By on June 28, 2016

2015 Toyota Camry XLE

In its 2016 American-Made Index, Cars.com returned a familiar nameplate to the top spot, but it isn’t built by a domestic automaker.

According to the annual ranking, Toyota Camry retains the American-made crown this year with 75-percent domestic content. Other Japanese models, each wrapped up in red, white and blue, fill up the top five.

The findings fly in the face of the Kogod Made in America Auto Index published last week, which had domestic automakers on top.

The two studies used different methodologies to reach their patriotic conclusions, with Cars.com focusing on parts content, assembly location and volume. Kogod added labor, research and development, and corporate profits to the mix.

Besides the Camry, which is seen at least as often as the American flag no matter where you go, the top five include the Honda Accord, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Honda Pilot. The full-size General Motors crossovers that topped the Kogod list — Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave — come in at number six, seven and eight.

Why no top 10? Other models simply didn’t have the combination of American content and volume to warrant a mention. The eight vehicles that did earn an AMI rating are built in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Alabama.

The Cars.com study did more than just rank vehicles — it also asked the public why they bought their vehicles. Out of the nearly 1,000 respondents to their survey, 53 percent of domestic vehicle buyers said they chose to buy American to support the economy.

As production of Japanese vehicles on U.S. soil rises, more than two-thirds of U.S. autoworkers are still employed by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Still, only 13 percent of respondents said they would only consider a domestic brand when buying a new vehicle, compared to 28 percent last year.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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61 Comments on “Sorry GM Crossovers, Cars.com Says the Toyota Camry is the Most American Vehicle...”


  • avatar

    As much as I hate the Camry and other soul-less imports, I have to admit, they are highly reliable and relatively inexpensive.

    Hyundai’s Sonata, however, is a far superior vehicle to the Camry and since Hyundai goes out of its way to ensure retention, I’d go with them on that vehicle instead.

    Say what you want about the steering, but the Sonata’s got Seoul.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My impressions of a rental ’15 Sonata say otherwise BTSR. Not sure how a Limited would stack up, but Hyundai missed enough small details on the lower trim SE that overall gave the impression of a cheaper car. The chime when you turn the loose feeling key in the ignition cylinder alone was a bit of a turn off. I did like the seat comfort (better than Camry IMO) and interior room. Engine NVH was likewise less refined on the Sonata’s DI motor compared to the camry’s port injected 2.5.

      I’d call the Sonata thoroughly competitive at this point, but “far superior” is a stretch and you and I both know that.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The terms of his advertising agreement require him to use certain superlatives in order to receive payment.

        I was in a rental low trim Sonata as well, and I found it pretty junky. Interior components, ride quality, and indeed that corny tune it plays when you turn the key.

        Furthermore, check the trim quality/degradation after five years of use on a Sonata, then compare that to a Camry or Accord. The inherent long term quality is simply not there yet.

        • 0 avatar
          Coopdeville

          Can confirm. My 2009 is in no way comparable in durability to a 2009 Camry. Reliability? Yes, it’s been an extremely reliable car with only a few irritating minor and inexpensive issues.

          Durability? Hell no, the thing feels put together with spaghetti and duct tape, and would be out-handled by a beige ’96 LeSabre. Haven’t driven a new one, can’t comment on improvements over time.

          Because I’m in an ongoing effort to be more positive, now I have to say something nice about it. It has outstanding visibility and the headlights are the best I have ever seen in any car, truck, SUV, or bike I have owned or driven.

          Also somehow it has 100,000 miles on the tires with tread left over, but I mostly give that credit to Goodyear. But still, no cupping/uneven wear in 100k miles? After years driving Fords, Jeeps, Dodge trucks, Jags, and Bimmers that would all cup their tires after 25k miles, this is an amazingly refreshing change.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Is that “corny tune” as bad as the key-in/power-on warning in recent Fords?

          Every time I hear that, I ask myself “why did Ford get rid of the ‘bong-bong’ chimes?” If I had to drive a Ford, I’d be embarrassed to have other passengers in it!

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “soul-less imports”

      Do a video showing the souls in some cars you like. Get someone good with lighting to help so’s we can see ’em.

      I’m just wondering how big souls are and if not having one is why Asian cars are so good about interior space.

  • avatar
    threeer

    They look slightly better than before the refresh, but having rented a few, I just couldn’t see recommending one to my mom as a replacement for her 2003 Corolla. The interior was just not up to par, and the size had grown a bit larger than what she wanted. She wound up with a 2012 Verano that she is still crazy about, so there is that (for whatever it’s worth). My (late) father and mom had three Toyotas starting from 1981, her favorite being the 1993 Camry they bought in Germany new. Just the right size.

    Still find it interesting that several “foreign” nameplates are assembled with more American-made content than many “Big Three” nameplates.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “They look slightly better than before the refresh”

      The 2016 Camry is already out of production. They’re making the 2017 Camry now.

      Anyone looking for a 2016 Camry, this is the time to get one cheap. What’s remains in the pipeline is all there is.

      That said, in my opinion, the 268hp, 3.5L V6 Camry is the only Camry worth having. The downside is that those generally list for ~$30K MSRP.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The interior on the Camry is enough to put me off, even with the V6. Combine that with the styling… deficiencies, and I’m going Accord all day.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Corey, I believe that the V6 only comes in the higher trims with the better interiors, like the XLE or XSE.

          No L or LE, XE or XS can be had with a V6.

          But if that buy was up to me, I’d choose the roomier Avalon XLE over the Camry V6, for about the same money.

          An old couple at my church just chose the 2016 Camry XLE V6 over an Avalon because she is a tiny lady and thought the Avalon harder to navigate, in spite of the infinitely adjustable electric driver seat.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The trim thing is a fair point, I have not been in one of the higher trim levels.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Very similar in stitching to the Ford mid-sizers with leather.

            My guess is, both use the same suppliers. OR, the seat and trim manufacturer uses the same raw material suppliers.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Agreed! We spent considerable time in both and the Accord is superior in many ways, especially when comparing 4 cylinder engines.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The 2017 Camry should be a major redesign, yes?

        If so, the V6 is supposed to be dying out, thanks to our green overlords. Regular 4-bangers and turdos, at least if an article I read last year (which stated that Honda was going to turdos in the lower Accord trims) is still valid.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          sgeffe, my guess re the Camry is that 2017 has only a mild refresh but that the MY2018 Camry will see the V6 dropped and the CVT become standard.

          Then again, I’ve been out of the game since Oct 2012, so all I can offer is a guess. But that seems to be the trend, dropping the V6 and converting to a CVT.

          Anyone who is interested in buying a Camry should consider buying the V6 version when they’re still available. IMO the only version worth buying.

          A friend of mine wanted a new V6 Sonata but he did not get his financial act together until Hyundai dropped the V6 Sonata.

          So now he drives a V6 Accord EX-L he was still able to get.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Still, only 13 percent of respondents said they would only consider a domestic brand when buying a new vehicle, compared to 28 percent last year.”

    This sounds like they polled different groups of people. I’d doubt the methodology when there’s such a major swing in a years time.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    “As production of Japanese vehicles on U.S. soil rises, more than two-thirds of U.S. autoworkers are still employed by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles”

    One of these things is not like the others. Hint: look for the carmaker with the Dutch registry, British HQ and Italian ownership. That’s not America.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Well put. I find it suspicious that the percentage of respondents who said they would only consider a domestic brand when buying a new vehicle fell to 13 percent this year, compared to 28 percent last year. That’s a drastic free fall. Did half of potential buy-American shoppers finally figure out that supporting the UAW-3 is counter to their own interests all this time after the bailout, or is this survey as reliable as a salvage titled VW?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    No one cared before the Camry was “most American” and no one really cares now. People pretend to, but they don’t. It’s just a talking point. Like pointing out the latest Buick crossover is made in China. The yuppies in the commercial don’t know/care, and neither will most people.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @danio3834 – the people that make the biggest deal out of “Most American” seem to be Cruiser buyers followed by pickup buyers. I’ve been on some pickup sites where the vitriol is amazing. Toyota/Toyoda apparently was personally responsible for Pearl Harbour.

      I’ve never run across “Jap scrap” in relation to trucks in Canada but it is surprisingly common among the Harley Davidson crowd. Try to point out that their bike is just as much an import as my Jap bike and the fireworks start like the Fourth of July (1st of July in Canada. LOL)

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I showed the new Buick Envision to both my mom and a good friend. They generally liked what they saw. I then told them it was made in China. Totally crossed that vehicles off the list as far as they were concerned. There are still many consumers that do care where things are made but yes that number seems to be shrinking some.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Any China-made car would automatically go on a “no-buy” list, regardless of the maker!

        Consumer-electronics are one thing (as I tap this out on my Assembled-in-China iPhone 6S). But my second largest purchase is a horse of an entirely different color!

  • avatar
    FOG

    “As production of Japanese vehicles on U.S. soil rises, more than two-thirds of U.S. autoworkers are still employed by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.”

    So does this mean that labor is not considered in the calculation of American Content? Whenever a sales organization claims to perform research I dismiss it. It is not that much different than GM’s brick dropping snafu. I conclude that Cars.com has some ulterior motivation to put foreign cars at the top of their list.

    I trust the Kogod numbers to at least attempt to be scientifically generated.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “I trust the Kogod numbers to at least attempt to be scientifically generated.”

      Attempting to pretend to sound scientificcy, is the new “I spoke to God and He told me…” No more, no less. Enough generations of indoctrinati, have by now been successfully suckered into falling for the “a study shows” presumed-authority sales pitch, to render it a much more effective control-of-the-drones tool, than the formerly fashionable religious version.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Yimminy, I loves dat blue.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I like that blue as well. Lexus has a nice blue on the ES these days, and I like the blue purple of the Accord.

      And they even do a blue-green on a car you’d like!
      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/%C5%A0koda_Yeti_diesel_Greenline_registered_July_2014_(ie_post_2013_facelift)_1598cc.JPG

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        I officially proclaim that Stodgy Enough!

        And BTW the way, I’m seein’ no green a-tall in that Yeti. Is there really any? This is exactly how my family messes with me about my B/G colorblindness.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s charming. The Germanic interpretation of an Element, so it’s a bit more mature. I think those would sell well here, I really do.

          Yeah, it’s a blue-green teal metallic color. Bit less green than ’90s teal. Called Petrol Blue Metallic. Here’s another model in the same color, easier to tell the green-ness.

          http://www.picautos.com/imgs/2721-skoda-superb-20-tdi-cr/9/#gal_post_2721_skoda-superb-2.0-tdi-cr-09.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            OK, I see some green on the hood highlight but nowhere else. Thanks, at least I know I’ve got a few of those cone cells.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “As production of Japanese vehicles on U.S. soil rises, more than two-thirds of U.S. autoworkers are still employed by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.”

    Isn’t that the how-many-guys-to-change-a-lightbulb factor?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Kenmore – in a union shop only the UABU (United Auto Bulb Union)member can change it. You need one to turn off the main power and at least two UABU workers to “lock out” the power. A UALU (United Auto Ladder Union) member will then bring a ladder. THE UALU Steward will then have to come to ensure that the UABU worker has a licence to climb the ladder. All the appropriate paperwork will need to be filed to issue the correct bulb. After all this is done it will be time for a safety meeting then lunch time. After lunch time and all of the appropriate urine testing for THC, Narcotics etc. is done and once cleared they will change the bulb.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Good! Keeping our jobs and our workers safe!

        I would, though, point out that nowhere in that do I see any provision for the spiritual needs of the workers while performing this harrowing task. Surely adherents of all major religions and trendy pagan fads would receive professional onsite support, no?

        • 0 avatar
          Zackman

          Practice of religion is generally not allowed in the workplace.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Practice of religion is generally not allowed in the workplace.”

            Mahmood there would differ with you. Once he’s done with the asses & elbows thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Zackman – where I work we have a “spiritual centre”. Kinda covers everything.

            Sikh’s have gotten exemptions from wearing helmets because they aren’t allowed to remove their “head gear”.

            It is a form of discrimination to disallow the practice of religion.

            Not a problem once Trump deports all of those Catholic Mexicans and Muslims from countries with active terrorism. I wonder how he will define that? Any place with Muslims probably.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Don’t laugh. I once saw it take 4 operators to screw on the gas filler cap at a GM plant that assembled the S10/S15 pick up. One person staged the door, one person screwed in half of the screws, another person screwed in the remaining screws and the fourth person actually closed the filler door.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Holy hardship.. Gatorade and carb wafers all around! STAT!

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @threeer…….Right , and those operators had no other assembly work included with their “job Assignment” ?

          I’ve seen thousands of assembly, welding, sub assembly, and inspection jobs , performed by thousands of people , in every operation from final build, to the Stamping Press.

          Never in my 36 plus years on the plant floor, have I ever even heard of 4 people doing such a light job

          But it’s your story , tell it whatever way you want

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        This is funny to me because I am currently trying to get a piece of business completed, and am thwarted on a daily basis. Out of the woodwork, there are so very many people in a large company with nothing better to do than crush our ability to generate revenues. Some examples:
        – The Market Data Privacy Officer
        – The Center of Excellence for Naming Conventions
        – The Office of The Brand
        – HIPAA Regulatory Compliance
        – Data Security and Privacy Center of Excellence

        Every single one a department staffed with well meaning people who have every right to feel productive and engaged by crushing any deal we try to complete.

        And this has nothing to do with unions. Just the natural devolution of a big corporate bureaucracy.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          VoGo – your post sounds more “made up” than mine was but sadly I’m kidding and you are not.

          Bureaucracy believes that you fix bureaucracy by adding more bureaucracy.

          Nothing like eliminating red tape by covering it with more red tape.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          We had the Center of Excellence (CoE) here for a spell but fortunately it was simply a reorganization of existing groups.

          I agree with your overall post although I’d point out HIPAA really does require at least one competent position in any large firm which touches on healthcare.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The term CoE always prompts in me a Pavlovian response of nausea.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Indeed. We’ve also been able to accomplish mass confusion though. Here the development teams used to have names associated with a product or product line. Then inexplicably they were told to pick an element for a “team name” because they were going to compete during “innovation week”. A few weeks later, the team names were changed to those element names. I work on the other side of the building and I don’t know which element does what. Supposedly they will be getting real names back again in the near future as it has caused mass confusion outside of product development.

  • avatar
    bricoler1946

    I would venture that lots of people don’t give atoss where their car is made. Price, reliability and longevity mean alot more,besides, we’re in the global economy

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Nevermind

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Up is down, bad is good, foreign is domestic and vice-versa.

    What I find stunning is that the Japanese OEMs build a better domestic car than the domestics! How is that possible?

    As far as “soul-less” goes, please tell me just how much “soul” there is in sitting in traffic while commuting? I’d really like to know, because speaking personal, I want smooth driving, a relatively quiet and comfortable environment to keep the stress minimal. As I get older, that is paramount.

    Besides, after a certain age and marital status, just how much pleasure cruising/Sunday driving does one do, anyway? I would, but I’m busy with more important things on my weekends.

    I’ll take “soul-less” each and every day, as long as the appliance has some chrome, bright window reveal and looks nice to me! Per “Fernando”, it’s how you look!

    BTW, the new Camry is an attractive car to me, but so is my 2012 Impala…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “What I find stunning is that the Japanese OEMs build a better domestic car than the domestics! How is that possible?”

      And even using the same schitty NA suppliers that the domestics use.

      I guess the CTS gas pedal scandal, Takata airbags disaster, and corner-cutting welded-part manufacturers, have scared all the Japanese OEMs to do a more thorough quality control check throughout the assembly process.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Not good enough, I can get a 4Runner that is 100% Japanese content, but the best America can do is 75%? Tsk tsk.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think those come in 4WD too :D

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Whatever man!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The only options I have is the special rear view mirror, heated cloth seats, 3rd row, heated windshield wiper pads, and running boards – I think. And I only have those because that’s what the dealer had. I wasn’t gonna spend an extra $3k for 4WD… This time.

        Oh and some clear plastic for the paint to protect the fragile EPA approved paint job.
        All in it was just about $30k, which is probably as cheap as you can get a brand new 4Runner.

  • avatar
    brn

    “Toyota Camry retains the American-made crown this year with 75-percent domestic content.”

    I’m confused. The Cadillac CTS also has 75% domestic content, but it doesn’t even make the list.

    I’m also confused as to why cars.com’s “american made” list generally doesn’t match similar lists from others? Like so very many lists, they’re produced for the sake of producing them. No real help in making a purchase decision.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing. I had a rental Camry and the quality of that car made me want to puke. It was awful. It smelled awful, it felt awful, it drove okay, but overall, I wasn’t impressed.

    If the Camry is the most “American made” car, then it sure doesn’t have the best of what America has to offer in terms of materials.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This reminded me of a teacher who works for me who has a Toyota Tundra and a Toyota Highlander. It never occurred to me before that it means that he has two vehicles assembled in the USA, and the Highlander replaced a Camry.

    His parents OTOH (they live in the area) have an “American” truck that was likely assembled in Mexico.

  • avatar
    FOG

    and Atlas Shrugged…

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