By on June 20, 2016

General Motors #AMERICA

“Would it kill you to buy American?” mutters Walt Kowalski after watching his son drive off in a Toyota Land Cruiser at the beginning of the film Gran Torino.

The common refrain from past and present members of the U.S. auto industry has everything to do with the sector’s impact on the domestic economy. If you’re really concerned about your car’s “purity,” however, there’s an annual report that checks just how much domestic content went into every new vehicle sold on American soil.

This year, three controversial General Motors vehicles return to take the patriotic crown. But they’re still not fully American.

The 2016 Kogod Made in America Auto Index (a product of American University’s Kogod School of Business), ranks the Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia triplets tops for domestic content.

According to the study, which Kogod says beats American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA) figures for accuracy, GM’s full-size crossovers are 90 percent “Made in America.” (Well, North America.) They might be proudly domestic, but the triplets aren’t making owners happy — a fuel economy window sticker mix-up on 2016 models recently forced GM to mail out gas cards as compensation for the thirstier rating.

The automaker now faces a class action lawsuit aimed at older models of the three vehicles.

Kogod’s study dives deep, focusing not just on parts and assembly, but research and development, labor and corporate profit margins. It gives a clearer picture of the impact a vehicle has on the economy.

Second on Kogod’s Made in America list is America’s sweetheart, the Ford F-150, with 85 percent domestic content, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette in the third-place spot with 83 percent.

GM’s presence near the top of the list is solid, and a slew of models tie for fourth place. The Chevrolet Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Tahoe and Suburban, Cadillac Escalade and Buick LaCrosse each contribute 82.5 percent of their worth to the domestic economy.

Surprisingly, the Honda Accord tops any model built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with 81 percent domestic content. That’s right, Wrangler fans — the Accord is number five, and you’re (tied for) number six. Brutal, isn’t it?

Ford makes regular appearances throughout the top ten, but only other FCA vehicles that make the cut are the Jeep Cherokee — tied for eighth place alongside Honda, Toyota and Ford at 78.5 percent domestic content — and the soon-to-be-dead Chrysler 200 at number ten. (A spot it shares with Lincoln, Honda, Acura and Toyota.)

Despite its poor showing at the top of the list, FCA has ammo against GM in the fact that the Chevrolet Spark is the lowest-charting Big Three model, coming in at number 66 with just 13 percent domestic content.

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85 Comments on “How ‘Made in America’ is Your Vehicle, Really?...”


  • avatar

    I know most of my gasoline came from the Middle East.

    The easiest way to tell is to look at the VIN number.
    I know what the codes mean.

    Yes I know that my FCA products are made in Canada, but since America rules the Earth and the Skies above, it’s basically the same thing as buying American.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      It actually mostly came from Canada or was produced domestically.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Not likely. Most of the oil consumed in the US is produced in the US or imported from Canada.

      https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/08/where-america-oil-come-from/

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      So, incoherent jibirish is all it takes to be the first poster? Is it worth it to shove your foot in your mouth more often than not?

      I imagine others come later because they took time to think of a reply instead of posting some crap about telling what percentage of domestic/import content the vehicle has by the “VIN number” (so, V.ehicle I.dentification N.umber number? What is a number number?)

      You know what the codes mean (and that’s super impressive, btw), but they tell nothing of what percentage of the vehicle’s content came from where, only the final assembly country and other information irrelevant to this discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        Piston Slap Yo Mama

        When the current TTAC commenting system goes away and is replaced with one that’s sorted by useful commentary rather than chronologically, being the blowhard who posted FIRST will become meaningless.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “sorted by useful commentary”

          You’re gonna to be a busy guy unless you’re willing to delegate.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            If you’ve ever used the upvote / downvote system on other sites you know what I mean. It’s not foolproof but it’s a big step in the right direction.
            If that’s the direction TTAC goes then I foresee Kyree owning the comments section. That guy’s the Rain Man of automotive trivia and fact.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            We do need the mute button of more modern systems.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Hemi, hecho en Mexíco.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Truckducken, yeah isn’t it amazing how a Chrysler 300 – assembled in Canada, with an engine made in Mexico, with an 8 speed auto that was designed by a German company – is the best embodiment of the American Automobile you can buy new right now?

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          Uh, I’d say the title of best embodiment of the American automobile goes to the Chevy Tahoe; made in Texas. The 300 is too Germanic in size. Now if it was a few inches wider and a foot longer…

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            AUTOMOBILE – if they take a 2wd Suburban and drop it down until it has about 4 inches of ground clearance then it will be a great facsimile of the old B-body wagons. A Tahoe/Burban/Yukon is a TRUCK.

  • avatar

    Many years ago, Ford deliberately reduced the domestic content of the Crown Victoria, one of the quintessential American cars of its day, so that it would be averaged in the foreign CAFE fleet for Ford – because the domestic fleet was too close to the CAFE maximum without fines.

  • avatar

    Boycott the Envasion!

  • avatar
    threeer

    I still value American-made products and do my best to support domestic manufacturing. We all have our reasons (or not), but I’d prefer to buy goods made by the people I live next door to, or are related to me. I’m a firm believer that manufacturing is the life-blood of a nation, and those that rely on others to produce for them, soon become slave to those nations. Why should folks like my son lay their lives on the line to serve and protect if we as a nation do little to support the well-being of our own country? I’d rather see as much money stay here versus going to countries that are neither friend nor ally to us. Yes, I can already hear the calls of “well, your computer and phone are made in China, what’s the big deal?” Certainly true, and if/when more production is brought back to our shores, I’ll be the first in line to support. All of my home appliances and major furniture items are made here. The majority of my work clothes are made in America, and a good portion of my leisure clothes are, as well. I read labels (much to the chagrin of my family, but they know how important it is to me).

    Anywho…this is an automotive website, so…

    Of the cars in my immediate family:

    wife’s Cruze: 80%
    my Escape: (only 63.5% thanks to the engine sourcing. Rats, still better than the Lancer Ralliart Sportback that tossed its timing belt last month!)
    son’s F150: 82.5%
    sister’s Explorer: 82.5%
    mom’s Verano: 80%

    Not bad. Wish the Escape had come in higher. Just waiting for the “baseball, mom, apple pie and America!” commercials to come shortly advertising made in Korea Chevys and Chinese-made Buicks!

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      I applaud your efforts to buy American. Unfortunately, most Americans are only interested in cheaper and don’t care where it is made.
      I like to believe I fall somewhere in between. I wish I was more vehement about checking where items come from.
      This is a Global economy that we live in and buying only American isn’t always practical (or possible).
      It is interesting that jobs going overseas keep shifting as the global economy grows and fluctuates. It used to be anything made in Japan was cheap and useless and worthy of our scorn. Now it is almost a point of pride.
      Then, ALL of the manufacturing jobs were going to Mexico. Now, many areas of the Mexico economy have improved so Mexico isn’t the bargain it once was.
      There are other cheap economical workforces in-between (like Korea) but…
      Now, EVERYTHING is made in China (including the somehow instantly hated EnVision). But guess what? Because of the millions (billions?) of people that Chinese manufacturing now employs, those workers quality of life and living standards are rising. In the future, because of their rising middle-class workforce, China will no longer be the cheap manufacturing haven it once was.
      There are other factors as well, like it might be cheaper to get it made in China but logistically, it may not be worth getting your finished goods from overseas.
      The point is that manufacturing jobs will shift back to America when the global economy makes it financial sense to do so. Not through walls, tariffs or trade wars

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “The point is that manufacturing jobs will shift back to America when the global economy makes it financial sense to do so.”

        Economically the costs have to come down significantly in order to compete with slave labor in Asia/SE Asia and coming soon, Africa. The only way this could happen organically is an economic crash which makes the US look attractive again. I’ll take the tariffs and walls, thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          28 Cars,
          I’m not saying this is going to be easy or happen overnight. I work for a company that has sent a lot of jobs overseas, mostly Ireland & Costa Rica. It turns out the cost of manufacturing that part in America is comparable to overseas but why isn’t viable? Because of all regulation and red tape surrounding said manufacture. That is an internal problem, not one placed on cheap labor costs overseas

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed, in my visits to global suppliers, they no longer view China as a viable export base, wages are too high. So new production on the margin is going closer to home, wherever that might be for a particular vehicle. I was in the new Audi plant (still under construction, will be the only global source for the Q5) in Puebla Mexico 2 weeks ago. Not China. And because of Mexico’s plethora of free trade agreements relative to the US, not here. Labor costs are trivial for an assembler, shave parts purchasing costs by 2% and you can double or more everyone’s salaries. But for some countries no tariff vs a 25% tariff makes the difference between being a market and not being a market. Mexico also has some logistic advantages, Veracruz to the east, Acapulco to the West, that lower shipping costs. And rail to the US…

    • 0 avatar
      Joe Btfsplk

      Manufacturing jobs will come back to America when fully automated assembly becomes cheaper than poverty wages paid in far-away lands… there’s no going back to the “old days.”

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Robot repair would be a good career to be starting now as a young kid.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Joe, we’ve been sold on the notion that it’s impossible. It’s not, at all.

        It’s as simple as this: We had tariffs here for 200 years until the Reagan administration gutted them in the 1980s. Since then, industrial workers’ wages and U.S. industrial employment rates have been on a steady race to the bottom. If we re-instituted tariffs now, those jobs and wages would come back again.

        I well understand that some people think this is a bad idea. I also understand that those higher wages would increase the price of products and the cost of living. (I further understand that it’s about 80% likely any respondents to this post will ignore that I just wrote the two preceding sentences.) But if we want to address the issue of vanishing manufacturing, and manufacturing jobs, in this country, it’s that simple to do so.

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          Yes, tonycd, it is simple to do so. Anybody can slap on a tariff. But is it right to do so. Back in the 70s when the Japanese car invasion was just beginning, the electorate cried out for the government to save us from these “invaders”. I remember members of Congress laughingly beating up Toyotas and pieces of Japanese electronics to show how we’re going to fight back and protect our American heritage. Did it work? No! It wasn’t until that the economy changed that made out viable. The Japanese became unable to sustain their own manufacturing costs and the value of it’s currency. All of a sudden, they’re building Camrys in Kentucky. Why? Because the economy changed not because a bunch of Washington blow-hards beat up a Cressida

      • 0 avatar

        See above. For assembly, wages are a minor factor. Logistics and tariffs matter more.

        And jobs coming back? Unfortunately (?!) manufacturing productivity keeps improving, meaning that there are fewer jobs. Back in my factory days, it was 4 men per stamping press for large body panels. Now it’s a progressive die setup, fully enclosed so that no one can get near the machines while in operation (and ear protection is no longer a must!), with only a couple (more highly skilled) workers for the whole setup, and rapid die changes and faster cycle times mean you don’t need two lines, either.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      And if I can’t buy a product made in America, I’d like to buy a product made by a friendly neighbor (Canada is a great example), vs a country that hates us (China?).

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    My uncle basically lectured me for hours on end when I first bought my Mazda3 in 2009. Couldn’t believe I bought “foreign” and “didn’t want to support workers here in America.” I was eager to show him his Chevy was Made in Canada and the neighbor’s Camry was made about two hours northeast of us in Georgetown, Kentucky.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Don’t forget the fallacious “profits go back to Japan” argument, as well as various other goodies from bitter workers or racists looking for a way to put down a car with a furrin’ name.

      It’s almost as if Americans don’t have the freedom to choose the product that they want!

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I told my Dad many years ago that if it was assembled in a factory here in the US of A I had no problem buying it because their was an American worker being paid to support a family. Badge on the grille be damned.

        Even though I bought used I was sure to point out to him that my Highlander was assembled in Indiana.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Well, the “profits” statement is at least partially true but it is also important to remember some money comes back in the form of expansion and investments. Ideally though profits and ownership should reside in the country of origin for a healthy percentage of the market, but I’m not sure this is still the case.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      zoomzoomfan, Canada has a significant trade deficit with the US and is very friendly toward our country. I’d rather buy something made in Canada than any other non-US country. The profits are going to come right back to the US.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Being Canadian my F150 is just as much an import as my wife’s Sienna.

    Hecho en Estados Unidos.

  • avatar
    Chan

    IMO the cars for which “Made in America” matter are the ones that sell in highest volume. Honda and Toyota do the right thing by producing their bread-and-butter USDM models right in the US, and sourcing American suppliers for many major components.

    I haven’t owned a single car made in the US, but I’m not known for having normal cars. If I were faced with such a choice, I would go out of my way to avoid cars produced in countries clearly selected for cheap labour cost. That’s the real issue, after all–the origin of a Lexus LS600hL or a Mercedes-AMG GT will have little effect on the state of US manufacturing, and they wouldn’t ever be produced in China either.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I spent two weeks in Europe, and most of that time in Switzerland. Much of the food and consumer products sold in Switzerland is labeled “Made in Switzerland” including tooth paste I brought home and several medications I was prescribed in country. Yes its an expensive fricking country but everything you buy there is of a high quality. Coming back here I’ve noticed while most consumer products are cheaper, none are stamped “Made in the USA”, and they aren’t say 20% of the prices in CH as I might expect them to be. The Swiss in general are very concerned about quality of goods, yet the hypnotized bozos of this nation are more concerned about a few pennies on their toilet paper petrodollars. Just one more nail in the 95 Theses of “f*** this country” on 28’s internal cathedral door.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      28-Cars-Later,
      You are talking nonsense about Switzerland. So I’m assuming you believe in a more open market in the US? Not so insular to appease the insecure and meek.

      The Swiss have what is termed a “Free Market Economy”. This means it’s economy isn’t as socialised as the US economy. The US has what is termed a “Mixed Economy” ie, more government intervention and subsidisies/handouts to industry, etc.

      There are only around half a dozen nations with Free Market Economies. If one looks at these economies they are doing very well.

      If you look at the Donald Dump rants, he is a Right Wing Nationalist Socialist. Do you really want Dump the Chump to be President? He will fnck you guys over.

      I do hope the GOP kicks his butt out and finds someone that is far better to represent the USA. Someone the US is more deserving of. Hillary is not that either.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Seriously, what the hell are you talking about?

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Although I do agree with BAFO’s condemnation of both current Presidential candidates, his understanding of world economics may be more than slightly off-kilter.

          The nations doing the best economically are mixed economies, generally leaning towards social democratic.

          Those nations espousing free market economies are witnessing both a decline in their standard of living vis a vis these social democratic nations and are also experiencing dangerous income disparity.

          The caveat is that the above refers only to 1st world nations with robust independent judiciaries that follow the rule of law. Even European nations that do not have the rule of law or which have a strong tradition of not paying taxes do not qualify, nor do 3rd world nations and dictatorships.

          And for those buying American on nationalistic grounds, I have no problem with that. However remember that South Korea fought communist aggression in both their own nation and in Vietnam (as did Australia). Supporting the products of their nation, is also demonstrating support for America’s allies.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Arthur Daily
            Very much agree.Total Free Enterprise economies eventually fail at some point and start to become partially Government controlled

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wasn’t attempting to make an economic statement but merely describing my limited experience with Swiss goods. I will say, whatever the Swiss are doing is probably most correct and they will be around as a confederation long after the fall of the EU and of the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Arthur Dailey – agreed. “Free” market economies tend to be labile. They are not conducive to ensuring economic stability which in turn hurts the work force. Free market countries can brag about the number of “new” billionaires created if they ignore increased unemployment and poverty.

            @28-cars-later – agreed. What the hell is he talking about?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Lou

            No idea. I’m starting to see why others have been perplexed or upset with some of his comments.

      • 0 avatar
        TomHend

        BAFO
        The funny thing about Hillary is she left a wake of destruction across the Middle East, everything went wrong, it is almost as if somebody was reading her emails.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          TomHend – if you are referring to ISIS then you have to look at Iraq. Who destabilized that country? and who profited from that destabilization?
          One would have to be myopically partisan to hang Clinton upon that cross.

          • 0 avatar
            TomHend

            Absolutely true, can you tell me when ISIS was first mentioned?, I think it was under Obama, not sure I don’t recall it under Bush- I am just wondering if there is any connection to Middle Eastern oil money, the Clinton Foundation, a server, and take your pick Benghazi, Libya, Egypt and Syria.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Lou BC – you nailed that one. The rise of ISIS lies with the destabilization and that was made in USA and that is on W. How many billions were made by Cheney and Company on the Worthless War? And we have people harping on stupid emails? Really – where has common sense gone? Take Benghazi, Libya, Egypt and Syria. Add them together and raise to the power of 10 and still that is a raindrop in the Atlantic compared to the mistake in Iraq. Sheesh.

            At least I’m #3 on the list!!

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @tomhend: do the Martians also figure into your conspiracy theory?

            The Good Ole USA has destabilized and created chaos and/or ensured the installation of murderous regimes in Jamaica, Chile, Iraq, etc due to the inability of various American Presidents to understand nuance or in a crude effort to enrich various corporate donors to political campaigns. And then there is the devastating impact of American influence and the ‘war on drugs’ on Mexico.

            Prior to foreign intervention, Afghanistan never presented a threat to anyone outside of its own boundaries.

            Saddam was an American puppet, installed and supported by the U.S. and in return he engaged in a ruinous war against Iran. His problem was believing that Kuwait would be his reward for his loyalty.

            Maybe Trump is correct, America should focus on resolving its own problems rather than trying to police the rest of the globe? However although that could have worked after the fall of the Soviet Empire the re-emergence of a militant Russia and the creation of the Chinese economic juggernaut, which was also a creation of American corporate greed, means that any international American weakness will not leave a vacuum but will allow one of these other two powers to make inroads. Already the Chinese have become the major investors in infrastructure and mineral extraction in Africa.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Arthur Dailey – The USA has bases all over the world not to solve “their” problems but to ensure USA corporate and geopolitical interests are safeguarded. We have seen time and time again that the USA does not police for democracy or human rights. You outlined many examples of that.

  • avatar
    cblais19

    I feel like the Accord is the poster child for “it’s not the country, it’s the process” when it comes to quality. Made by American labor, with American sourced parts, and majority engineering by American Honda – yet I’d venture far more reliable and durable then the majority (if not all) of the other cars on that top 10 list.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      My neighbor used to be a service adviser at a GM dealership. For the last several years, he’s been a service adviser at a Honda dealership. He figured out why Hondas are more reliable.

      They’re not made any better. Honda owners actually perform all of the recommended maintenance. Not only is the vehicle better maintained, but bringing it to the dealer on a regular basis, catches problems earlier. GM owners wait until something breaks.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    I was hoping to see an accounting of where cars are designed, but the R&D Index used simplistic assumptions:
    “This category looks at the location of a car’s R&D activities. If the model is a product of a US company, it receives a 6. If it is the product of a foreign company but is assembled in the U.S. it receives a 3; if it is a foreign import it receives a 1.”

    The Chevy Sonic and Cruze, assembled here, were designed in South Korea, while I have read that Honda, for example, has extensive US engineering operations.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    There was an article on the increased number of vehicles manufactured in the US a couple of years ago.

    The article questioned why the number employed in the auto industry in the US hasn’t risen in line with the large production increase.

    It came down to this, if I remember correctly. A massive increase in components required for vehicle production was sourced from China and Mexico.

    It also stated the US is being more an assembly point in the manufacturing process.

    I suppose the US is becoming like Mercedes Benz with its Sprinter more and more every day. But wouldn’t you rather import vehicles and export components?

    But, most people only look at the VIN number and consider like BTSR that it must be “made” wherever the VIN number indicates.

    The world is global and I laugh at the fools who are “Buy ‘Murican”. Because it appears these fools also expect everyone to bow down to the US and buy your wares. These fools are generally full of sh!t and have little understanding that if the “Buy ‘Murican” did occur your living standards would fall dramatically.

    This just ain’t goin’ to happ’in. Do these fools walk the talk. Doubt it, it’s just sh!t to sound “Murican, as they use their Chinese made Apples, TVS, knives, forks, spoons and computers after getting a cold beer from their Korean made fridge.

    Look at the US and the “Brexit”. And that’s nowhere’s near as significant as those insecure, insular fools that follow Donald Dump. It’s sad all you have is Hillary as the opponent. But, I suppose “Buy ‘Murican” is more important.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Then I am a fool. I don’t buy into the “bow down to the US” attitude, but I will do my best to support domestic manufacturing. I understand globalization and (at least in theory) that it is supposed to be an open market. Problem is, many of our trading partner countries (China, for instance) hardly comprise a fair trade zone when: products made here to be sold there are taxed to the heavens, companies from here are forced into lopsided JVs with home-country companies, companies are forced to hand over technical know-how (or simply have it stolen, if not), and there is zero enforcement of intellectual property. Nor am I Trumpite (I’ll take the trademark on that name). I’ve driven by way too many operations here in the US that have folded/closed and moved away. I’ve bought used American-made goods on occasions when I couldn’t find a new product made here. Yep…I’ll proudly be called a fool if that’s what it means.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    Memo to the geopolitically challenged (and the hopelessly obtuse): Canada, like Mexico, is part of the same continental land mass as the US. Canada, like Mexico, is a wholly separate country from the US. So no, not basically the same.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Jaeger – trade agreements can politically change a “Hecho en Mexico” or a “Fabriqué au/made in Canada” to count as a USA product.

      It matters little other than to soothe the savage beast of nationalism.

      People are selfish and only care about cost and convenience to them. At the end of the day they will all flock to Walmart to buy their Chinese made Stars and Stripes to hang off the aerial of their Mexican built Ram with head office in Netherlands and tax centre in England.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Do people really care?

    Volvo is making some of the least “American” cars one can buy. Yet, for decades, Volvos have been the “European Americans” by style. Strange.

  • avatar

    I used to laugh at people who would only “Buy ‘Merican.” My philosophy at the time was that if a manufacturer builds a good car, then they deserve my business no matter where it came from. It’s still probably a good approach, but the country of origin was never a deciding factor back then. At that time, around the early 2000’s, I worked for Enterprise, and we’d get people who’d refuse to rent a Toyota Corolla or any “Jap crap”, so we’d give them a nearly-identical Chevy Prizm (built in the same California factory) instead

    Anyway, when I bought my Chevy Sonic earlier this year, the fact that it was made in Michigan was a huge deciding factor. So what changed my mind over the years? A couple of things:

    – Here in California, we aren’t really affected by auto manufacturing. The strikes and lay-offs in the news don’t play a big role here locally. However, when I was dating my now-husband who was living in Ohio at the time, I’d meet people who worked, or knew someone who worked, at a manufacturing plant when I’d visit. It put a face behind the people in the industry. It added a human element. Seeing towns that have grown around the plant and their entire existence is dependent on the plant running added a feeling of the necessity to support these folks.

    – Upon visiting Japan back in 2013, I noticed a funny detail on their streets. There are no American cars. None. Zippo. Zilch. Unless they were personally imported, there was not one American car to be seen over the course of two weeks. Theories behind that range from steep import tariffs to American cars not being adapted to Japan’s unique infrastructure. Regardless, every American parking lot is full of Japanese branded, or built, cars. We buy tons of theirs, but they don’t buy ours. It seems very one-sided, and they will survive not earning my business.

    – I’m from Australia originally, and seeing our own automobile industry coming to end in 2017 is heartbreaking. I love our cars over there, and knowing that we, as only one of 12 nations that can design, engineer and build our own cars, will longer be doing so is difficult to watch. Reasons behind it range from a lack of government support, the products themselves not adapting to current trends, and mainly, the influx of imported brands. The once-healthy “Buy Australian” mentality is long gone. Thousands are losing their jobs, and the country, in a way, has lost part of its identity. I would hate to see the same happen here.

    I’m fully aware my Sonic is engineered in Korea, and that it’s a global market. But knowing that someone who could be my neighbour has a job and I helped support them is a good feeling. And I’m not against buying a foreign brand if it is built locally as well. It’s important to help our fellow citizens and be proud of what they can do

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      It may be hard for some to believe but I was actually touched by this well written and heartfelt post.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Buy Australian has been revived. Many have realised that the ” free enterprise model” has died. Strangely, they should have realised that when ” Rogernomics” was tried in New Zealand. It made Wall Street look like an offshoot of the Kremlin.
      New Zealand politian was from the Left, a Labour Politician but his economics was from the extreme right

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Back in the late 1980s, I had a job selling advertising to businesses all over the Midwest. My ride was an ’85 Honda Civic. One day I rolled up on a Chevy dealer in a small town in Indiana and was told by the owner that no one who drove “that Japanese s**t” was welcome on his property because he lost a hand in World War II. He then held up the stump.

      I didn’t have the heart to tell him he had not one, not two, but three pieces of “Japanese s**t” in his showroom – one Toyota, one Isuzu and one Suzuki. Just waved at him, wished him a nice day, and moved on.

      • 0 avatar
        Shiv91

        Around 2003, my family and I were in Dearborn, Michigan visiting the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, and someone keyed “Jap Junk” into the door of my dad’s Accord. When we were driving through Niagara Falls back to Buffalo, an Asian family driving by us pointed and laughed at it lol. Dad was able to buff most of it out but it remained until he sold it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Unfortunately people do forget the human side of the equation. Everyone assumes that a laid off worker will just go work elsewhere or unemployment insurance or welfare will kick in to pick up the pieces.

      Companies “off-shore” due to being accountable just for profits. It costs money to take a moral stand in relation to worker’s health and safety in and out of the factory. It also costs money to take a moral stand and ensure environmental stewardship.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Lou_BC
        Forgetting the Human equation causes a lot of Grief. The “New Right”, is part of the reason Economic Slavery has blossomed in many 4th World countries. They treat human beings like factory waste. Manufacturers of Designer Labels, do this a lot. Charge exorbitant amounts for the clothes, pay a pittance to have them made

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @festiboi,

      Great post!

      Japan is fiercely nationalistic. Its a huge cultural barrier. There are American cars that would suit Japanese tastes but the new car market in Japan is small and the obtuse process of offering cars for sale there evidently isn’t worth GM or Ford’s time. That said some US companies have made inroads. There’s plenty of iPhones to go around; though that may be due to a lack of Japanese cell phones to compete.

      I try to buy “made in NOT china”.
      – My cell phone was made in Korea (Nexus); it replaced one made in the USA (Moto X)
      – My kitchen appliances are all made in USA
      – All of my power tools are either made in USA or made in Japan. This basically requires you to pony up for Makita or Milwaukee over the cheaper stuff but I do.
      – My hand tools are all made in USA
      – My camera/lens is made in Japan
      – My computer was made in my basement :).

      Obviously I own made in China stuff; but I try to minimize it.

      I also try to support union companies whenever I can and I will typically only buy cars from a union automaker.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Could not have stated this any better. I’m sitting here trying to find words to add to this, but simply can’t. We all have a choice, and I’ll continue to choose my own friends, neighbors (and family…my father in law lives and works in Detroit) as much as humanly possible.

      Thanks for the superb response.

  • avatar
    namstrap

    I remember once selling a guy a dipstick tube for his Duramax. It came in a box, and he didn’t open it till he got out on the parking lot.
    He came right back in waiving it, really pissed. Showed me a sticker that said “Made in Mexico.” He threatened to take the sticker and paste it on a car in the showroom. I thought it best not to mention his VIN started with “3”.
    I know not all the components in his truck were made in Mexico, and that all it says on the door sticker is “Assembled in Mexico”, but I thought this little story was funny.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “I remember once selling a guy a dipstick tube for his Duramax. It came in a box, and he didn’t open it till he got out on the parking lot.
      He came right back in waiving it, really pissed. Showed me a sticker that said “Made in Mexico.” He threatened to take the sticker and paste it on a car in the showroom. I thought it best not to mention his VIN started with “3”.”

      You sure about that? If it had a dirtymax it was an HD and I’m pretty sure all the HD models are built in Flint like my ’04 Sierra. Thought it was just the 1/2 tons that were built in Mexico. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’re partly right. Only “crew cab” Silverado/Sierras are made in Mexico (1/2 ton and up), but not every GM crew cab fullsize is made down there, just most.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    My 2013 200 is about 90 percent American. The 2.4L engine was built in Dundee, Michigan (whereas the Pentastar 3.6 is sourced from Trenton, MI or Saltillo, Mexico), the 62TE transmission was built in Kokomo, Indiana and the car itself came together in Sterling Heights, Michigan. As to be expected with any foreign or domestic vehicle, the electronics, electrical accessories and the like are sourced from China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, etc.

    My wife’s 2015 Outback was assembled in Lafayette, Indiana, according to Wikipedia. I don’t think anything else was made here other than the body itself. I am certain that the drivetrain and major components are exclusively Japanese. Her car is probably 50-60 percent American.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I know my car is the definition of “some assembly required.” It rocks a Spanish engine and a German transmission and is assembled in Michigan, earning it the 1 in first place in the VIN. I can’t remember the exact percentage of domestic versus foreign content, but would imagine it’s 60/40 or thereabouts.

    I don’t need a midsized sedan or I’d buy “the most American car on the road,” Toyota Camry (if the ads are to be believed).


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