Autoblog have a story on site today about a class action lawsuit being prepared in Canada. It’s being brought by a Canadian law firm on behalf of four customers, but is open to anyone that wishes to join and it’d be party time if they won as they’re suing for $2 Billion. They’re claiming that they’re paying too much for their cars there now that the Canadian dollar is at parity with the US dollar, and that certain parties are conspiring to keep Canadians paying too much.
Good luck with the $2B part of things, but they do have a legitimate beef. Let’s do the Saab comparison, shall we?
A 2008 Saab 9-3 2.0T with 210hp is listed on the Saab USA site with an MSRP of USD$28,385.
The same Saab 9-3 in a 2007 setup will cost my Canadian extended family CAD$35,135
That’s a $6,750 difference for what is essentially the same car. And remember, that’s a 2008 model from the US, so the price is slightly higher than the 07 – around $600 or so – so an apples with apples model year comparison would be even further apart.
I’m unsure as to equiment list differences between the two countries, but I’m confident they’re going to be fairly close in terms of specification. And in any case, if one model is better specced, it’s likely to be the US model, so that just makes the difference more obvious.
From comments in that Autoblog post, we learn that Porsche have decided to listen to their market-savvy customers and prevent a backlash by lowering their Canadian prices 10% accross the board.
Can Saab Canada do the same?
National Saab entities do have some power in terms of determining model configurations, etc. I’m pretty sure they have the authority to decide on pricing, too. They may have to prove a case to GM Canada first (maybe) but Saab Canada’s customers are every bit as market savvy as Porsche’s customers, and they’d do well to consider the move, I think.
In case you’re wondering why Canadians don’t just go south of the border and pick up their car, well, some do. But there’s issues with that, that I’m not overly familiar with. Perhaps some Canucks can chime in and fill us all in.
My basic reading of it is that occasionally, there’s no-export clauses imposed by some manufacturers that make it difficult. There can also be warranty issues, with the Canadian company not covering the warranty on a US vehicle.
Finally, even if those aren’t issues with a person’s manufacturer of choice, you’ve still got to deal with your local dealer’s indignation about the fact that you went south to pick it up. This could make service-time a little uncomfortable.