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Z Series (Z3, Z4, Z8) General discussion and technical help for all year Z series cars.

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
MMMMMman

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Made in the USA

Hey Everyone,

I am looking to purchase a 98 M roadster in the US and import it to Canada. Now the M roadsters are made in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I am looking for a face plate on the car that says "Made in USA" or "Manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina". Is there such a face plate?

The problem is importing the car into Canada. Customs thinks the car is made in Germany and want to charge me duty at 6.1% instead of allowing the car to come in with no duty....

Roland
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
BruceW

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Hi Roland,

Customs shouldn't have a problem.

Every vehicle has a unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The VIN number is stamped onto a small metal plate and is attached to the drivers side of the dash where it meets the window.
Source: http://www.vinguard.org/vin.htm

How to read a VIN

1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.
For example: U.S.A.(1or 4), Canada(2), Mexico(3), Japan(J), Korea(K), England(S), Germany(W), Italy(Z)

2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A),
BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6), Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B),
Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A), Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P), Saturn(8), Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V).

3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.

4th to 8th characters- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 5 characters occupy positions 4 through 8 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle. Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

9th Character - The check digit "character or digit 9" in the sequence of a vehicle identification number (VIN) built beginning with model year 1981 (when the 17 character digit format was established) can best be described as identifying the VIN accuracy.


Roland, if you need assistance clearing your vehicle into Canada, the company I work for ( A & A Contract Customs Brokers Ltd.) has a Team of experts whose sole responsibilty is to assist importers of vehicles. Here is a link to the website.
http://www.aacb.com/quote/vehicle/ It is very useful.

If you contact our Vehicles Team though the link above or phone number ((604) 538-1042), let them know I referred you.

Regards,

Bruce in Mississauga, Ontario
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
MMMMMman

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Thanks Bruce, the specific problem that I have is that the VIN for a 98 M Roadster starts with a "W"= Germany but the car was manufactured in South Carolina (I think). I am thinking that customs will want to charge the 6.1% duty because of this. I was looking for some other evidence on the car that shows that it was built in the USA because the evidence from the VIN suggests that it was built in Germany which I don't believe to be true... I'm going to call the border to hear what they have to say....
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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all M's, including the M roadster i believe, are made in germany, thus the "W" vin number. standard Z3/4's are made in spartanburg.
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
MMMMMman

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According to Wikipedia the M roadster has the engine imported from Germany but the car is still manufactured at Spartanburg. (Wikipedia isn't always correct though)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bmw_m_roadster

I also spoke to Canadian Customs and paying the duty doesn't depend on the VIN, but rather the country of origin. They told me if there is a faceplate that says "Made in USA" then I don't need to do the paperwork of form B232 which needs to be completed by BMW to state that the car was manufactured in the States.

Roland
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:32 PM   #6
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Why are you looking at wikipedia? If I were you I would call a BMW dealership that you know and ask them where the M coupe was made.
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
MMMMMman

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Just doing my homework.... I do have a call into BMW as well...
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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Do you have the sticker by any chance usually they will list country of manufacture and parts origins.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:09 PM   #9
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Origin of your car

Roland,

Any luck verifying country of origin?

Regards,

Bruce
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #10
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Did you get your car into Canada?
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:02 AM   #11
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Ottawa sued over car import rules

Two vehicle leasing companies have launched a class-action lawsuit on cross-border vehicle shopping with a new twist, alleging Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency were participants in a conspiracy to keep vehicle prices high.

The two arms of the government have been named along with BMW Canada Inc., Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. and Mercedes-Benz USA LLC in a lawsuit that alleges actions they required of people or companies trying to import U.S. vehicles into Canada reduced competition and enabled prices of vehicles sold here to be 20 per cent to 35 per cent higher than similar U.S. models.

The auto makers, Transport Canada and the CBSA imposed restrictions on vehicle importers that created additional fees and charges, said a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court.

Fournier Leasing Co. Ltd. and Canadian Auto Associates Ltd. are seeking damages that total in excess of $1-billion.

“These additional charges, fees procedures and restrictions prevent more competitively priced Mercedes vehicles from entering into the Canadian market, thereby enabling the Mercedes defendants to charge higher prices for new vehicles sold and leased by them in Canada,” the statement said.

For Mercedes and BMW, “these additional fees and charges are not payable under Canadian law,” the lawsuit said.

The charges have not been proven in court and none of the defendants in the lawsuit has filed a statement of defence.

JoAnne Caza, a spokeswoman for Mercedes-Benz Canada, would not comment. BMW Canada spokeswoman Stacy Morris said the auto maker was not aware that any such lawsuit has been filed.

The two luxury auto makers were among the first companies to offer cash incentives in Canada last fall when the Canadian dollar hit par against the U.S. currency. The rise of the loonie enabled Canadians to potentially save tens of thousands of dollars in the U.S. on such luxury vehicles as those sold by BMW and Mercedes Benz.

Luxury vehicles are believed to represent the bulk of the record 189,738 vehicles imported into Canada last year.

Transport Canada is named in the suit because of its role in certifying vehicles imported into Canada through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles program, which maintains a list of vehicles allowed to be imported and outlines the modifications necessary to make sure vehicles comply with Canadian regulations.

Among the requirements is one that importers provide proof to the CBSA that any repairs required under recalls have actually been made.

The auto makers forced importers to pay “artificially high fees and charges” for information about recalls, the lawsuit alleges.

BMW Canada's website says importers require a letter of admissibility from the company that costs $350. The fee for a letter saying the vehicle has been repaired under any recall orders is $500.

“There is a process. The law is quite clear that if you follow that process, you're entitled to import a vehicle into Canada,” said Brian Osler, one of the lawyers for the two leasing companies.

Source: GREG KEENAN
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
February 28, 2008 at 1:48 AM EST
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:59 AM   #12
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Wow.... That sucks.
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BMW's are made by god... kinda
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:03 AM   #13
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Does anyone have any contacts where I could get some used parts for a 1998 Z3, 1.9L Automatic. Canada preferred. Looking for a digital clock, wind deflector, boot cover, and a blower motor resistor for now. Thanks!
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