars, so they end up with more suppliers.

    Americans benefit from some of the lowest car prices in the developed world. But the downside to that is that the automakers’ US operations need to be more efficient in order to mitigate the lower margins, which means pushing more volume at the expense of variety.

    If Americans would pay European or Aussie prices for cars, then the automakers would respond with more product. But I seriously doubt that Americans would want to pay thousands more for cars across the board just so that they could have the opportunity to buy a 1.6-liter BMW, a Peugeot or a Scirocco.

    • 0 avatar

      “But I seriously doubt that Americans would want to pay thousands more for cars across the board just so that they could have the opportunity too buy a 1.6-liter BMW, a Peugeot or a Scirocco.”

      what car snobs say people will buy and what people actually will buy are two completely unrelated things.

      Snobs: “Hey GM, why won’t you let us have any of those neat manual-trans hatchbacks you sell in Europe?”

      GM: “OK, here you go. Here’s the Saturn Astra, essentially unchanged from the Opel.”

      Car buyers: “It costs how much?”


      • 0 avatar

        The European market hot hatches and such seem pretty cool, until you look at the price tags.

        A manual transmission Scirocco with the 208 hp gas motor has a starting MSRP in Germany of over $31,000, not including the 19% VAT. The 200hp Toyota 86 in Germany is about $35k, plus tax.

        In the US, we can’t get the Scirocco, but the sticker price of the 6-speed FR-S is about $25k. Personally, I’ll take the lower prices and reduced variety, thanks.

        • 0 avatar

          America used to have an electronics industry. Ge, RCA, Motorola, Magnavox, Admiral were all respected brands of consumer electronics. All made in the US of A. At that time, in the early sixties, manufacturers could control the final selling price of their products. The manufacturers were sued to end their control over pricing. When they could no longer control pricing, profits fell, then manufacturers fell. First, the Japanese brands dominated, then Korean brands and now Chinese brands. The result, televisions are cheaper, but less people can afford them. All those manufacturing jobs left the US for good. Now, the same thing is happening in the auto industry. In search of lower cost, jobs are lost and less people can afford the product. This is a race to the bottom that only ends when all are out of work and there is no one to buy any products.

          • 0 avatar

            @Charliej – I get the impression that you are in favour of protective tariffs. The problem is whether or not people are willing to pay more for “home grown” products. Most would rather buy imported products than pay more. It is, as you have pointed out, a slippery slope. There are those who have described “offshoring” as the exportation of inflation.
            Would you rather have a Cuba”esque” automotive market due to strict controls and embargoes of foreign goods?
            The USA auto industry has been protected since the 60’s in the USA and similarly protected in Canada. The result is mediocre products. Things have improved but that has happened despite protection.

            In this case they are talking about the universalization of safety standards. As they currently stand they are comparable to a 25% tariff.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Your comment also highlighted a possible deficiency in US corporatism.

            Who are the largest exporter of high tech goods and services? Germany. It used to be the US.

            What country exports more vehicles than the US? Germany.

            Germany only has 80 million people, the US has 4 times that, yet the Germans are the worlds second largest exporters.

            Each vehicle manufactured in Germany cost it’s tax payers $1 300 in subsidisation. The US cost per vehicle to the tax payer is $3 000.

            If the US can produce vehicles the world wants it can improve its export markets greater than it is importing. Why?

            Because the US already imports significant quantities of vehicles and exports very few.

            But, this would mean removing many of the technical barriers like this article is discussing with the Canadians and protective tariff protecting light commercial vehicles.

          • 0 avatar

            The US lost its edge in electronics because the Japanese companies embraced the transistor from the start, while the US companies didn’t want to throw away their investment in vacuum tubes. Companies (and countries) lose dominance because of inertia.

          • 0 avatar

            Electronics assembly is a texbook case of low-value labour assembling higher-value components. Very portable, and instructive in how development strategies and labour economics work.

            Japan didn’t take over electronics production becase US companies were blind to innovation. They simply reached a point, progessively over the 1950’s and 1960’s, where their labour force had acquired the skills necessary for staffing electronics assembly lines at significantly lower cost than prevailed in the US.

            As one example, HP has made the HP-12C financial calculator, unchanged, since 1985. It’s such a good product that the financial services world won’t give it up.

            Initially, production was in the US. Then, it moved to Singapore, where lower-cost labour had the necessary skills to do the work.

            As Singapore developed, and labour skills/costs rose, production was moved to Malaysia.

            As Malaysia developed, and labour skills/costs rose, production was moved to Thailand.

            As Thailand developed, and labour skills/costs rose, production was moved to China.

            No country can expect to, or should want to, maintain assembly line jobs that require little skill and can only support low wages.

            Manufacturing in North America is coming back, but it’s different. Factories are mostly automated and the workforce is highly skilled – and therefore highly paid. Canada and the US have (by global standards) highly skilled and very productive workforces. Both countries need to keep moving up the food chain, not trying to bring back old jobs that are better done elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The German are exporting automated factories to the Chinese and advanced tooling.

            The Germans also exported the technology and support for this (services).

            The Germans are also doing quite well with the Chinese in the more traditional areas of manufacturing, ie, automotive parts and vehicles.

            Manufacturing in the US is improving because of your drop in living standards. Pumping those trillions of dollars into your economy and massive debt has devalued your income.

            It seems everyone here wants to compare the US to Europeans or Japanese but the main competitors are now the developing nations who now have slightly over half of the globes GDP.

            How can the Japanese and Europeans be as competitive as the developing nations? So, then who are is the main competition of the US?

            That’s why I laugh at some of the comments on this site from the UAW/CAW who use the Japanese and Europeans as scapegoats for their own shortcomings.

          • 0 avatar

            Big Al, in simple words (and meaning no disrespect) you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Manifacturing has always been capital-intensive. Over time, it has become moreso.

            In very many industries, modern manufacturing is almost completely automated. The human management of the process, and the operation/maintenance of the very sophisticated equipment used, require a level of education and skill that is beyond that of any third-world workforce.

            This has been the trend since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Advancing technology enables more and better goods to be produced by fewer people. Developed countries move up the food chain, steadily improving the state of technology and the educational attainment of their populace to maintain a competitive edge.

            Developing countries follow the same pattern, but start well behind. It was profitable for HP to manufacture the HP-12C in Singapore in the late 1980’s becasue the skills of the workforce and their pay rates made it so. As Singapore’s workforce improved, and their income levels rose, these jobs left Singapore, to be replaced with higher-value work that moved their economy forward.

            Developed countries compete today, as they always have, by capitalizing on their leadership in technology innovation and the supperior skills of their workforce. Judging from his comments about manufacturing in Australia, your PM seems to understand this.

            Your comment about pumping money into the economy is simply incoherent.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            No knowledge?

            Really, Wow, man. Talk about having little knowledge of up and coming economies.

            We must be so superior are we;)

            How does it feel to be superior?

            Also, if you’ve read what I’ve written, you would see that the Germans are in fact outperforming the US in exporting high tech, quality vehicles, etc. The US could and should be in that position, but US policy has let this erode.

            I mean why try and export when a taxpayer can make the difference in being profitable or not. Like welfare, why put in an effort?

            High tech isn’t just audio, smart phones, LCD TVs, etc. It is far more involved than that.

            At the leading edge of high tech manufacturing I do agree. But, how large is that market?

          • 0 avatar

            Big Al, you seem to be totally detached from reality.

            “Now, (lets say) how can GMH only be worried about USD profit when it is in Australia? Wouldn’t GMH want a profit in Australia to be profitable?”

            GMH is wholly-owned by GM. GM reports global profits in USD. That’s what it cares about. If GMH loses money, but contributes to the coffers of GM, GM is happy. In fact, GM most assuredly uses a variety of mechanisms to transfer profit from high-tax jurisdictions to low-tax ones. And to maximize the after-tax dollars it can repatriate to the US (which is a complex process in itself). GM manages for GM, not for GMH.

            “Take a Kia Soul in the US. How much is it? According to your analogy it would cost $20 000 dollars or more? Because that is what we pay in Australia. I hardly think so. Both our Kia Souls are manufactured in Sth Korea at the same factory on the same line. Bad call mikey.”

            The Kia Soul starts at $14,700 in the US. Including a/c, power windows/locks, etc.

            So, for the same vehicle, Aussies get to pay a hefty premium over buyers in the US.

            “I saw a twin cab Tundra at a shopping mall the other day in NJ and was near on $60 000. We actually can buy them in Australia new for around $100 000 (grey import), complete to a T in meeting US design regulations.”

            According to Toyota’s website, the list on these in $42-55,000. You brag that you can buy one in Oz for a mere $100,000. Twice the price of the US. What bragging rights are inherent in this? “Gee, we get to pay twice what you lot do, for the sme vehicle – aren’t you jealous?”

            Actually, I’m not.

          • 0 avatar

            I would say that Al is completely ignorant of the auto industry, but I would be overstating how much that he does know.

            That being said, Holden does have to contribute some sort of benefit to the overall GM organization in order to justify its existence. And there’s nothing that Holden can do that can’t be done elsewhere within GM, and at a lower cost. With lower tariffs in Australia and subsidies under threat, importation becomes the better option.

            As far as car prices go, the US has some of the lowest prices in the developed world. And as anyone who understands economics would know, lower prices are generally indicative of a competitive market; prices are lower because the producers have to compete more aggressively against each other.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Read what I responded regarding the conversion of currency as stated by both DiM and Pch101.

            They were trying to make a pure conversion of what we pay for a vehicle in Australia and the stating that would be the US price.

            They stated that what we pay for a vehicle would translate directly into US prices. This is just untrue.

            If you read my comments further you will see we pay on or about $20k for a Kia Soul and they are under $15k in the US.

            So the reference of direct comparison is irrelevant in this case. That’s my argument.

            As for GMH in Australia to be viable it must be profitable in Australia not the US. This is the inference that DiM made.

            I think you should read and comprehend my responses. DiM and Pch101 have a tendency to put ‘untruths’ and spin forward in their arguments.

            As for the Tundra I was pointing out that we can get the Tundra. You go out and buy my high end BT50 in the US. You can’t. If you could it would cost you over 1/2 a million. That’s the point.

            We have available what you have, but you don’t have what we have. Cost is relative. The cost of vehicle ownership in Australia for a Kia Soul is quicker even though we pay more. Our incomes are different.

            ect, I really think you should open your eyes. You can get onto the Pch101/DiM bandwagon, but I think you’ll find if you research some of what they put forward is pure bull$hit.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Direct money conversion on vehicle costs is inaccurate and you know this. We had discussions on this subject before.

          Then why do you use DiMesque techniques to distribute crap and inaccurate information?

          You almost seem to be acting like a sponsored blogger for some interested group with the misinformation you disseminate.

          Try sincerity.

          • 0 avatar

            @BAF0 – Regardless of socioeconomic factors, OEMs are just concerned with direct money conversions.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Again, you are making a fool of yourself.

            Now, (lets say) how can GMH only be worried about USD profit when it is in Australia? Wouldn’t GMH want a profit in Australia to be profitable?

            Wow, what a jerkoff. Really DiM. Wakeup to yourself.

            No wonder you are a lowly UAW call centre dude.

          • 0 avatar

            @BAF0 – You’re taking the topic way off track to not prove your point. It doesn’t matter to an OEM the “what or why” consumers in one country will gladly pay $40K for a vehicle, while in another market, only willing to pay up to $30K for the same vehicle. They’re only looking at the bottom line. It’s great that you were happy to pay more than $50K for your Mazda import truck and I’m sure that made Mazda very happy, but they’re also happy to avoid markets that would only pay $30K for your same exact (luxury) truck. A rocket scientist such as yourself, should be able to figure out why OEMs selectively pick where to sell what vehicles.

            And Merry Christmas Mate!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Since I’ve had contact with you, you will present an argument, then when proven wrong try and deflect an argument into another realm.

            Have a look at your comment and then lets talk.

            You just can’t keep on spruiking $hit. Look at what you put forward. See if it is tangible and can be supported.

            You just don’t do this. I do realise the UAW has a platform and paradigms you must put to other bloggers as you are paid to do.

            But realise that what you put forward has to be believable. The comment regarding conversion of currencies you just put forward is pure and utter crap.

          • 0 avatar

            @BAF0 – Start at the top of the thread and work down. Everyone is on topic except YOU trying to steer it to other unrelated nonsense, as you always do, and right on cue. Stay on topic for once…

            We pay less for cars (and trucks) than any other meaningful market, before taxes. That clearly impacts OEM market strategies… What the heck does any of your comments have to do with this???

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Very DiM
            The point in your last post brings us back to what this article is discussing. My following comment is why it is fantastic that the Canadians are going to way of GlobalNCAP.

            Take a Kia Soul in the US. How much is it? According to your analogy it would cost $20 000 dollars or more? Because that is what we pay in Australia. I hardly think so. Both our Kia Souls are manufactured in Sth Korea at the same factory on the same line. Bad call mikey.

            I saw a twin cab Tundra at a shopping mall the other day in NJ and was near on $60 000. We actually can buy them in Australia new for around $100 000 (grey import), complete to a T in meeting US design regulations. We have a flexible regulatory regime that allows for these situation to be resolved.

            Now my Mazda BT50 I bought cost $46 000, how much is it in the US? You can’t get it because it has been tariffed (chicken tax) and regulated out of your market. If I could get it certified to drive on your roads how much will it cost? $500 000 or a $1 million?

            That Tundra in Australia is not only available, but much cheaper than what my BT50 would be in the US if it can make it past your protectionist regulations and be certified.

            I think you really need to stop with your UAW bull$hit along with Pch101.

          • 0 avatar

            @BAF0 – Entry level cars in OZ are quite a bit more expensive than in the US, relatively speaking and as a percentage of their MSRP. $5,000 is a lot when talking about a $14,000 car.

            Canada still isn’t considering the acceptance of UNECE regulations as their own, or in addition to they’re own. And if the EU won’t accept Canadian regulations, then except for the killing of the 6% import tariff, what’s been gained?

            The Tundra Platinum tops out at $47K (crew, 4X4, leather, nav, SiriusXM, sunroof), so who knows what the heck you were looking at. And that’s before rebates and cash on the hood.

            There’s no way in hell anyone here would pay $46K for a midsizer truck. To us, it’s completely laughable! You do things differently in OZ, but whatever. That kind of price wouldn’t happen here. Never.

            It’s not the Chicken tax that makes us cheapskates and bargain hunters. And it’s not the Chicken tax that keeps us from buying midsize trucks or taking them seriously. And it’s not the Chicken tax that steers consumers away from Tacomas, Frontiers, Titans and Tundras. And the Chicken tax did nothing whatsoever to prevent the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion. So what good is it? What teeth does it have? None right? The Chicken tax does nothing to keep certain autos out of the US/Canada that we’re missing, like the VW Polo, Scirocco, plus hundreds of other cars common to the world. Or doe it???

            Some cars, we just don’t care for. And some OEMs definitely don’t care to bring all their cars here. It’s called market strategy. Or care to bring ANY of their cars here. Prices on cars and trucks are way too competitive in the US/Canada. So are you going to blame the Chicken tax for global warming too?

            In the case of your Mazda pickup (that’s really a Ford Ranger), what little sales it would have (mostly to fleet, bottom feeders and other cheapskates), would also undermine and cannibalize some of Ford and Mazda’s more profitable line of cars, SUVs and the F-150. So why import it or build it the NAFTA zone at all? The few low margin/profit Isuzu pickup sales would clash with GM cars and trucks, not to mention the Colorado/Canyon. The few Mitsubishi truck sales would clash with Mitsubishi’s car strategy. The few VW Amaroks… well you get the point.

            And there’s no point to a grey market in the US. We have all the import/domestic cars and trucks to satisfy 99.99% of consumers. What exactly are we missing? And who wants it? Other than that million dollar Mercedes 6X6X6 truck…


          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM——read my new comment at the bottom of ths thread. I will show you why the US can’t change to way its doing business and the Canadians can move to a harmonised vehicle regulated market.

            Again, you are trying to move the ‘argument’ away from your incorrect initials comments;

            1. Currency conversion of significance, ie, dollar for dollar comparisons.

            2. ‘Who would pay $50 000 for a pickup in the US. Now I pointed out an extremely comparable vehicle in the Kia Soul and that in Australia the Kia Soul is 35% more than in the US. This would indicate that an equivalent pickup in the US wouldn’t cost $50 000. Again misinformation for yourself.

            Pch101 tends to do the same.

          • 0 avatar

            @BAF0 – That 35% works in KIA’s favour. Tremendously. They pay 2.5% more tariff duty for the OZ market than the US tariff and the $AUD pays only 12% less than the US dollar.

            When it comes to pickup truck OEMs, assembling in Thailand, it’s a frick’n bonanza selling them for up to $50,000 USD (converted) and beyond. Yeah, they love Australia. And they have plenty of reasons to hate the US truck market and our fleet, bottom feeders and other cheapskates. We chew up and spit out small truck OEMs. Ask Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu and the rest why they ran from the US screaming. Who cares about the OZ 5% tariff at that point?

  • avatar

    Sure. No problem. You can sell your euro cars in the Americas just as soon as American cars can be sold in Europe without modification.

  • avatar

    I thought that safety standards were going to be accepted across the board in Canada, my bad. There does need to be a unification of standards among developed nations.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Here is some information regarding Canada signing up to GlobalNCAP.


      Parties to 1998 Agreement (31) Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Community

      See more at:

  • avatar

    Mexico does accept European certified cars. There are Renaults, Peugeots, Seats, Opels, Citroens, and many types of Fiats on the streets. There are also large Toyota vans, seating what looks like fifteen people. Tiny Chinese trucks are common sights on the roads. Along with Chinese scooters and motorcycles. Four wheel ATVs are also legal on the road here. It makes for an interesting traffic mix. Where I live, in a small village, it is not much of a problem. When you get all this traffic mixed in a city of four and half million people, it gets exciting. In the village, a large number of gringos use golf carts to get around. They can not be licensed for the street, but as long as you stay off the main roads the police do not mind.

  • avatar

    This will save car owners money from buying all those expensive Euro spec OEM+ mods like clear sidemarkers and blind spot driver side mirror and rear foglights or even retrofitting headlight washers for HIDs.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    ANCAP and ENCAP are following the same path and I do think the Canadians’ will eventually follow the Australian/Euro model.

    Also, the GlobalNCAP (or ENCAP) is a very flexible model that can accommodate regional differences. It is also a cheaper model when it comes to vehicle certification under NCAP regulations. If a country has already tested a vehicle including FE the receiving country is not bound to duplicate the testing. This will save the Canadians money.

    I’ve read certain comments that are trying to state that one particular system is better than the other, particularly a ‘vocal’ person defending the US model. The reality is there is very little difference now in a US vehicle and ENCAP vehicle. The US and Canada attend GlobalNCAP meetings that are even sometime held in the US (Washington DC).

    But their is more to this than just vehicle safety. ENCAP also encompasses emission regulations.

    If and hopefully when the Canadians implement the ENCAP standards the emission standards will be there.

    This will really annoy the US. The US’s system of CAFE and EPA regulations can be ‘bastardised’ to increase the required CAFE mpg figures for a particular sector of the US’s vehicle manufacturing sector, primarily pickups.

    Pickups are the backbone of the US vehicle revival and is one the most protected vehicle in the OECD.

    Now if the Canadians do fully adopt ENCAP it will be a much larger blow to the US than you can imagine.

    The Canadian’s could then be able to import cheaper diesel Pickups from Spain and Germany. Other commercial vehicles could follow.

    We have many of these Euro style of vehicles in Australia and they can perform very well and are cheaper to operate.

    GlobalNCAP encompasses many countries that range from signatories to countries like (Brasil-LatinNCAP) that are in the process of implementing gradually NCAP are they can financially manage. These new ‘interested’ parties are joining after a study done by the World Health Organisation found that countries like Brasil are losing GDP due to the cost of fatalities and it would be better for the country to make it safer to implement these NCAP standards.

    I hope Canada goes all the way and becomes a signatory and removes any of the CAFE/EPA regs that it is currently using as this will save the Canadians lots of money.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I forgot to add.

    The UNECE vehicle harmonisation regulations is what a signatory accepts when adopting this model in full.

    GlobalNCAP is part of the UNECE.

  • avatar

    I’ve sometimes wondered why we got different cars in Canada.. the Fit is quite different from the US Fit, particularly in the Sport model. Gear selector is different (we get PRND321, they get PRNDS), no paddle shifters in Canada, no VSA until it was federally mandated here, no navigation options(still!), different # of cupholders if i remember right, and a few other small items.

    Instead we get heated mirrors.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Canadians can move towards UNECE Vehicle Harmonisation much easier than the US.

    The reason is as I’ve always stated the US has created a tightly and interconnected network of all industries supporting it’s current regulatory framework, from energy, biased emission controls, vehicle safety design etc. These are termed ‘Technical Barriers’. These are harder to prove/disprove at the WTO.

    The only area the US can harmonise is in vehicle safety. I think you will see this as it is currently undergoing that change.

    We’ll start with the energy situation.

    The US has heavily subsidised corn farmers (US farm subsidies are $800billion 2014) providing the base for ethanol. Ethanol can be produced for half the price per gallon if sugar cane was used. Brazil can supply ethanol for the US market at this price. The US has imposed a 56% tax on Brazilian ethanol.

    The US cites that this is to ensure it energy security. Now if you wanted to ensure the reliable supply of a resource, what would you do to manage this? You would try to reduce consumption. The US has reduced consumption but nowhere’s as near as they could, ie, full size pickups/SUVs, etc. So how serious is this, or is it a trade barrier?

    On the other hand the Canadians can grow Canola quite easily to provide bio-diesel which is a cheaper option than converting corn into ethanol.

    Biased FE/Emission Controls.

    CAFE/EPA/Chicken Tax are all managed by US Federal Departments. Now how can what constitutes a truck be different between departments. This is what’s occurring. A PT Cruiser is considered a truck by the EPA but similar vehicles don’t attract the Chicken Tax.

    This discrepancy is used to ‘up’ CAFE mpg figures for the larger and heavier vehicles, ie, pickup trucks. Small vehicle mpg figures are rolled into pickup truck averages to increase the CAFE figures.

    The EPA has also made it harder for diesel to become an alternative, in order to support the US’s agricultural subsidies and reduce UNECE diesel completion. Diesel according to the EPA site has harsher improvement standards for diesel. Just diesel vehicle improvement concerning mpg is twice as high as gasoline engines.

    CO2 limits for the US is lax in comparison to UNECE Euro standards. More CO2 equates to more fuel burnt. This also works against diesel.

    Vehicle Design Standards

    This is the one and only area that I can forsee that the US will harmonise. Current vehicle design isn’t better or worse than ENCAP or any other full signatory within the GlobalNCAP countries.

    The Canadian Senario.

    Now, why would Canada stay with the current US model? The US is on it’s own globally. Canada already accepts US regulated vehicles, but isn’t bound by them.

    How secure are the Big 3 vehicle manufacturers in Canada. The Canadians have pumped billions into the Big 3, like we have in Australia. What happened in Australia? The Big 3 will go home when subsidies dry up.

    Ontario gave $8 billion to the US manufacturers in 2008. $4 billion went into GMs CAW pension fund and in 2014 that $4 billion has dried up. Now GM has to find the $800 million shortfall. Look at Australia and Europe. GM is scrounging for cash.

    Canada is on shaky ground. How can the Canadian operations make $800 million profit just to pay the CAW pensions and that’s just GM?

    I think Canada will accept the UNECE regulations, up to and including Euro VI. As I’ve stated before the US system appears to be a massive spider web of barriers, different regulations than it’s main competitors just to protect itself.

    If the Big 3 leave Canada, Canada will be better off. Other more profitable manufacturers will be able to offer the Canadians, higher quality and more varied products.

    For Canada to go the way of the UNECE regulations is a win-win for Canada. The only losers will be the Big 3 and of course the CAW/UAW.

    This doesn’t even take into consideration the effects of the Chicken Tax.

    • 0 avatar

      @BAF0 – Canada couldn’t really harmonize with UNECE regulations, but could adopt them concurrent with US regs, not unlike Mexico. They have too many ties with the US auto industry, including offshore OEMs building cars for the American market, all over North America.

      If Canada had complete harmonization with the EU, in spite of US regs, it would turn it into a big cluster/F all OEMs involved in North American trade and North American assembly. Besides US Big 3 OEMs, this would force Honda, Toyota, BMW, etc, to build different variations of the same cars for the US and Canadian markets.

      But US regulations were never intended to be “trade barriers”. The EU deliberately set out to have 100% incompatible standards with the US. The intent of UNECE regs (besides safety and emissions), were trade barriers against US the auto industry, but they also negatively impacted EU OEMs wishing to sell cars in the US and Canada. The same ill effects went to any and all OEMs from around the world that had adopted UNECE regs.

      This unless you want to go on record and say UNECE safety and emissions regs predated the DOT and EPA in 1952? Of course not, get real… UNECE regs followed US regulations, but took a totally different approach.

      There is some ‘gaming of the system’ when it comes to CAFE, but any offshore OEM can do the same. There is no preferential treatment of US, D3 OEMs. And what CAFE defines as a “truck”, is different than what the Chicken tax defines as truck. Again, no preferential treatment for US, D3 OEMs importing trucks, as the Chicken tax defines them.

      Your conspiracy theories against US diesel engine options are completely silly. We’ve largely rejected them, long before any kind of diesel engine emissions standards. And diesel fuel was much cheaper than gasoline and we still found (smog exempt) diesel cars undesirable.

      Yes it’s cheaper to build cars, the further south you go. Down the road, it doesn’t look good for Canada. And not just concerning US, Big 3 OEMs. Why should any OEM stay up in Canada?

      Nothing would change if the US and Canada killed the Chicken tax. Small truck OEMs want nothing to do with the North American market. Foreign small truck OEMs have been here, enjoyed the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion and eventually ran screaming when the small truck market got washed out by everything else. The price of mini-trucks escalated faster than competing segments and that was the end of the small truck dynasty in the US/Canada.

      Heck even US Big 3, Chicken tax exempt OEMs want little to do with the US small truck market. Nothing but fleet, bottom feeders and other rebate-demanding cheapskates waiting with open arms.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    UNECE signatories don’t deny US vehicles into their markets. So your comment is of little relevance.

    Remember UNECE regs are used to facilitate trade, not hamper like the US regulatory model. Like I stated grey import my BT50 into the US and see how much it will cost you to get it certified to drive on your roads.

    Any, UNECE signatory can buy and drive a US vehicle on their roads. This is how flexible the UNECE model is.

    Essentially the Canadians will open their markets up to more product and more competition.

    This can only benefit the Canadian people.

    It appears the Big 3 want to harmonise standards. So this means any opposition to this would come from groups with a vested interest to see less competition.

    I wonder what group that would be? Unions?

    • 0 avatar

      @BAF0 – That’s all ya got? Thought this was your favourite topic?

      Yes Canada would get bigger selection of cars, but really not so many. It would be more of a benefit for OEMs importing into Canada.

      Yeah yippie! Grey market! Wow, ok, Big 3 OEMs can now quit all their crusading for harmonization, right?

      Who cares? Drop in the bucket…

      A grey market in the US for what? What exactly are we so desperately missing? No one is going bother with self-importing everyday cars and trucks if it was legal.

      The last grey market we had were mostly or only a few rare, exotic sports cars, not worth it for their OEMs to federalize. And some hot rod Japanese sports coupes. So what?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I think you are missing the point.

        The point is real competition benefits the consumers. The US has competition, but it is nowhere near as competitive as the Australian market, even GM and Ford are leaving.

        Relatively speaking in Australia the mainstream vehicles we have or the largest seller in the top 10 are cheaper than in the US due to open competition. The low volume vehicles are cheaper in relative terms in the US.

        In other words is takes less weeks of work in Australia to buy a vehicle than it does in the US on the average wage, let alone the minimum wage.

        The Canadian’s pay more for vehicles than the US does. If more competition was in Canada not only is there a better choice of vehicles for the consumer, which in turn offers the opportunity to purchase what you want, but they will pay less.

        Do you think the consumer should pay more? That has been the basis of my argument for everything from the chicken tax to subsidies to protective regulation. The consumer is the loser.

        • 0 avatar

          @BAF0 – Yeah real competition benefits consumers, up till the point when OEMs pickup their toys and go home. Not so fun for OEMs when the competition gets fierce and prices hit the floor. Too many players in a segment and it becomes cut-throat, price warfare. Great for consumers though!

          Sure the consumer should pay less, but the there needs to be some balance or what’s in it for OEMs? Then they need to make up the difference in total units sold and or, prolonging a redesign indefinitely. It’s a lose/lose for OEMs.

          Offshore OEMs have pulled up stake and vacated the US/Canada market because profits are so thin and the competition relentless. OEMs are putting forth less models and less choices on their own showrooms for the US/Canada market. They’ll cut their own throat if the put up all their cars to compete against each other. Again, bad for the consumer, but OEMs have to turn a profit at the end of the day. Yes, even GM.

          The Chicken tax doesn’t prevent any OEMs from selling their trucks here if they figure they can turn a decent profit. If Mitsu, Mazda and Isuzu couldn’t make it work (and ran away screaming), what makes Proton or Ssangyong think they can take the heat? And the abuse? That’s the bottom line and the same goes for all the OEMs avoiding the US/Canada market. What Chicken tax kills the deal for Skoda, Peugeot, Citroen, Lada, Tata, and all the others that won’t bring us their cars?

          It’s easy for the uninformed to believe VW when they claim the Chicken tax prevents them from bring over the Amarok. But then why don’t we have the VW Polo? No that one is ‘market strategy’, right?

          If we only half-heartedly bought mini-trucks for their cut-throat pricing, what did anyone think was going to happen when their prices normalized? Something had to give sooner or later and we moved on to the next hot trend. And the Chicken tax has been here all along. So don’t fool yourself. Nah, go ahead!

      • 0 avatar

        “butthurt” seems to be an Australian national pastime.

  • avatar

    Never happen, and the MB Canada “CEO” (lol) is an idiot. Mercedes Benz Canada sells roughly 3000 cars per month in Canada. The big 3 sell around 18,000 EACH – some of which are built here.

    MB build NOTHING here, neither does VAG or BMW.

    As IF we’re going to change the whole system so they can sell 50 more overpriced and de-contented shit boxes here per month.

  • avatar

    @MoDo – and you would rather continue paying 5-10k more for the exact same Big 3 shit-box sold in the USA?
    Opening up trade with the EU means that the USA based car companies would have to be more competitive in Canada.
    Once the AutoPact was replaced by NAFTA, old tariffs were reinstituted.(IIRC) an 8% duty was levied on any import not under NAFTA. It was ruled illegal by the WTO but politicians in Ontario with the help of USA auto companies pressured Ottawa to fight the ruling.

    We have allowed our industry to be puppets of the USA industry. Opening up trade to other countries will help cut those strings.

    Our rules are not copy and paste versions of the USA rules. Examples: We have mandatory daytime running lights. We do not have mandatory TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems). If a car company can prove the EU standards they use are just as safe but maybe slightly different than what we use, why not accept those standards?

    I’ve seen plenty of examples where Canada has moved away from trade reliance on the USA, and it has been a major benefit. If you happen to be an Ontarian then you tend to be reliant on the big 3. That is a mistake since they dictate your ability to generate an income and indirectly your standard of living.
    BC sells more wood to Asia than the USA. We were not hit hard by the USA housing industry collapse. Ontario was hit hard by the auto industry collapse. Diversity is good.

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