Rising Dollar Driving U.S. Import Vehicle Sales in Canada

    TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - A North American auto industry in turmoil has one
segment doing well these days. Thanks to the fast-rising Canadian dollar, the
Canadian market for vehicle imports has returned.
    "We are already seeing a rebound now that the dollar has quickly jumped
back over 90 cents," says Mark Sandelin, Chief Executive Officer of Import
Trader, a Canadian dealer that helps Canadian consumers and auto dealers
import vehicles from the United States. "At 93 cents there are fantastic
prices in the U.S."
    Last year, a record 239,929 vehicles were imported into Canada from the
United States by consumers looking to save money, and dealers offering
customers a better vehicle for the same price. The American import market in
Canada slowed by the end of 2008 when the Canadian dollar fell well below the
90 cent mark. Only 18,794 vehicles were imported in the first quarter of 2009.
    The volume of imports has jumped up again, with 61,618 vehicles imported
in the first seven months of this year. The rise stems from the recent surge
of the Canadian dollar and the economic uncertainty facing United States
dealers and manufacturers. Canadian consumers and dealers are again looking
south for bargains.
    "Canadians know there is an alternative market for car shopping," says
Brian Osler, President and CEO of the North American Automobile Trade
Association (NAATA), the Canadian-based association of dealers specializing in
cross-border sales. "The exchange rate has a tremendous impact on prices and
consumer savings."
    Some Canadians buy their American vehicles from local dealers who sell
American imports. Other Canadians buy directly in the United States, usually
from an American dealer. Consumers can do the paperwork on their own or with
the help of a company that specializes in the vehicle importation process.
    "Anyone who is planning to purchase a car in Canada should at least
consider buying a U.S import," says Mark Sandelin. "If the dollar continues to
climb, it may really open the door for big savings."

For further information:

For further information: Import Trader, Mark Sandelin, tel: (416)
467-6781, email: msandelin@importtrader.com; or North American Automobile
Trade Association, Brian Osler, tel: (905) 882-7040, email: brian@naata.org

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