Article by:Greg Childs and Matthew Moody – NICOclub.com – 03.07.2008
So, You Want a Nissan Skyline in America – Continued
Known “Wannabe” Importers
Anytime there’s a demand, there’s going to be someone who thinks they can fill that demand and make a boatload of cash doing it.Some fly beneath the radar and enjoy brief and limited success before being “found out”.Others are so excited to be involved in the importation “game” that they begin to convince themselves that they’re legitimate.
One such company, Supaca Imports, came on the scene like gangbusters, bragging and self-promoting.Unfortunately, it was quickly revealed that nearly all of their website information was “stolen” from Sean Morris’ site and Wikipedia.In addition, they were using “shills” to post in forums posing as “satisfied customers”.A quick review of the IP addresses by NICOclub.com staff revealed them to all be coming from the same computer.Their alleged business address was phony.Myth busted.
Another wannabe importer is Fast4Wheels, LLC.According to their website, “We sell Nissan Skylines and other JDM vehicles you’re looking for! These cars are already here in the US, and come registered with a title.”However, a quick review of their legal disclaimer reveals that they’re selling engineless cars that have been thoroughly disassembled by a kit car manufacturer overseas.Customers must source their own engine.However, this places the customer in clear violation of DOT rules prohibiting importation of parts and components for the express purpose of reassembly.Of course, all deposits are non-refundable, and F4W accepts no responsibility for anything that happens during the importation process.
Evolution Imports thought they had it all figured out, utilizing an apparent “loophole” by acting as a “broker” and coordinating purchase of parts to be reassembled as a complete running vehicle.However, their six different addresses, unsatisfactory BBB rating and a revoked Florida FOREIGN business license speaks volumes as to their credibility.They’re registered as an LLC in “Nevis”, a small island in the Caribbean.A former NICOclub.com member, who asked to not be identified, worked in a contract capacity for EI for a period of time doing reassembly of their cars.He indicated that for every satisfied customer, there were ten others who’d been misled and swindled.A representative for EI was interviewed for this article, but his inability to address simple questions about their violation of EPA prohibitions against disassembly of a motor vehicle for the purposes of evading the Clean Air Act or the Import regulations led us to discount most of his contributions as irrelevant.It should be noted thathe now claims to no longer be involved with EI.
Turbovisions was another so-called importer, utilizing many of the same tactics. They’d import full JDM cars to Ft. Lauderdale and potential customers, after placing a deposit,could come look at the cars at the port (and start them and drive them around in the parking lot).Then if you sign a contract to purchase the car, they ship it to the Bahamas at which point they take the car apart and then ship it back as “parts”.It is then re-assembled in Florida or Georgia and given a clean title… or brought to WI to be titled as “kit” car.None get proper VINs nor importation documents, and are, as such, “gray market” cars, imported illegally.Numerous postings on the NICOclub.com forums report money lost and fraudulent behavior by the representatives of Turbovisions.
Skylineking.com purports to be able to deliver JDM cars with “DOT Approval” and Florida titles.However, as we’ve shown, there’s no way around the process.No explanation of their procedures for obtaining “DOT Approval” and no response to our questions.
So, what does all this mean, and why is it important?We believe it’s critical to cut through the fanboy hype and provide accurate and reliable information to vehicle enthusiasts so they can make informed decisions regarding vehicle purchases, regardless of criticism or disappointment. NICOclub.com is active in SEMA and the SEMA Action Network, both of which monitor pending legislation and changes in the laws concerning all aspects of the automotive enthusiast hobby.As such, all of this information is subject to change in the coming months.As a service to our members and people who rely on NICOclub.com for accurate information, we’ll continue to keep you abreast of any changes or corrections to the laws governing importation.Until such time that importation laws are revised and relaxed, we support responsible and legal modifications.We’re here forthe people who subscribe to the “Build it, don’t buy it” approach to the automotive lifestyle, and we encourage everyone to get involved and share their enthusiasm with others to help our hobby grow and gain widespread acceptance.
Article By:Matthew Moody and Greg Childs, NICOclub.com Administrators