Sign Of The Times: Camry Tops "Most American Vehicle" List

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer tackles the tough question of domestic content in its latest “American Made Index,” and comes away with a surprising result: Toyota’s Camry is the most “American” car on the market. Of course, making these distinctions in a global industry is fraught with difficulty. Though percentage of domestic parts content is tracked by the NHTSA for American Automobile Labeling Act compliance ( PDF), those numbers count US and Canadian parts as being “domestic”. So has created its own list which requires US assembly, at least 75 percent US-sourced parts content, and factors in sales numbers because “they correlate to the number of U.S. autoworkers employed to build any given model and to build the parts that go into those same cars.” Taking out vehicles that are being canceled with no clear replacement, the following vehicles make up their top ten “most American” automobiles.

1. Toyota Camry (Georgetown, KY; Lafayette, IN)

2. Ford F-150 (Dearborn, MI; Claycomo, MO)

3. Chevrolet Malibu (Kansas City, KS)

4. Honda Odyssey (Lincoln, AL)

5. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (Fort Wayne, IN)

6. Toyota Sienna (Princeton, IN)

7. Toyota Tundra (San Antonio, TX)

8. GMC Sierra 1500 (Fort Wayne, IN)

9. Ford Taurus (Chicago, IL)

10. Toyota Venza (Georgetown, KY)

In short, only half of the top ten “most American” vehicles are actually made the Detroit automakers (and only one-third are made by the taxpayer-owned firms). Of course, a lot of that has to do with Detroit’s tanking sales numbers, as well as GM’s slashing of its Pontiac line (disqualifying its vehicles on the “no obvious replacement” front. Still, former AMI perennials like the Chevy Cobalt have fallen off the list because their percentage of domestic parts content has actually fallen. While none of this is conclusive in terms of measuring impacts on the American economy, it’s another interesting look at an industry that is far too complicated to measure in terms of pure nationality.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Al2 Al2 on Jul 07, 2009

    I stick by my comment "token cars" ,yes the two big sellers by Toyota and Honda are "tokens",assembled in the U.S.. The real problem is Americans don't care where anything is made anymore ,we are the ONLY people in the world like this . . . as long as average Joe has his job he'll buy cars from anywhere ( MOST CARS WITH FOREIGN NAMEPLATES ON THE ROAD IN AMERICA TODAY COME FROM OVERSEAS ). Yes Chrysler is owned by Fiat but still provides a number of U.S. jobs as of today. Big business DOES NOT want the average person to know where ANYTHING is made anymore and unfortunetely the average person is falling into big business plan. How often do any of you look at a labels and ask where something is made before you purchase it? I'll bet many of you all ran out to replace your light bulbs with CFL bulbs to save a few cents each month on your electric bill . . . doesn't it bother you in any way that ALL these bulb are Made In China ? Workers in Brazil asked GE to make CFL's there . . . GE ignored them,workers in Ohio asked GE to make CFL's there ,GE ignored them too. But your saving afew cents now each month because you didn't care where the bulbs come from ??? Same thinking occurs in auto purchases ,that is good some are at least buying the few Toyotas or Hondas assembled here in the U.S. but again it is "token" and these two companies know it. But the American people don't care.

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Jul 07, 2009

    I have a nasty tempered in-law that would explode if she saw that her hubbies 'rado was behind the Oddy (I have an Oddy). More TOyota's than Gov't Muttonhead vehicles? Delightful. I see some limp rear guard action is still functioning among the "faithful" but the public will catch on before they will. Kudos to Ford for their improvement. Send this to Prez Goodwrench before he flushes any more of our money down the tubes. Bunter

  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon
  • Alan My comment just went into the cloud.I do believe its up to the workers and I also see some simplistic comments against unionisation. Most of these are driven by fear and insecurity, an atypical conservative trait.The US for a so called modern and wealthy country has poor industrial relation practices with little protection for the worker, so maybe unionisation will advance the US to a genuine modern nation that looks after its workers well being, standard of living, health and education.Determining pay is measured using skill level, training level and risk associated with the job. So, you can have a low skilled job with high risk and receive a good pay, or have a job with lots of training and the pay is so-so.Another issue is viability of a business. If you have a hot dog stall and want $5 a dog and people only want to pay $4 you will go broke. This is why imported vehicles are important so people can buy more affordable appliances to drive to and from work.Setting up a union is easier than setting up work conditions and pay.
  • El scotto I can get the speedometer from dad's 72 Ford truck back. I can't get dad back.
  • El scotto BAH! No dividers in the trunk for bags of onions or hooks for hanging sardines! Hard Pass.