With a stronger dollar, is it time for Canadians to look at buying vehicles
cross-border again?

TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - For many years, there had been a large price disparity between vehicle prices in the US and Canada. However, with a low Canadian dollar, the exchange rate destroyed any benefit for Canadians. Then, in 2007, as the Loonie grew stronger, the difference became substantial. As the currencies approached par and then some, the differences became obscene.

"These large differences were not just on high end new vehicles" says Viraf Baliwalla, President of Automall Network. "There were also savings of $10,000 or more to be had on mainstream used vehicles."

For example, in Dec. 2007, Automall Network bought a 2007 Honda Accord EXL for a client in Edmonton, AB. The vehicle only had 7,285 miles on it. Being a licensed dealer, they purchased it at a dealer-only wholesale auction in Texas, had it shipped to Toronto where it was inspected and Canadian-ized and put on a railcar destined for Edmonton, some 3,500 km away. The customer had it certified and registered locally. "Even after all the transportation, the cost was still about $8,000 less than buying a new Canadian vehicle" says Baliwalla.

With all the media attention, the used car business then had a shakeout and the price gap narrowed. By the spring of 2008, there was a dramatic rationalization thus making importing unattractive. Then in October 2008, the Canadian dollar plummeted and importing dried up.

Over the last few months, things have changed. The dollar has strengthened and the differential has grown again, "the two prime ingredients for a successful importing environment" says Baliwalla. "On some mainstream vehicles, it won't make sense to import. Then again, on others, the savings could be significant" (see chart).

The other advantage of buying a vehicle in the US is greater availability. With a market that is ten times as big, the likelihood of finding a newer vehicle with lower mileage and in good condition is much higher. "There are far more vehicles to choose from, especially newer ones" claims Baliwalla. "You can buy current model year vehicles with less than 10,000 miles for thousands of dollars less".

Automall Network produces a monthly Cross Border Report comparing vehicle prices in Canada and the US as part of their "Serious Buyer, Serious Seller" community eletter. Consumers can subscribe for free by joining the community at www.AutomallNetwork.com.

Automall Network is a vehicle buying service helping consumers throughout North America buy new and used vehicles. They do for car buyers what a real estate agent would do for a home buyer.

                             CROSS BORDER REPORT
    Country     Vehicle          Mileage       Price           Comments
    US       2007 Audi S4     28,081 miles   $31,500 US  Warranty in Canada -
             Convertible+NAV                             Yes
    Canada   2007 Audi S4        24,228 km  $49,000 CDN

    US       2007 Toyota      40,902 miles   $10,200 US  Warranty in Canada -
             Corolla LE                                  yes
    Canada   2007 Toyota         55,207 km  $10,800 CDN  LE's are $6,200 more
             Corolla CE                                  than CE when new in

    US       2009 Infiniti    18,788 miles   $26,500 US  Warranty in Canada -
             G37X AWD                                    yes
    Canada   2009 Infiniti        1,065 km  $36,500 CDN
             G37X AWD

SOURCE Automall Network Inc.

For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, contact Viraf Baliwalla at (866) 310-8701 x303 or at viraf@AutomallNetwork.com

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