TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - The number of American vehicles imported into Canada has surpassed 100,000 units for the fourth straight year. 13,604 vehicles were imported in November 2009, bringing the total for the year to date to 112,399.
About twice as many vehicles are now being imported each month compared to last winter, when consumer spending pulled back in response to the recession. The increased number of Canadians buying vehicles imported from the United States in the second half of 2009 reflects renewed consumer confidence and more buying power for Canadians, thanks to a high dollar.
"People are buying cars from the United States for two reasons," says Kevin Callahan, CEO of Import Trader, a dealer that helps Canadians buy American vehicles. "They want to save money because prices are lower in the U.S. and they want hard-to-find colours or options that just aren't available in Canada."
More than 650,000 Canadians are driving vehicles that have been imported from the United States in the past four years. More than 1 million vehicles have been imported since the Canadian government introduced a program in 1995 to allow Canadians to import American vehicles.
"Basically this is just one more shopping alternative for Canadians," says Brian Osler, President & CEO of the North American Automobile Trade Association (NAATA), a Canadian based association of dealers specializing in cross-border sales. "Lots of people go to Canadian dealers who specialize in importing because these dealers enable Canadians to access the U.S. market."
With consumers now more aware of lower U.S. pricing, Canadian dealers have become more attentive to serving this demand. Consumers who want help buying an American import and completing the paperwork to bring vehicles into the country now represent an important segment in the automotive market.
"The savings can be quite significant depending on the model," says Mr. Callahan. "People are pretty happy when they find out they can buy an American vehicle without hassle through a dealer up here. That's why so many Canadians are importing."
SOURCE NORTH AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE TRADE ASSOCIATION
For further information: For further information: Import Trader, Kevin Callahan, tel: (416) 467-6781, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or North American Automobile Trade Association, Brian Osler, tel: (905) 882-7040, email: email@example.com