Volkswagen Worried Europeans will Import Cheaper U.S. Passat

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was designed and built expressly for North American consumers, but VW officials apparently fear the new car may be purchased and exported by Europeans looking for a sweet deal.

As we reported earlier this morning, pricing for the new U.S.-spec Passat starts at $20,765, including destination, making it one of the least expensive offerings in the midsize segment. A new Automotive News Europe piece says VW management fears European customers will see that price point, and attempt to ship the Americanized Passat abroad in an attempt to save money.

Presently, the European-spec 2011 Passat starts at €24,425, which, at current exchange rates, is around $34,610 -- a far cry from the $20,765 base price of a U.S.-built model. This gap in pricing isn’t simply a matter of exchange rates: the U.S. and European Passats are actually two different cars. European models are heavily revised variants of the Passat that first debuted in 2005. The U.S.-car is all-new (and slightly larger), yet has been engineered to reduce costs.

So, could a European customer save money by bringing an American Passat to their homeland? Perhaps, but Volkswagen argues no, provided they properly import the vehicle. The company compared two comparably equipped Passats with the 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four. The American model costs $26,765 (€18,888), while the European model runs €30,100.

Initially, the benefit seems clear, but VW estimates that there would be a cost of about €15,610in taxes, shipping, importing, insuring, testing, and federalizing the U.S.-spec vehicle for the European Union. That brings the grand total of an imported American Passat to €34,498, €4398 more than simply buying one from a European showroom.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

Blento
This is biiig BS ... of course it makes sense .... it takes around 1000 - 1500$ per vehicle to ship anywhere in Europe (when shipped with another vehicle in 50' container). Related to taxes - if you have vehicle more than 6 months - you do not pay taxes in most countries (Germany, France, etc). In many more countries (ex. eastern bloc)... well any individual with citizenship of that country, could import one vehicle from anywhere across the globe w/o paying the taxes. That's the law. So family of 5 theoretically could import 5 Passats. As to "federalizing the U.S.-spec vehicle for the European Union" ... that is even easier since all those engines are already meeting European "EPA" norms (Eur 4/5/6). Spedometar - no issues at all in Europe as VW displays km/h in digital forms ... again accepted across Eur (EU rule). What should be done is to change system units in to metric . At the end ... if person is smart. .. the only item to pay is shipping and ... since warranty is Global (yes it is) ... you would get 3 or 4 years f warranty in Europe what is almost impossible to get when vehicle is purchased over there.

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