QOTD: Do You Care Where Your Car Is Built?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Americans who take possession of a new Jaguar E-Pace can check their VIN to see that the subcompact luxury crossover was assembled in Austria. Each of the 36,813 Buick Envisions sold in the United States through June were imported from China. The Ford Fusion comes from Hermosillo, Mexico; the Honda Accord comes from Marysville, Ohio.

BMW builds SUVs in South Carolina. Mercedes-Benz builds cars and SUVs in Alabama. Volkswagen builds the Atlas and Passat in Tennessee. The Toyota Camry is built in Kentucky, although there’ll be a handful of new 2018 models coming all the way from Japan.

The global automotive market has spoken. “A lot of consumers have no idea where their cars are built,” Renault’s Francois Mariotte tells AutoExpress. Perhaps there are customers who struggle with the notion of German cars being assembled in Mexico, for example, but as Renault’s Mariotte says: “The quality of the car is never determined by the country it’s built in. It’s determined by the processes we put into the factory.”

But do you care where your next new vehicle is assembled?

It’s a reasonable question. If you’re building a new home, you want to know more about the builder’s reputation. If you’re compiling an Olympic basketball team, you need to see proof of citizenship. People certainly like to know if their gourmet burger’s beef is local or not.

So when it comes to cars, do you need your Volvo hails from Sweden, or is a South Carolina facility worthy? Would you choose the Audi Q7 over the BMW X5 in order to get the full European experience, even though the Q7 is built in Slovakia, not Germany? Is the Chevrolet Camaro more appealing to you now that it’s assembled in Michigan, instead of Canada?

Do you care where your car is built?

[Images: Toyota, BMW]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Rengaw Rengaw on Jul 27, 2017

    I want the money I pay for a vehicle to be a reward and an encouragement to those who made it. I don't care where it comes from. To promote the best craftsmanship will have other manufacturers following suit. To purchase less than a stellar product is to encourage craftsmanship in the wrong direction.

  • Mchan1 Mchan1 on Jul 27, 2017

    Where the vehicle is built as in assembled? Not really. Business is now conducted internationally so you have parts made outside and inside the U.S. If it's assembled in the U.S., great.. more jobs for Americans. As long as the vehicle is reliable and affordable, that's really what many people think and want.

  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys dudes off the rails on drugs and full of hate and retribution. so is musky.