I figured as much. That seems absurd, and I was almost in shock when the salesman told me that. His exact quote was "I can't sell you the car cash because of exporting reasons. You would have to finance at least half. To pay cash you have to be a local resident and even they have to jump through hoops".That dealer is lying. I purchased a car with a check at a dealer in Tampa in 2012.
It was about half the price of the new S550, but they never once told me about any financing rules.
The dealer's get a nice financial spiff from whoever floats the financing and they are trying to pad the profit by lying to you. You can call Florida DMV and report for those practices. They are actually outside of the laws with deceptive trade practices in your case.
It's amazing to me that someone would pull this on a $130K transaction. This is my first Mercedes purchase, and so far my introduction to the world of Mercedes dealers isn't going well. I understand that they want to make as much profit as possible from the limited stock of the new S Class, but this isn't the way to do it. I had to look out of state because most of the S550's in inventory are not as well equipped as I would like. I guess I'll keep looking.
Anyway, thanks for confirming my suspicions.