[extropy-chat] Re: european imports

Christian Weisgerber naddy at mips.inka.de
Fri Feb 27 16:54:06 UTC 2004

Spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:

> I am looking at a new car and I like the BMWs and
> Volvos, but they cost about half again as much
> as a comparable 'murican car.

I'm not up to date on the latest status of the trade wars, but there
is probably some import taxation involved.  On the other hand, BMW
has a plant in ... South Carolina? ... where they locally produce
at least the 3xx series for the US market, which should avoid import
taxes and profits from low labor cost.

> Question: in Germany, does a beemer cost half again what an
> American car costs, or are they about the same?

What American cars?  There are effectively no American cars here.
Unless you count Ford and Opel (part of GM), but their European
product portfolio is largely independent and consists of locally
designed and produced models.

Anyway, BMWs are somewhat on the expensive/luxury side, but of
course BMW also has a wide range of models.

> Im trying to figure out how much of the cost differential
> is due to import costs and how much due to, I assume,
> higher quality parts and accessories?

There is also the issue of market positioning.

> Naddy, do you know from cars?

Somewhat uncharacteristically for my age and sex group, I don't
care much about cars other than as a very pragmatic means of
transport.  I remember being at some party where a guy asked me for
the engine power rating of my car and he was aghast when I proceeded
to dig the papers from my wallet because I just don't memorize such

BTW, if you were thinking about personally importing a car from
Europe, forget it.  Regulations concerning everything from the
lights to environmental and safety issues are so different that
cars are purpose-built for the North American/European/etc markets.
Conversion, which would presumably be required by the local DMV,
is uneconomical.

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          naddy at mips.inka.de

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