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What Cars Are Really “American”?

The 2011 Toyota Camry Tops The Cars.com American Made Index

Anytime I hear someone exclaim loudly, “I only buy American” when asked about his car preference, I have to laugh.  Apparently nobody told him about what really is “American” these days.

In fact, do you know what counts as American these days?

I’ll tell you what the auto industry thinks: regardless of where the company headquarters itself, regardless of where the lineage of the car points to and regardless of which nation claims the manufacturer as their own, a car’s primary nationality is truly about where the car is assembled.

So, in spite of the fact that Toyota is seen –traditionally – as a Japanese company, the company has three autos in the top 10 “American-Made Index” list, as compiled by Cars.com.  The Camry is considered by the editors of Cars.com to be  the MOST American car, thanks to its assembly in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana, its majority of US made parts and its position as a sales leader in the US.  Also in the top 10 from Toyota are the Sienna (6) and the Tundra (9).

In fact, half of the Top 10 “American” assembled vehicles viewed as foreign, with the Honda Accord at two and Honda Odyssey at five.

With more and more of the parts manufacturing and final assembly taking place in Canada and Mexico, the Big 3 domestic manufacturers (GM, Chrylser and Ford) are pumping out more cars that are considered less American.

The Top 10 American Made from Cars.com are:
  1. Toyota Camry, Georgetown, Ky and Lafayette, Ind
  2. Honda Accord, Marysville, Oh and Lincoln, Ala
  3. Chevrolet Malibu, Kansas City, Kan
  4. Ford Explorer, Chicago
  5. Honda Odyssey, Lincoln, Ala
  6. Toyota Sienna, Princeton, Ind
  7. Jeep Wrangler, Toledo, Oh
  8. Chevrolet Traverse, Lansing, Mich
  9. Toyota Tundra, San Antonio, Tex
  10. GMC Acadia, Lansing, Mich

So, if you are in the market for a new ride, and you want to buy American, as the old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”…some of the best American made cars are from foreign brands.  For more details on the Cars.com American Made Index, click here.   To check out these new cars and more, visit our section on Auto Research.