Happy Weekend Everyone,
I've been chatting with an old high school buddy of mine about Land Rover Defenders for a couple of weeks now and he recommended that I check out this site to get some much needed perspective. I have to say that I'm very impressed with the information (and banter) that I've seen so far.
I work for STA Contracting Inc. out of Birmingham, Al. We're into several different industries, but last year we started importing hard to find (or nonexistent) vehicles from overseas to the United States. We have enjoyed the experience and the relationships that we've made with our customers in the process.
We got into this market by chance. Another division (our first) of our company provides armed maritime security escorts onboard various ships throughout the Middle East and Africa. On a trip two years ago, I was wondering around the port of Abu Dhabi, UAE when I stumbled across a concrete sea of Land Cruiser trucks waiting to be shipped out. I thought to myself that if I could bring some of these to the U.S. that they would sell in a heartbeat. Of course, I didn't know about the regulations pertaining to vehicle imports at the time, but through our experience of exporting and importing weapons, ammo and contractors throughout the corners of the globe, I figured that there had to be a way. Thank God for the 25+ year rule!
Since last year we've successfully imported and sold dozens of vehicles form Europe, to include two-door Mercedes-Benz G300s, Toyota Land Cruisers (various types), among others that aren't sold her in the States. Later last year, we discovered a relatively unknown Land Cruiser in Brazil called the Bandeirante. We've since imported a couple and have multiple variations being restored in Sao Paulo being made ready to bring back to the States this Spring.
A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a friend who had noticed that I was doing a lot of traveling (I go and see each vehicle we purchase personally and ensure that the export process is legit before I come home) and wanted to know what I was up to. I told him about the process and he immediately perked up and told me to look for a Defender 110 for him. I've done a lot of research on the trucks themselves, but am still looking for information on what our potential clientele would be looking for in an import Defender.
I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts and hopefully offering some of my own soon.
S/F & WDE,
STA Contracting Inc.