Did anybody import their Audi directly from Germany. Due to the week euro and the high sales tax in Germany (16%, which you don't have to pay for exporting the car out of Germany) importing seems to be am interresting way of getting a good deal.
I did that back in the 80's. Saved a bundle when the deutschmark was at an all time low....
You still have to pay import duty unless you have been out of the country for 180 days. Currency fluctuations are usually eaten or pocketed by the North American distributor while the sticker price stays constant. With a low Euro you will pocket the difference. The question is whether or not Audi will sell you an American spec car in Europe (assuming you are not stationed there in the Army or something).
"gray market" cars were big back then too. There are a lot of pitfalls here.....
If you import a non US spec car you have a time limit to convert and have it certified. If you don't meet the time limit or you car fails the certification the government can (and will) impound and destroy the vehicle. If you don't know what needs to be done or know someone who does you can get in big trouble. Also the North American distributor may refuse to honor the warranty and dealers may refuse to work on it or order parts.
How much is a used American spec 225 TTQ with similar mileage? Now take that $$ that you think you will pocket and consider the following items:
1. Is the equipment level comparable in the American car vs the German spec?
2. Get all your costs for getting the car out of Europe and in to U.S.
3. Get all your costs to properly federalize the car (probably major bucks).
4. Accept the fact that you probably have no warranty coverage in the states. I wouldn't want a turbo Audi without the factory warranty to sort out the usual bugs. Just go to the S4 and TT boards and hear about tranny and turbo failures. That alone could wipe out your savings.
5. Insurance and service could be a major hassle. A lot of dealers will only work on U.S. spec cars (they are franchised U.S. dealers, after all). So getting parts/repairs/service could be a hassle.
6. Resale value will probably suck or it may be virtually impossible to find a buyer. Most dealers won't take grey market cars in for trade and most private parties will probably steer clear (unless you sell for far less than the US counterparts)
So it all boils down to if you want peace of mind and ease or service/resale. And depending on how it works, you may not get the savings you are looking for.
I just got back from Belgium at the end of July.
I went to the local dealer to see how much an A4
would cost, without tax, and determined it wasn't
worth it. The extra cost of quattro really jacked the price up such that with shipping and other
US specific mods it wasn't worth the extra hassle to me. I don't remember the numbers though. I did not check about getting a US specific car and I don't know how the numbers would work out if shipping from Germany.
No, but my dad imported a Mercedes from Germany back in 1985...
He has semi-diplomatic status, so he was allowed to bring the car in without any tariffs. He bought a brand new Euro-Spec 300D Turbo Diesel, which was retailing somewhere in the low 30K range in US showrooms back then....He got it for 12,000 dollars because of the exchange rate differences!! Some major differences:
1. Everything is in the Metric scale
2. The doors feel like their made of lead! They're SO much more sturdier than the US spec ones. When I was a kid, I use to have trouble closing the door after I got out.
3. There is NO Catalytic Converter!! So this car is VERY ECO friendly ;-)
4. Euro lights.
5. Different console layout with a Becker German Audio System (unavailable in the States at the time)
The amazing thing about this car is that my dad still drives it as his daily commuter. It hasn't had a single break down or major problem in the 16 years that he's owned it. I swear it's gonna run forever! Meanwhile, all my dad's friends' US spec Benz's have all died long since now.
2001 Subaru Outback (I die a little every time I drive this car)
2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
2001 BMW 525i
99.5 1.8TQTip-APRV3+Remus+other goodies
Ok so on the new car numbers, I'll agree that currently
someone is profiting handsomely on the currency fluctuations. But it isn't always that way and over the long haul I guess Audi hedges its bets so that it doesn't lose money.
Audis are priced ultimately as to what the market is willing to pay for them. Why are imports so expensive in the US? Lots of reasons - we are a wealthy country and we are willing to pay for them and the domestic competition puts out ****ty cars so we all are willing to pay the premium for a good German car. Hell, if GM or Ford could put out cars that looked sharp and were engineered and drove like BMWs and Audis at a price 30% less, then hell yes I would buy a domestic car. But until that day comes, I'll stick with German cars.
So anyway, if we use the new car as an example (it wouldn't be fair to compare a new US spec car to a used German spec car), you have a $14,000 window to play with before shipping, import duties, and federalization. Maybe it will work, but throw in some curves like a voided warranty and all of a sudden you will be praying that the TT is the most reliable car ever made. I hope you can take stress well.