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Made in America: Toyota Camry Tops the List

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Photo: Stock.xchng
Photo: Stock.xchng

BUSINESS

Finding a vehicle that’s “made in America” is more difficult than ever, according to automotive classified website Cars.com.

According to the site’s annual American Made Index, the vehicle that’s most American is the Toyota Camry. The Camry has claimed the top spot five times, most recently in 2012.

The AMI is based on three factors: where a vehicle is build, the percentage of sales that are U.S. based and 75% of parts must be domestically built. Domestically built means manufactured in the U.S. or Canada according to the standards set by the American Automobile Labeling Act, the only labeling systems found on all U.S. cars.

Models about to be discontinued were excluded.

This year’s list was the smallest in its 10-year history, with only seven vehicles qualifying. This year, Ford fell off the list.

The other vehicles on this year’s list are Toyota Sienna, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Odyssey, GMC Arcadia, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Corvette.

They were build in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.

This year, 48% of the vehicles are from foreign-based automakers, compared to 70% in 2014.

American-based automaker employ more workers than foreign-based ones.

Consumer Reasons

Cars.com asked 1,000 customers about their car-buying habits via a survey conducted by Qualtrics. 

This year, 28% of customers said they would only buy American-made cars and 6% said they would only purchase from foreign-based automakers. Two-thirds of customers said where an automaker is based did not factor into their decision making.

Customers were given various reasons for why they would select American-made cars including patriotism, brand loyalty, supporting the local economy and pricing. In all categories, the percentage dropped.

Customers also were asked about the 2008-2009 $80 million government auto bailout. Of the respondents, 70% correctly named General Motors and 53% correctly named Chrysler as having received the bailout while 29% incorrectly cited Ford.

When asked about brands, the majority of customers know that Honda, Nissan and Toyota are based in Japan and that GM, Chrysler and Ford are U.S. based. However, only 38% knew Hyundai is based on South Korea.

Lexus caused the most confusion. More than half of customers didn’t know where Lexus is based, and only 31% correctly identified it as a division of Toyota.

Lexus has never been manufactured in the U.S., yet 21% thought it was a U.S. brand.

Key Statistics – United States Car Manufacturing Market (source: MarketLine)

  • In 2013, the car-manufacturing market in the U.S. had revenue totaling $95 billion. Between 2009-2013, this represented a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%.
  • Between 2009-2013, industry production volume grew at a CAGR of 18%. In 2013, it reached 4.3 million units.
  • The market’s performance is forecasted to slow. For the five-year period 2013-2018, a CAGR of 7.5% is anticipated. By the end of 2018, the industry is expected to be valued at $136 billion.

By Melina Druga for
Melina Druga is an author and freelance journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @MelinaDruga .

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