Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 19:23:06 +0100
From: "Mark Gerritsma" <magernopsam.nld>
Subject: Re: import 9.3 tdi into US?


"Walt Kienzle" <wkienzlenopsam.net> schreef in bericht news:aposgk0is9nopsams3.newsguy.com >> Has anyone imported a diesel powered Saab into the US? Any idea what >> would be required? > > I don't mean to rain on your parade, but what would be needed is lots > of money. Usually this is only done for exotic sports cars (that are > already expensive) because of the costs involved. Since Saab doesn't > make a version that conforms to US Department of Transportation > specifications, parts from the European version would have to be > replaced to make it conform to US specifications. After that, > changes have to be made to make sure it conforms to US Environmental > Protection Agency specifications. One of the reasons why Saab > doesn't sell that model here is because the testing to ensure that > this drivetrain meets EPA specs is very expensive and not worth the > cost for the number of models in that configuration that they would > expect to sell. The expense of EPA testing each drivetrain is one of > the three reasons given by US automakers as to why they are making so > few cars with manual transmissions. > > Which brings us to the next step: having a company that is properly > certified to test and certify that the car meets all safety and > emissions requirements. And it isn't always good enough that the car > has an airbag (for example), it has to have an airbag that meets the > specifications as set by USDOT. Same with the bumpers, window glass, > headlights, taillights, and just about any other part in the car. If it is possible to get a right-hand drive Saab with Dutch specification, I would guess that it also should be possible to get a 9-3 in US specification except for the TiD engine. But as you point out underneath it's the engine that's the major problem. > So far, all this might even sound manageable, but here is the catch: > The customs officials will impound this car when you bring it in and > make you post a bond that is an amount probably about half the value > of the car. They will then give you one year to have all the above > work, testing and certification completed before you can get the car > licensed and drive it on public roads. If you don't/can't get it in > compliance by the deadline, they confiscate the car and, presumably, > send it to the crusher. There are exceptions to this if you are > importing the car for racing, display, or other purposes that don't > involve driving it on public roads. Even if you do get the car > certified, they will probably keep a good chunk of the bond money as > tariff for the imported goods. More information on importing things > is available at http://www.customs.gov/. The certification proces, the fact that diesel in the US costs the same or even more then petrol and a car that will undoubtely have a very poor resale-value make me wonder why you would want to import such a car. Considering everything, it can't possibly be more economical to run and the petrol versions have way more refined engines. I was always wondering why VW still uses the 90hp TDI in the US, whereas we in Europe have the 130hp and 150hp PD versions, which would suit the power hungry US much better. It's probably the combination of certification costs and low sales numbers. Just a thought: In Europe every EU country is allowed to issue a car certification which is valid for the entire EU, even though for instance certification in the UK is much easier then in Germany. Maybe certification in Canada is easier and afterwards you transfer the car to the US? -- Mager

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