Imports: A Gray Market in Luxury Cars

Americans used to buy expensive cars at bargain prices in Europe and then ship them back to the U.S. But that practice declined in the late 1970s, when the slumping dollar drove up the price of a Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or BMW. The dollar is back, and so are the car importers.

This year as many as 50,000 automobiles will be brought into the U.S. privately, a twelvefold increase in three years. Herbert Singer, a Munich car dealer, claims that half his sales are exported to the U.S. Says he: "I could sell five cars a day to Americans if I...

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