Saturday, May 5, 2007

Buying a European Car? Pick It Up Overseas.

Business Week's May 7 issue has an article about U.S. customers who purchase European cars at their local dealer and then travel to Europe to accept delivery. The customers pick up their cars at the manufacturer's "delivery center" and then usually embark on a European vacation behind the wheel of their new car. At the end of the vacation, the car then gets shipped back to the U.S. for the customer's use there.

Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Saab, Volvo, and Audi apparently all offer these programs, which generally include a discount off the purchase of the car and pre-arranged travel packages. The discounts can range up to 12%, and some manufacturers may also throw in some spending money while overseas.

Of course, these discounts apply to the MSRP of the vehicle, so this might not be as great a deal as it sounds. For example, Edmunds says that the Saab 9-3 2.0T sedan referenced in the article has a True Market Value of $23,200 in my neighborhood. That's $3795 below MSRP. The discount given as part of the European vacation package is reported to be $3160.

From a manufacturer's perspective, I can see how relating such an experience with the purchase of a car would be beneficial, creating more of a personal connection with the brand. I wouldn't be surprised to see more manufacturers offer similar programs in the future.


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auto repair shop Summerville said...

Thanks for the post. Only wealthy people can afford to buy those cars overseas!