Abroad is a huge place, i am abroad...
And rick, no offence intended, but the face lifted model had the sweeter engine, the face lift came out with 114kw, the original had 110kw, i know this is a nominal difference, but most of the difference came in low down, hence the newer ones aren't as peaky. The improved power came purely from different electronics if i'm not mistaken. As for the weight difference, your quite right, the newer one will be heavier.
I just remembered, i once, probably 6 years ago when i got my first 145, spoke to someone about it, he wasn't sure, but he said that some 145's were manufactured in argentina, i was sceptical at the time, but maybe thats were the blue comes from?
Why only in 1998, who knows. I seriously doubt it has to do with them running out of green, or anything like that.