Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

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Thread: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

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    Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Okay, so on my recent trip to Australia, the subject came up about importing a Ute to the US. The company I will be working for is based in Melbourne and is establishing an office in the US. They are an automotive aftermarket company and would like to use the Ute as a showpiece (it would obviously attract a lot of attention here). The several inquiries I've made so far with US registered importers seems to indicate it may be more trouble than it's worth.

    One guy even went so far as to say right hand drive cars are no longer eligible for US import. Is this true? I have a hard time believing that. This may not even be the right forum for this, but can anybody point me in the right direction? I would think that getting a Ute certified should be no big deal, considering the car was so close to being sent here anyway as a Pontiac.

    We would be looking at importing a new VE Ute. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    I applaud the concept, but if it is remotely successful, Holden GM could undercut you in a nanosecond.
    I believe the El Camino is coming back in a few years as a variant of the alpha platform.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    I applaud the concept, but if it is remotely successful, Holden GM could undercut you in a nanosecond.
    How do you mean?
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    By exporting the Ute along with the Caprice PPV and Chevrolet SS. They have all the testing done, they have the export base, supply lines, sales base, and could sell it at a price you couldn't match. I'm certain they have built lhd utes, so the engineering is done.
    The cards are stacked against you, but I do like the idea.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    By exporting the Ute along with the Caprice PPV and Chevrolet SS. They have all the testing done, they have the export base, supply lines, sales base, and could sell it at a price you couldn't match. I'm certain they have built lhd utes, so the engineering is done.
    The cards are stacked against you, but I do like the idea.
    I wouldn't be looking to sell it. It would be my company vehicle in the US.
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    All of the above still apply. Why would Holden be interested, and how would you get past the US Government regarding importation of a vehicles that hasn't passed its requirements?

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    The 2 biggest hurdles you will face are crash tests and emissions. If the vehicle is never going to be registered as street legal and is only a "showpiece", that is one thing. If not, probably, there will have to be x number of the same vehicle you're trying to import sacrificed for crash tests (and they'll have to pass without modifications). Then we move on to emissions testing...Look at the millions spent for a few street legal Nissan Skylines, and you begin to get the idea.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    I'm not sure I understand you. This would be a private import for personal/company use. What does Holden have to do with it? Non-conforming vehicles are imported all the time. They just have to be modified to conform. My question is, does anyone know what is required to privately import a Ute and bring it into compliance with US/NHTSA regs?
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    The 2 biggest hurdles you will face are crash tests and emissions. If the vehicle is never going to be registered as street legal and is only a "showpiece", that is one thing. If not, probably, there will have to be x number of the same vehicle you're trying to import sacrificed for crash tests (and they'll have to pass without modifications). Then we move on to emissions testing...Look at the millions spent for a few street legal Nissan Skylines, and you begin to get the idea.
    I would think all the crash testing would have been done since GM had already intended to import the VE Ute as a Pontiac. The question would be getting a letter of certification from GM-Holden. Emissions shouldn't be a hassle. If the Ute isn't already fitted with a catalytic converter, I should be able to fit one from a G8 shouldn't I?

    I know the lights would have to be changed, but there should be left-hand drive headlights available for the Saudi market Commodores, no? And I think the speedo has to be converted, but that could be taken from a G8, I guess. One thing that was mentioned to me that I don't know is, are the Aus-market Holdens fitted with a port for OBDII diagnostics? Apparently, this is a requirement as well.

    If I wanted to import it as a "show car," none of this is necessary, but you have to ship the car back to Australia (or somewhere else, I guess) after one year.
    Last edited by Cajun G8; 03-23-2012 at 11:13 AM.
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    All of the above still apply. Why would Holden be interested, and how would you get past the US Government regarding importation of a vehicles that hasn't passed its requirements?
    Holden has nothing to do with it. He wants to buy one car from any dealer or private seller and have it shipped here.

    I've seen personal RHD vehicles around before. I don't want to say a lot of them but I have seen a fair number. Mostly Japanese but a few others like Wranglers and such. I would imagine the Ute would pass the crash tests with without significant mods since GM was going to bring them over anyhow. I suppose another option would be to buy a G8 and mod it. There was one on eBay the other day (and I believe posted here) of one that had been totalled and rebuilt as a Ute.

    *Edit
    Of course, I have no experience or expertise so that could be completely wrong.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Here's info on importing a vehicle:
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/impo...nchor-11-10144

    Item #11 is for RHD vehicles.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by bvqsmgto View Post
    Here's info on importing a vehicle:
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/impo...nchor-11-10144

    Item #11 is for RHD vehicles.
    Thank you. I think that is the information I was seeking. Again, this might be more trouble than it's worth. We'll see.

    Any of our Aussie friends here that work at Elizabeth want to see if Holden wants to let go any of the LHD Pontiac Utes that were built? We know there were some!
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    I'm thinking the liability isn't worth it to them, or it would have already have been done.

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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    I'm thinking the liability isn't worth it to them, or it would have already have been done.
    Oh, I'm sure, but I've never been shy about asking for the impossible!
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    Re: Importing a Ute to the US: possible or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cajun G8 View Post
    I would think all the crash testing would have been done since GM had already intended to import the VE Ute as a Pontiac. The question would be getting a letter of certification from GM-Holden. Emissions shouldn't be a hassle. If the Ute isn't already fitted with a catalytic converter, I should be able to fit one from a G8 shouldn't I?

    I know the lights would have to be changed, but there should be left-hand drive headlights available for the Saudi market Commodores, no? And I think the speedo has to be converted, but that could be taken from a G8, I guess. One thing that was mentioned to me that I don't know is, are the Aus-market Holdens fitted with a port for OBDII diagnostics? Apparently, this is a requirement as well.

    If I wanted to import it as a "show car," none of this is necessary, but you have to ship the car back to Australia (or somewhere else, I guess) after one year.
    1. Yes they have cats

    2. OBDII port should be under the steering wheel

    3. You should be able to get LHD parts like Headlights and speedos off of Ebay even if you search for it

    Good luck getting it done - maybe look at importing from a LHD country allready it might be easier
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    I bet it was some dumbarse in Detroit Hidden Content

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