Date registered: Feb 2006
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Your answer about Asia cars...
Yes, I spend about 50% of my time in Asia and I have a modest flat in HK.
Your question is interesting - bottom line HK, China, and Singapore are all km.
Is your car left-hand or right-hand ? At the moment I have a brain fart about Down Under - if you can have both.
I am foggy about almost all details of my time Dpwn Under for my own personal and business reasons. Personal - Bromlyn - she was blonde, she was beautiful, she had a great wit, her folks owned the local pub at one of those "far away" beach communities where you could disappear for 10 yrs , she could even recite the entire prose from the Man from Snowy River, but when she got "pissed" (in the Aussie and Brit sense) you didn't know if she would tear my clothes off or in another mood try to take on a whole rugby team. On the business side, I did 8 weeks of consulting Down Under for a strategic plan based on expenses and a percentage of future sales - a year later my "partner's" were doing major-major $$$ - about AUS$10M - but they had setup another company name, using their same facilities to avoid paying me my profit share (there went my beach house)
They are a good # of cars re-exported via HK - since in HK it it possible to bring a car in by boat and hold it in a "free-zone" awaiting final import into HK or re-export to another destinations, or they can be held in free-zone, then it can be decided to break them down into parts. There are containers and containers of MB's sitting this way in HK every week. These cars come from all parts of the world - including a lot from the US - both right hand drive for smaller markets like HK/Singapore, and a lot more left hand drive for the China market.
Most of the re-export cars that are older - like a 126 - would be shipped to HK to be re-shipped out under "shadow" - meaning shipped without original country registration papers to a broker in another country who could either smuggle in and register in that recipient country (a HUGE business in China) without the original manufacturer or original end-user paperwork, sometimes using a wrecked car in that country for the paperwork.
With a lot of the Asian countries - 2 thing happen - first they have huge taxes for import and registration of a vehicle (many countries limit imports to cars no more than 6 years old) and then some have stringent smog/safety requirements.
China has high duty - but little inspections. So China is the largest "steal to order" market for cars like MB's. A China guy wrecks his MB (duty paid, all legit) then orders the same year/color/model from China's "car mafia" who then steal that car in the US (left-hand drive) - exports to HK, then smuggles into China one way or another and sells to the onwer who uses his original papers to use the new car (and changes the top VIN plate - which rarely is checked).
I am not saying this your car - but you asked a legit question and I am in a talkative mood.
Technically, the original VIN plate should be able to tell you something about the car - and maybe MB dealer could send the VIN to MB-Germany and ask which market the car was originally built for - I really don't know.
Have fun with it !