By on April 24, 2015

Pontiac G8 GT rear with Australian license plate

After their automotive industry has been slowly devastated over the last decade, Australia may open its borders to private imports of new and like-new cars.

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62 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: Oregon To Allow Lane Splitting, Australia Opening Borders and Andy Wilman Quits...”


  • avatar
    Beemernator

    This means that Top Gear is now without a producer or presenters. How can the show go on? Nothing they can come up with now will ever be the same as before. Time will tell what the audiences think of this state of affairs.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    No Australia has not opened its borders to secondhand cars, it is recommendations from a Productivity Report, whose recommendation s have been rejected in the past. Lot of opposition to the measure The “second hand” cars are supposed to have less than 4,000ks on them

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      “After their automotive industry has been slowly devastated over the last decade, Australia may open its borders to private imports of new and like-new cars.”
      Someone has very little idea of what , they put in an article. Automotive industry far from devastated., it has been growing larger each year No open borders for new cars,,but lot of opposition to slightly used ones
      A situation that cannot exist in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar

        By devastated, I meant local production of cars in Australia is going bye-bye soon. Done like dinner. And Australia already has way more brands sold within its borders than most other countries. I am not sure what the impetus is for this proposed change though. Do you know?

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know either what the impetus is, but it could well be Japan trying to unload their huge numbers of almost new cars that is created by their taxation scheme in which (unless it has changed dramatically), little taxes are paid on brand new cars then the tax escalates the first years of ownership leading consumers to wash and repeat.

          Russia used to buy a lot of these cars, but it seems to me they cracked down on the practice so Japan might be looking elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Here’s a question, do Australians lease? Just off lease was always a source of “nearly new” cars in my reasoning. Why bring others in?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan


            Here’s a question, do Australians lease? Just off lease was always a source of “nearly new” cars in my reasoning. Why bring others in?

            Yes very much like the US

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Principal Dan,
            From what I’ve read the changes will not impact the industry very much, other than lowering the price of new vehicles.

            We will not be getting second hand vehicles from the Japanese.

            The biggest concern is someone can go into a country that sells Model X that isn’t sold here, but Model X’s manufacturer has a large exposure in that segment here in Australia. They then sell the brand new vehicles as new vehicles. But they are not covered by the parent manufacturer’s warranties.

            The vehicles will still be required to meet ADR’s. It isn’t going to be as easy to import large amounts of vehicles.

            But any imports will mean less sales for the established players.

            Sort of like the removal of the chicken tax. A million mid size pickups wouldn’t be sold in the US if the chicken tax was removed. But, it would impact total numbers manufactured by the US manufacturers enough for them to cry poor to the US government with the UAW.

            Poor choice by government via the unions and manufacturers greed at the expense of the consumer.

            The easiest way to look at it is, I can go into say Thailand with a spare $10 million and buy X amount of Jazz’s bring them into Australia and sell them cheaper than Honda sell the Jazz’s here.

            A Thia car dealer/distributor isn’t going to say no to many vehicles being sold. Unless contractually they can’t do this.

            When the changes are made, this will force the companies to reduce pricing. Great way to force a competitive environment.

            Sort of like removing the chicken tax, the consumer is the winner via cheaper vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Why would the UAW care? The biggest losers would be Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, VW, Hyundai, etc, if the Chicken tax was lifted. Even then, we’re talking marginal losses. But mostly it assumes global OEMs give a rats A$$ about the US/American market. Even Aussies can barely be bothered to buy the Chinese, Turkish, etc trucks we lack. And it assumes Americans would be mostly trading in pickups, (including Ridgelines, Colorados, Titans, Tundras, Frontiers, Tacomas) vs autos for Mahindras, Protons, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If you want to learn about the Aussie auto industry, it’s best that you scroll right past Robert Ryan. Unfortunately, the two Aussies who post here the most know the least about what is going on.

          The drive for deregulation is coming from the Productivity Commission, which is an independent government body that makes recommendations about the auto industry and other matters. It wanted to cut the industry subsidies, and is recommending the relaxed import restrictions.

          The current conservative government is apparently now embracing these recommendations with respect to new/ lightly used car imports. (Note that the Australian Liberal Party is a conservative party; Labor — spelled the American way — is the left-of-center party.)

          I can’t comment on whether this is likely to become law, but I would imagine that the impact of such a decision would actually be pretty minor. Since this would be limited to RHD vehicles that comply with local safety standards, there aren’t many countries that can fit the bill and that have vehicle prices that are low enough to justify the cost of a personal import. Also, the automakers would probably do some of what they do to discourage Canadians from buying cars in the US (i.e. denying warranty coverage.) Nonetheless, I would expect the OEMs and dealers to freak out.

          What would change things greatly is if they went further by allowing used cars to be imported in the same fashion. NZ is one of the largest market for used cars from Japan (which get dumped en masse in fairly good condition), and Australia could follow suit.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Mark Stevenson,
          Any recommendation proposed by the “productivity commission ” areal misnomer has been shot down in flames and not taken on by the Government.
          My feeling is it is a ham fisted attempt to make luxury Cars much cheaper

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Mark Stevenson,
          Yes we have more options than any other market on the planet and that is one reason , local production became non- viable. Others were changing tastes, people were warming to SUV’s and Pickups, , Ford and GM’s European, Korean and U.S. imports were failures, You cannot have company with one locally made model selling.
          On the other hand the Japanese and Koreans were selling their imported vehicles in droves

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Limiting fullsize pickup imports to 100 a year is ridiculous. This has to reduce the productivity of tradies not stepping up to commercial trucks. Meanwhile F-series in OZ retain the highest resale of any newer car on the planet.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        They don’t limit pickup imports to 100 per year.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          100 per conversion co? I know it isn’t many.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The issue isn’t that they’re trucks, but with the companies that are doing the RHD conversion. If the trucks were made as RHD, then there would be no issue.

            Later this year, Ram full-sizers will be imported and sold without volume limits. (The article below says that the conversion will be done in Australia, although I had read elsewhere that they were going to do the conversion work in New Zealand.)

            http://www.themotorreport.com.au/61287/ram-trucks-2015-australian-launch-confirmed-for-september

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Conversions are conversions and they cost a bomb , as you literally have to rebuild the vehicle Does not matter if Yu have a unlimited numbers. To convert, still not many

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @PCH 101,
          DIM is actually right in this case. If a vehicles does not meet ADR standards but meets European or US standards, you can have a limited importation of 100 vehicles

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Most DiM,
        Why are you such a retarded fool?

        You obviously pass on these comments even after you have been corrected numerous times. You’ve even been asked to provide links supporting many of the trolling claims you make.

        TTAC staff, why don’t you write this fool an email and ask him to stop trolling.

        I don’t think FCA will be limited to 100 Ram HDs per year.

        http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/ram-trucks-set-for-australia-20150410-1mihju.html

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @ Big BAFO – Grey market used trucks are severely limited. No one said anything about limiting new truck imports.

          Reading is fundamental. And a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            1. If everyone in Australia imported 100 BRAND NEW grey imports we’d have 2.4 billion vehicles for a population of 24 million people.

            We are a wealthy nation, but not that wealthy.

            So, how many BT50s can be imported into the US for use on public roads.

            Is their a limit?

            They are banished, you don’t have the freedoms to drive what you want in the US.

            Even if a full size is expensive I can at least get my hands on one.

            How much is a global Ranger in the US? It would cost millions to be able to drive one on American roads.

            I don’t know about where you live in Manitoba, Canada, or is it Spain this week.

            Yeah, restrictive.

            Work this puzzle out. I made it simple.

            “Qvuu H” ;)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            DIM Grey Market Gas Pickup Trucks are not limited

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Is their a limit?”

            @BAFO – Try *Is there a need?*

            We once had a thriving “Grey Market” in the ’80s and guess how many could be bothered to import missing mini trucks? It would be just as stup!d to import a midsize pickup now, if doable.

            Now OZ/NZ has extremely high demand for US fullsize pickups. You may not want one, but check the astronomical prices and resale value/retention no other modern car can meet.

            But who said anything about 100 imported trucks *per person*? Wtf is your MAJOR malfunction???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @DIM,
            “extremely high demand for U.S. pickups” They sell more Porches here than US Pickups

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Are Porsches grey market too, like US fullsize pickups? Is your tracking that far off, Crazy Train???

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Porsches are made as RHD models.

            The issue with the US pickups is that they are RHD aftermarket conversions performed under the low volume exemption.

            If they were built as RHD or if the importer received type approval for the conversion work, then there would be no limit. As I noted to you, the Ram trucks will be converted with type approval, so no 100-vehicle cap.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “As I noted to you, the Ram trucks will be converted with type approval, so no 100-vehicle cap”
            Which means absolute nothing as they will want twice as much as the U.S. Pays for the vehicles. I.e. tiny market and sales

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Neither is true DiM, but nice try

  • avatar
    tedward

    Either top gear is moving or the BBC is getting set up for the most brutal contract negotiation in history.

  • avatar
    John R

    I guess Netflix has found a producer.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    top gear was once fun now it just pedantic. as far as im concerned it can go away now.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    HOLY CRAP!

    That picture for the story is of my Holdenized converted G8 (to Commoodore) – plate and all. Bought the plate from eBay (along with a few others).

  • avatar
    FBS

    I’m glad to see another state finally make progress on legalized lane splitting. Texas had a proposed lane splitting bill a few years ago that died in committee, and there’s another proposal for this summer’s session, but I don’t know that it will make any more progress than the last one did.

    I like the concept of lane splitting, though I wonder how it would work in practice the first few years after being allowed in a new state.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you CAF and based in TX?

      • 0 avatar
        FBS

        I’m an American living in Texas who happened to spend three years in Winnipeg as an adolescent being introduced to the joys of hockey. (And this week I was introduced to the misery of postseason failure… alas.)

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I had no idea California was the only state to allow lane splitting. It’s been legal there for over 30 years–maybe a lot longer, but that’s when I started riding–and apparently the sky hasn’t fallen. Why is it even debated? Allowing it should be a no-brainer.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Because the self appointed safety leaguers (who would never ride) want to protect bikers from themselves.

        Also the squid behavior of many riders has a large portion of the public scared of what would happen if lane splitting were legalized.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    There has been articles in our local Australian media for several months now regarding the to’ing and fro’ing with the auto industry and the importation of vehicles here.

    From what I can interpret from all of the articles, you have the established auto retailer with dealerships across the nation concerned about competition. They like the UAW and US vehicle manufacturers will fabricate and overplay their comments to protect their domain.

    The importation of vehicles is in regard to having parallel importation and the importation of vehicles by individuals.

    One comment I read that “unsuspecting” people might import a car and not have the warranty honoured is quite niave.

    The reality now is, like in the US, the existing auto industry doesn’t want to have additional competition.

    The government we have wants to offer the consumer the best possible choice and price for vehicles.

    I don’t think we will end up like Kiwiland, but I do foresee the reduction in the cost of new vehicle ownership here due to the added competition and the removal of the current taxes.

    For example a Toyota Corolla can be had now in Australia (without the 5% import tax) for AUD $19 000 or approx. USD $14 750. Our cheapest vehicles can be have for under USD $9 000.

    The same goes for our midsize pickups, we can get into a midspec Mitsbishi Triton or Navara, diesel twin cab 4×4 for around USD $22 000.

    These prices is why there is a chicken tax on your pickups. Like our Australian auto industry the US auto industry doesn’t like fair competition. This means effort on their part.

    These prices were unheard of a decade ago. In 1990 a Corolla cost $19 000AUD. Car prices have dropped.

    The vehicles that will be imported under the proposed changes will be the massively expensive vehicles by the rich. The average Joe will not have the resources to import and the established auto retailers will have to find ways to become more competitive.

    This move is great for Australia. We already have a much larger choice of vehicles than the US and our prices are not really expensive compared to the more controlled vehicle markets like the US and EU.

    As can be seen our higher volume vehicles are cheaper.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I realise that as an Aussie TTAC reader I am expected to know everything about news that affects us. I don’t. The new proposal to allow individuals to import new cars directly immediately made me think of my American friends who can fly to Germany to pick up their new BMW and do some autobahn bashing before taking it home, or watch their own Ferrari get assembled in Italy while basking in the sun enjoying good coffee and the dolce vita.

    Then I thought it through. To pick up my new right hand drive German luxury cream puff at the manufacturer, I will have to spend some “quality” time in South Africa. No offense to my Southern Hemisphere mates but that does not fit my fantasy.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    @pch101. All Australia’s (and Britain’s) BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-class are already built in South Africa.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It isn’t a matter of where they are built, but the safety standards to which they are built.

      I would not assume that cars sold in South Africa for South African customers meet European or ADR standard, regardless of the automaker — they may or may not, so I would confirm it. If you’re talking about buying a model made for export, then of course it would work.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        South African BMW ‘meet European standards and ADR.s, export or otherwise, there is no separate SA Standard

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          As usual, you are wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Got any information to the contrary you UAW dumb cluck

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s as if you’re addicted to being wrong.

            “Differences in global legislation mean that standards in one country can differ widely from those in another. SA has antiquated safety legislation, despite being a signatory to a 1958 United Nations agreement on safety standards. There is no crash test required for the granting of approval of new vehicles.”

            http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/motoring/2014/11/10/datsun-go-fails-crash-test-but-is-on-sale-in-sa

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “legislation mean that standards in one country can differ widely from those in another. SA has antiquated safety legislation, despite being a signatory to a 1958 United Nations agreement on safety standards. There is no crash test required for the granting of approval”
            Right no crash tests but they follow UNECE standards, that is why they export Ford Rangers, BMW’s,Mercedes to other countries that have those standards As I said Dumb Cluck UAW Troll

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Cars such as the Datsun Go can be sold in South Africa and India, but cannot be sold in Europe or Australia.

            UNECE does not do what you think that it does. It does not result in everyone outside of the US having the same safety standards.

            I realize that you feel like a genius because you saw it in Wikipedia, but you and your dumb friend BAFO obviously do not grasp what UNECE does and does not do. There are many cars that are legally sold in third world countries that could never be sold in a western country.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Cars such as the Datsun Go can be sold in South Africa and India, but cannot be sold in Europe or Australia.”
            They have had US Pickups sold in the U.S. With an overall rating of 2 unacceptable anywhere
            Like SA there is no separate standard, but they seemingly allow vehicles that have failed the standard to be sold

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I really should know better than to try to reason with a semi-literate drunk bogan.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan


            I really should know better than to try to reason with a semi-literate drunk bogan.

            Even DIM,has a better clue than you do about the Global Auto market and his knowledge is almost nonexistent. The UAW produces some truly clueless mouthpieces

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