Curious about GCC Specs

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SANMOI
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:42 am

Hi there;

Shopping around you can see some non GCC cars (ie:imported) for sale at interesting prices.

I have been searching the forum for a tread about this but was unable to find something. I guess this question has been asked but do someone here have a precise information about what GCC specs exactly are and how reasonable would it be to buy a US or European specs car in UAE?

I mean, assuming that the vehicle is from a reliable origin and besides the obvious issue on resale value, is there anything that would prevent you from driving a non GCC 4x4?
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mahesh_bmj
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:41 am

[h=1]Why Gulf spec cars should always win[/h] By
  • Colin Cordery

Published Monday, February 01, 2010

I am often asked: "Why do I need to buy a GCC specification car when European or US models appear to be better value?" The answer is simple – manufacturers change the specifications to suit the conditions of the destination market.

At this time of year the harsh climate of the UAE is far from our minds. However, consider what we experience for the lion's share of the time; dust, sand, high humidity and extreme temperatures. All of these represent manifestly different operating environments for cars than the climatic offerings of the US or Europe.

Let's consider some of the pitfalls. Dust and sand is an obvious concern. Add some engine oil to the dust and sand and you have nothing short of grinding paste. It's not the stuff you want swishing around under the bonnet. Hence the GCC modifications to filtration systems, for example, lead to longer lifespans for engines and transmission systems. You should also expect modifications to limit dust and sand ingress into bearings, pumps and motors.

In addition, the capacity of radiators, cooling systems and air- conditioning units of non-GCC specified units simply couldn't cope with the region's extreme temperatures. Let's not run the risk of the engine overheating – or worse; the driver overheating in the snagged traffic along Sheikh Zayed Road. High humidity levels and the proximity of most conurbations to the coast also affect the risk of corrosion and therefore rust-proofing is advisable.

My final point on the "GCC or not" dilemma is ongoing maintenance. Don't overlook running costs in favour of a seemingly good purchase price for a non-GCC unit. It is possible that you may have to import or pay the levy of imported replacement parts. The majority of new cars are diagnosed and assessed electronically and it is possible that authorised service agents' equipment won't "talk" to your car and cannot guarantee how successful servicing has been.

I conclude my observation of this issue with something we all know; those seemingly great bargains always seem to have strings attached. Let me assure you that some manufacturers will run test vehicles in this region for up to two years to ensure the viability and reliability of a model. It is not without significant consideration and experience that they will finalise a car as "fit for purpose" in the GCC.

And finally, remember that whenever you come to sell this non-GCC specified car, the prospective purchaser might have a totally different view on its value than you might think.


- The author is General Manager of Trading Enterprises and Al Futtaim Automall
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dLemma
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:53 pm

Hi @SANMOI,
there is no universal answer to your question.
In some cases the GCC specification can really mean some different specs for the vehicle to better suit the GCC climate conditions, but that's not always a rule.

New cars are typically engineered and tested by manufacturers to stand harsh conditions of different part of world, as from an industrial perspective it is cheaper to build one version rather than multiple versions of the same car.
There are still modification to the cars to withstand the very cold climates (think of the Scandinavian cities or north American/Canadian cities, which are normally equipped with extra heater and a power plug to keep car warm and prevent icing/battery discharge), but for what I know the hot climate is being tested more and more commonly.

Think for instance that nowadays most car manufacturer test their vehicles in desert locations in us (such as Death Valley) to check how they withstand hot climate, as well as in northern latitudes for the cold.

There are different specs for US vehicles vs European vehicles related to lights, emissions, bumpers shape/size, etc etc., but I don't know if there are such different specs for GCC.
For sure, a true GCC spec is the alarm when you exceed 120km/h :bouaaaaah:

Please also note that insurance companies will typically demand a higher price when the vehicle is non GCC.
And also consider that your car-warranty (should it still be valid) is also normally not accepted by the dealers in GCC.
The other possible issue (if there is really a difference in GCC specs for the vehicle you're looking to buy) would be the availability of spare parts (and consider off-road is demanding to the vehicle).

My suggestion would be, once you have decided what brand/model you want to buy, to check with people in our forum who have the same brand/model and ask for their advice on specific problems/attention points with the car, so that you can make an informed decision.
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matts
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:00 pm

Also if its a US import check online using the VIN that it wasnt in a major accident then exported here and repaired. There are many jeeps here that were written off in the USA.
SANMOI
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Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:10 pm

Thanks guys.
That summarize pretty much everything I have read on the web. Overall it would seem that, even if the differences are not significant mechanically speaking, it's just a pain to maintain and insure the car properly. This is most likely a protection for the local dealers.

To be specific, I was thinking about a recent wrangler but I think I'll pass... considering what the dealer tells about aftermarket kits voiding the warranty I do not think they would gladly offer maintenance on an imported car.
Does any jeep driver here know about a garage that would be able to service an imported car?
hamzahng
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Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:39 am

I agree with matts... just make sure that the car havent been in a major accident and it should be fine.

Regarding maintaining your car... i would suggest almost 4x4 garage in sharjah, all of my cars are regularly maintained there
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