Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Stealth car smuggling boats?

Via Marginal Revolution, this very odd story: 
The smuggling of cars into china has been a widespread problem since at least the 1980s, and slowly evolved into an arms race between the authorities and the smugglers. The ultimate smuggling boat is known as the Armored Stealth Boat (ASB). You read that correctly; this may sound too James Bond to be real, but it is.

The rate of smuggling has been so high that it a major driver in China’s investment in car technology for domestic production, buying some Western manufacturers wholesale: the idea is to offset smuggled cars with more attractive local types. This strategy may have diminished the attractiveness of imported luxury cars but the demand is still high.

The car smuggling trade is estimated to be worth over 1 billion dollars annually. One network of linked ‘car smuggling gangs’ broken up by authorities in 2013 was accused of importing about 1,000 cars per year. Smuggled cars come in all flavors but are often high-end and luxury types including BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Bentley and even Rolls Royce. The smugglers find many ways of getting the cars in, from stacking them within standard shipping containers, to breaking them down into parts. Many of the cars arrive by boat, often in ways which disguise their presence. Some are turned upside down to alter their silhouette, some are hidden amongst legitimate imports or scrap.

 Click through for some bonkers pictures. The demand for illegal cars must be pretty strong in China! 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20