Posted by Jonathan Forbes on December 27, 1998 at 23:14:53:
In Reply to: Let's class-action BMW NA for rebates/refunds? posted by John W. on December 27, 1998 at 18:28:21:
Well, although there is indeed a price disparity, I do not believe there should be any recourse. If I buy something for $100 and then find out the next day I could have gotten it for $50 somewhere else, well, too bad for me. Mercedes was simply being nice to their customers, gratis. Any lawsuit against them would have been thrown out - manufacturers can charge whatever they want for their products.
On a semi-related note, in Europe, the prices of BMWs and Mercedes differs significantly from country to country. For example, they are unbelievably expensive in Germany, because Germans by far prefer German cars, and will pay more money for them. Since Europe is more protectionist than North America, car companies have been more easily able to prevent cars from one country from being imported into another. That's very unfortunate, although it may no longer be the case, since Europe has been slowly moving to capitalism.
: This is ridiculous. The Canadian cars have more equipment and sell for thousands less. The MSRP on the Canadian 323i is $34,900/1.55 = $22,516 including transportation. The cost is the US is $26,970. The difference is $4,454. The much cheaper Canadian car comes standard with Heated door locks, Heated windshield washer jets, Headlight washer system, Alloy rims, and Illuminated vanity mirrors. On an equipment adjusted basis the difference is more like $6,000 on the base car. How can this be?? The US market for BMW is much bigger than Canada, so we have greater economies of scale. Since the MRSP's were fixed after the current exchange rate were well established, BMW is either overcharging US customers or dumping cars in Canada. Look at the MSRP for Canadian Mercedes-Benz, they are comparable to US prices, nothiing like the difference in BMWs across the Canadian border. The Canadian Mercedes also don't have more equipment than US cars of the same price range. When Mercedes-Benz dropped US prices on certain S-Class models, they sent rebate checks to customers that bought cars one to two years before. Why??? Because they were afraid of lawsuits. I think BMW USA owes me a $2,000 - $3,000 rebate check.