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  1. #1
    rainbow13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Mexico Abruptly Restricts Car Imports

    Mexico Abruptly Restricts Car Imports
    Sunday March 2, 3:57 pm ET
    By Christopher Sherman, Associated Press Writer

    HIDALGO, Texas (AP) -- Some are dented, scratched and rusty. Others rattle and belch under faded paint jobs. But the "'98" soaped onto their windshields and a surprise change in Mexican import rules have turned a single year's worth of used cars into pick of the used-car lot.

    Beginning Monday, only cars built in 1998 -- none older and none newer --can be legally imported into Mexico. Car dealers were given notice only a month ago.

    Until now, used cars 10 to 15 years old were scooped up at auction by South Texas used car dealers and rapidly sold to Mexicans hungry for affordable transportation and "la novedad" -- or novelty -- of unfamiliar makes and models.

    Cars newer than that were banned from imports as unwelcome competition for Mexican car dealers, and anything more than 15 years old was seen as a potential environmental and safety hazard.

    But now, under pressure from Mexico's new car dealers who say "vehiculos chatarra," or jalopies, undercut their sales, the Mexican government is allowing only 10-year-old used cars to be legally imported into Mexico.

    All of a sudden, 1998 Luminas, Astro vans and Ranger pickups are sought-after trophies.

    The Mexican Association of Automobile Distributors, which pushed for the change, said it was needed to "stop the accelerated conversion of our country into the world's biggest automotive garbage dump."

    The Mexican Consulate in McAllen said the change was made "to restrict the entry of vehicles that compete with the Mexican car industry."

    A mile north of the Rio Grande, 80 percent of the customers at Walester Auto Sales are Mexican. But this past week, only one out of the 24 cars on the dirt lot boasted the magic "1998."

    That vehicle was a white Chevrolet Blazer with a "Redneck" sticker on the windshield and a vanity plate of a silhouetted couple embracing in front of a tropical sunset. It was priced at $3,200.

    With the sudden change in demand, such 1998 models are appreciating for the first time since they rolled off the lot, their prices rising by $500 to $800, while dealers cut prices on slightly older models in a frantic effort to move them out before Monday's deadline.

    "At this point we have a lot of merchandise that was going to Mexico that now will stay," said Elena Garcia, who owns Walester with her husband, Armando Garcia, who was in Florida scouring auto auctions for more vehicles.

    At Gutierrez Brothers, a few Mexican car dealers milled about, shaking their heads at the limited selection.

    "The worse thing we can do is buy something that we don't know if it can go across (the border)," Juan Gutierrez said. "If a 1997 worth $3,000 can't cross, it's not even worth $1,500."

    He had to unload about 1,000 cars last month at sharply reduced prices just to avoid getting stuck with them in March.

    Gutierrez said his buyers at auto auctions across the country tell him that when a 1998 rolls into the garage, 20 buyers line up where there used to be a handful.
    <div>"The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land."**
    -James Baldwin, American Writer</div>

  2. #2
    Senior Member ShockedinCalifornia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Does this mean we can abruptly restrict Mexican trucks? I hope so.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Paige's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Salt Lake City Utah
    This is the Bush administration telling Mexico that he is sick of having cars stolen out of America that are still owed money on and taken into Mexico.

    Gosh the Banks just can't take anymore. Bush economics. Bush thought he would be out of office way before any of this would happen.
    <div>''Life's's even tougher if you're stupid.''
    -- John Wayne</div>

  4. #4
    smile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Quote Originally Posted by ShockedinCalifornia
    Does this mean we can abruptly restrict Mexican trucks? I hope so.
    Oh I sure hope so..... Send all the trucks and the illegals at the same time..

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Police Dept. needs to issue a warning to every American who owns a 1998 model automobile... ASAP! I can't imagine how many 98's will be stolen, especially in L.A....the car theft capitol of the world!

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