It used to be easy to know whether a car was made in the States or not. Brands like GM, Ford and Chrysler have historically been designed and manufactured on American soil, while cars from Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen have been made in foreign countries. However, in today’s global economy, those lines have blurred. Some “American” cars are only partially manufactured in the U.S., and some “foreign” vehicles are almost entirely made in America – which makes it difficult to know how much your purchase is really contributing to the American economy.
In fact, some cars that you may think of as uniquely American may not be nearly as “American” as some “foreign” cars. To illustrate the point, Cars.com releases an annual “American-made Index,” which rates vehicles built and bought in the United States. Factors considered in their calculations include sales, where the car’s parts come from and whether the car is assembled in the U.S. Any models composed of fewer than 75% of American-made parts are automatically disqualified, as are vehicles built exclusively outside the U.S. and models that will, at press time, soon be discontinued without a U.S.-built successor.
For 2012, Cars.com named these vehicles, listed in order, as the most American:
- Toyota Camry – assembled in Georgetown, Ky.; Lafayette, Ind.
- Ford F-150 – assembled in Dearborn, Mich.; Claycomo, Mo.
- Honda Accord – assembled in Marysville, Ohio
- Toyota Sienna – assembled in Princeton, Ind.
- Honda Pilot – assembled in Lincoln, Ala.
- Chevrolet Traverse – assembled in Lansing, Mich.
- Toyota Tundra – assembled in San Antonio, Tx.
- Jeep Liberty – assembled in Toledo, Ohio
- GMC Acadia – assembled in Lansing, Mich.
- Buick Enclave – assembled in Lansing, Mich.
Note: The Cars.com “Most American” list is released each July.
If you’re shopping for a new car and would like to buy American, but don’t have the time to research where the parts used in the vehicles under consideration have been produced, you can use this tool from ABC News, although it’s unclear how frequently the tool is updated.
Rose is a guest author who just loves to write. She occupies her time word smithing about everything from useful tips to used cars, from farming to pharmaceuticals.