Quebec, Quebec – A new study by CAA-Quebec shows that Canadian consumers will spend an average of 30 to 60 per cent more on vehicle transportation and preparation charges than their U.S. counterparts when purchasing a 2008 model. Some automakers charge $1,000 more to Canadians for “transport and prep”, a situation the organization called “inexplicable”.
The study, now in its second year, is a detailed analysis of the charges imposed by automakers for all models available on the market. CAA-Quebec said that not only do Canadian consumers pay up to twice as much, but the gap even exists for vehicles assembled in Canada.
As an example, an Acura MDX built in Canada will cost Canadians $1,855 in transport and prep, while U.S. customers pay just $715, a difference of 61 per cent. For a Chrysler Town & Country, also assembled in Canada, Canadians pay $1,350, compared to $770 in the U.S., a difference of 43 per cent. A made-in-Japan Subaru Outback costs $1,495 in Canada, while U.S. charges are $645, a 57 per cent difference. The complete results of the study can be found under the Automobile section at www.caaquebec.com.
“We understand that transport and preparation charges can vary depending on the assembly site,” said Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec’s Senior Director, Public and Government Relations. “Given the current economic context, however, and the fact that the Canadian dollar has been pretty much at par with the U.S. currency for several months now, it is time that the industry reviewed these charges and resolved this unfair situation.”
CAA-Quebec has recently sent letters summarizing the study to the main automakers, seeking to make them aware of the importance of offering competitive prices, and asking them to take concrete actions. The association acknowledges that there can be certain differences in the way some charges are presented in the U.S., such as documentation charges that are sometimes imposed on top of the transport charges, but after checking with certain dealerships, CAA-Quebec noted that the documentation charges are often quite low and do not result in any significant changes to the study findings, and that the charges sometimes exist in Canada as well.