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Flipping BMWs in China Considered Illegal by U.S. Authorities

Interesting | January 3rd, 2014 by 4
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With different car prices set for different markets, a new lucrative venture is shaping up: flipping BMWs in China. According to WSJ, federal prosecutors have …

With different car prices set for different markets, a new lucrative venture is shaping up: flipping BMWs in China. According to WSJ, federal prosecutors have begun seizing high-end cars at ports and related bank accounts holding millions of dollars in an effort to curb the shipment of cars purchased in the U.S. to China.

The price of a BMW car in China can be nearly three times higher than the U.S. sticker price. For example, a 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i has a base price in the U.S. of $56,025 while in China, the same vehicle sells for $153,176.

Flipping BMWs in China Considered Illegal by U.S. Authorities

The report says that at least 35,000 vehicles are purchased at dealers and shipped this way each year. These export operations often sell the vehicles for a little less than what official dealerships in China would offer.

A lawyer for a couple who had their assets seized, says that even though car companies and dealers often require buyers to sign a contract including fine print guaranteeing not to export the car, “the exact legalities of all this haven’t been fully tested in court.”

BMW China has seen a 16-percent jump in year-over-year sales and is expected to overtake the United States in sales by in 2014.

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  • Robert S

    I think it means while in China, the same vehicle sells for $153,176. Not Europe.

    • iNoob

      In Norway (which is in Europe), the same car cost $171,671… Prices here are insane! A new M5 costs $288,613! (this is with standard equipment)

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  • Michael

    If people want to export the vehicle and incur the related costs and risks and consumers are willing to pay them and are also able to pay less than what Chinese dealers are charging then let them be. It earns profits for the sellers and saves buyers money as well. Let the people engage voluntary economic transactions because voluntary trades only occur when both parties feel they are benefitting.

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