CAA-Quebec study on transport and preparation charges - Canadians pay up to twice as much

    QUEBEC, July 17 /CNW Telbec/ - CAA-Quebec's 2008 study of vehicle
transport and preparation charges shows that Canadian consumers will spend an
average of 30% to 60% more than their U.S. counterparts when purchasing a 2008
model. Concretely, some automakers demand $1,000 more from Canadians for
"transport and prep," a situation that the organization finds inexplicable.
    For the second year in a row, CAA-Quebec conducted a detailed analysis of
the charges imposed by automakers for all models available on the market. The
conclusions thus far are clear: not only do Canadian consumers pay up to twice
as much, but even worse, the gap exists even for vehicles that have been
assembled here in Canada.

    Some examples - Among the many cases studied, several are particularly
worthy of attention. For example, for an Acura MDX built in Canada, Canadian
consumers will spend $1,855 in transport and prep charges, while their U.S.
counterparts will pay just $715, a 61% difference. For a Chrysler Town &
Country, also assembled in Canada, the charges amount to $1,350 in this
country compared to $770 south of the border, for a difference of 43%. And a
made-in-Japan Subaru Outback will cost Canadians $1,495 extra, while the U.S.
charges are $645, a 57% difference. The complete results of the study can be
viewed by logging on to the Automobile section of the organization's website
    "We understand that transport and preparation charges can vary depending
on the assembly site," says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Senior Director,
Public and Government Relations. "Given the current economic context, however,
and the fact that the Canadian dollar has been pretty much at par with the
U.S. currency for several months now, it is time that the industry reviewed
these charges and resolved this unfair situation."

    Raising industry awareness - In light of these findings, CAA-Quebec
recently sent letters summarizing the key points of the study to the main
automakers. In doing so, the organization seeks to make them aware of the
importance of offering competitive prices to Canadian consumers, and is asking
them to take concrete actions to better reflect the prevailing economic
realities. CAA-Quebec also used the opportunity to point out the significant
discrepancies that persist between manufacturers' suggested retail prices for
vehicles sold in Canada and those marketed in the U.S.
    CAA-Quebec acknowledges that there can be certain differences in the way
some charges are presented in the U.S. For instance, documentation charges are
sometimes imposed on top of the transport charges. After conducting checks and
comparisons with certain dealerships, however, the organization noted that
documentation charges are often quite low and do not result in any significant
changes to its study findings. It also found that these documentation charges
sometimes exist in Canada as well.

    CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services, benefits and
privileges to its approximately 950,000 members.

For further information:

For further information: Montréal: Roxanne Héroux, (514) 861-7111, ext.
3210,; Québec: Philippe St-Pierre, (418) 624-2424, ext.

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