The End Of A Free Ride For Carmakers?

The EU takes aim at their power to vary prices by country

Xavier Bategat, a Ford Motor Co. dealer in Brussels, scans an order fresh off the fax. Although most cars sold in Belgium have left-hand drive, a customer in Britain wants to buy a right-hand-drive Focus Ghia from him. "I get faxes like this all the time," says Bategat, who orders right-hand drive cars for British drivers. Why the roundabout purchasing? Big-time savings. Including taxes and registration fees, the British buyer saves 15%, or about $3,100.

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