The real auto bargains are in America
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A Porsche 911 is available on the US market for as little as 52,800 euros. In Germany it costs at least 84,705 euros.
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The price for a BMW X5 off-road vehicle starts at 32,200 euros in the New World. With us it starts from 53,100 euros.
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For a brand new Golf (here the large diesel GTD model) the dealer charges just under 12,000 euros. Here it costs 16,650 euros.
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Even if you don’t negotiate at all, you can save around 42,000 euros on the BMW X6 Hybrid.
Source: BMW Group MediaPool
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With the top model of the new Porsche Panamera, the Turbo, you can save around 45,000 euros.
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The dealer in Germany charges 142,400 euros for the Audi super sports car R8 with a ten-cylinder engine, but only 146,000 dollars in the USA – the equivalent of around 99,000 euros.
Everything was a lie, German cars are not expensive at all: the BMW X5 SUV costs 32,200 euros, a Porsche 911 is available from 52,800 euros, and for the Golf the dealer only charges 11,900 euros – new. However, to get the cars at these prices you have to buy across the pond.
TTraditionally, new car prices in North America are significantly lower than in Germany. Since the dollar rate is also particularly low at the moment, the price gap has now widened even further. Even if you don’t negotiate at all, you can save around 42,000 euros on the BMW X6 Hybrid and around 45,000 euros on the top model of the new Porsche Panamera, the Turbo. And for the R8 sports car with a ten-cylinder engine, Audi charges 142,400 euros in Germany, but only 146,000 dollars in the USA – the equivalent of around 99,000 euros.
Such price differences attract the bargain hunters. "Because of course there is nothing to be said against getting German cars back from the USA and putting them on the market here," says Dieter Thiel from USCars24.de from Wuppertal, which mainly imports American muscle cars and cars that are not officially offered in Europe.
However, one cannot of course save the entire price advantage over to Europe: "The US prices on the Internet are always net prices," says Thiel. "In addition, there is the value added tax rate of the respective federal state of an average of 7.5 percent for new cars as well as the so-called destination charge, which is known in Germany as the transfer fee."
In order to get the car from the dealer to the port, from there to the ship and then back on land with us, there are additional costs that Thiel estimates at around 3000 euros. In addition, the car must be cleared and taxed in Germany. “That’s why you have to check very carefully whether the dream car is a bargain or you open a milkmaid bill,” says Thiel.
In addition, technical details such as the headlights have to be rebuilt on some models and, in the worst case, the radio or navigation system has to be replaced. Free importers like Thiel offer corresponding service packages and take on these tasks. Then, however, the price advantage melts by another 1000 euros. “Nevertheless, the bottom line is that you drive more cheaply with a US model,” says Thiel, using a simple rule of thumb: “The US price in euros is a reasonable benchmark. An American car for $ 90,000 costs 90,000 euros by the time it gets to us. With the current dollar rate, you can get away a little cheaper. "
The fact that cars from Germany are so cheap in America is due to the ruinous price structure on the other side of the Atlantic. It is true that importers can certainly charge a certain Nobel premium. But where there is an American Corvette for less than 50,000 dollars, Porsche can hardly sell the 911 for the 117,000 dollars that result from the direct conversion of the German price. In Los Angeles or Miami, the buyer can get the 911 for $ 77,800 or the equivalent of 52,800 euros.
"It’s even worse with the off-road vehicles," says BMW spokesman Dirk Arnold. Even the upscale US models in what is still the most important class of the American market are extremely cheap. Mercedes, BMW and Porsche had to cut corners when they competed against Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee or Cadillac SRX with the M-Class, X5 or Cayenne.
“What started over ten years ago can still be seen in the prices today. Nowhere else are there such big SUVs for so little money as in the USA. Although we are striving for a similar price positioning worldwide, we cannot completely break away from it, ”says BMW man Arnold. "That is also one of the reasons why our large X models are built directly on site in Spartanburg and not in Germany."
German manufacturers have to admit that re-importing their cars from the USA looks extremely tempting. "But until you actually have the car at home in front of the garage, the savings are often not that great," says Arnold. He wants to know at most a few individual cases from in-house sales statistics. Those who shop in these price regions do not necessarily hunt for every bargain, but also value a good relationship with dealers and workshops, who should not necessarily treat gray imports preferentially. "And those who negotiate a little skilfully will end up in similar price regions anyway with the corresponding discount – without paperwork and waiting time."
But if the BMW X6 Hybrid costs the equivalent of 60,300 euros in the USA, but 102,900 euros in Germany, even the most skilled negotiator should clearly reach his limits.
Often even more attractive than importing new luxury and sports cars from the USA is that of classic and youngtimers. In California, Arizona and Florida in particular, there is a well-stocked scene with many specialized dealers whose prices are usually well below the European level – Mercedes SL, Porsche 911 or slightly outdated BMW M models are often available for less than 20,000 dollar.
Experts recommend the so-called Carfax Report for all used vehicles from America . The market watcher has created complete vehicle biographies from around 20,000 sources and, for a fee of 25 euros, quickly and easily examines the entire life of the dream car: mileage, repairs, inspections, accident damage, relocations – a few clicks of the mouse are enough and the history of the car is revealed on the Internet.
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