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Posted on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Here are the most American-made vehicles in the U.S.

By Paula Gardner

"Buy American" - it's been a motto in Metro Detroit for decades.

But how do you do that after the globalization of the auto industry?


A recent report in took a stab at showing U.S. car-buyers which models contain the most parts from the U.S.

From the story: Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration freely admits there's no such thing as a 100% American car.

The results range from somewhat predictable (The Jeep Liberty, at No. 9, does have a patriotic name) to possibly surprising (find out where Toyota - which runs an R&D facility in Ann Arbor - lands on the list).

Read the full list of "10 most American-Made Cars of 2012."



Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

If you want to sell to me, just build the most reliable vehicle at a decent price. And not as measured by some union loudmouth, but by Consumer Reports, JD Powers and others who are not completely biased. Don't know about you but spending enough to buy a car for this single income family is a major decision and the car has to last many years and miles.

Mike D.

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Paula, Please refrain from linking to valueless listicles where each tiny bit of information is on a different page. That format is infuriating.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

The question is actually quite complicated: various methods of accounting can argue for what percentage of assembly occurs here, what percentage of parts are sourced here, where the design/engineering occur. If you want to buy something assembled by a UAW member, do that, but be sure that the car isn't assembled at a non-union plant. If you want to buy something assembled in the U.S., do that, but make sure that the car isn't built in Canada. If you want to buy something designed in the U.S., do that, but make sure that the car isn't designed in a European studio. Or you could buy a car from an American company sold by Germans to Italians, or a Swedish company owned by Chinese, or a British car owned by Indians, or any of those with investors who receive dividends anywhere in the world.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

I laugh at the UAW folks... "BUY AMERICAN!" Ok, So you want me to buy a Ford truck that's built in Mexico? "It's the intellectual property/engineering/etc" Ok, so you want me to buy a Toyota that's engineered in Ann Arbor? "NO, that's a Toyota, they're foreign, it's where the company is based that counts!" Ok, so you want me to buy a Chrysler that's owned by Fiat? "Quit arguing with me! Buy one of 3 car brands that I support for no reason other than I can yell really loud!" ...No...


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Ok this post was both so true and incredibly hilarious. Although when you laugh so hard that the 7up you're drinking reverses course through your nasal cavity, Well that's just wrong. Thanks for the good laugh anyway

Great Lakes Lady

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

When you buy a foreign nameplate, profits go to the're enriching Korea and Japan vs. Michigan and U.S. An assembly plant employs how many....vs. HQ point.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

But to me, it is far more important that these companies are employing Americans and what goes in to their pockets are from profits too.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

dont forget the profit that goes to shareholders...


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2 p.m.

Curious, if Ford makes a part in Mexico then sells that part to Visteon, does the money from the sale stay in Mexico?

Great Lakes Lady

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Yes....lower corporate taxes in other countries....


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

Being part of the automotive industry for most of my career, I do not believe these numbers or this list. The data is not correct.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Tell us what you think is funny about it. I have to go with the story. Supposedly reporters are charged with getting facts correct. To be found to be wrong is devastating to a career. So unless you can offer up your own facts...

Basic Bob

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 4:07 a.m.

2012 is last year's model. I give points for the nameplates on the machinery in the plant. Nearly all of the machine builders are foreign-owned these days, thanks to the accounting methods popularized by Bain Capital. But some actually build the equipment here from U.S.-sourced components, and use U.S.-based engineers. Others employ vast armies of foreign technicians to install foreign built machines. These are great jobs, much better than assembly work - the kind we need in this country.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

THis post from the street is from July. WHy are we seeing this now?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Jeep Liberty is no longer manufactured.

Mike D.

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Who told you that?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2 a.m.

Actually I'll buy the best vehicle for my needs and price range. I am sick and tired of UAW blowhards demanding that we all "BUY AMERICAN!" Turns out my foreign car was made in this country with American labor in a right to work state. Guess that doesn't count though huh?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Poorman, The article wasn't about how many employees are employed by the automakers. The article was about which cars had the most parts made in America. One would think that Ford, GM, and Chrysler would have the top ten spots on the list, but sadly it isn't so. And I am sure many are shocked that not one of them holds the number one spot! So in reality, it is sad that our auto makers aren't too keen on american made parts for their vehicles. I wonder why?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Poorman, its not just who sells the cars anymore. My Monte Carlo was made in Canada. The engine had to be rebuilt, the sun roof window does not work, the wiper blades have only one speed, cheap plastic parts break all over. Meanwhile my wife had a '94 Honda that ran free of any problems for 15 years, 30+ mpg. You call the Americans who work for foreign companies "lower compensated," but they turn out a better at a lower cost. Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan, etc, etc, did not need a bailout of billions of dollars of tax money because of bad decisions. Next car for me may be from any company but it will be based on reliability, low cost, including zero % financing and a damn good warranty if it is a GM, Ford, or Chrysler.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

I read the article. The article may lead one to believe that there are comparable amounts of Americans employed by foreign auto companies. This is not true. GM and Ford employ an order of magnitude more Americans than Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW, Benz, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai/Kia combined. This is especially true in our state of Michigan. These companies sell a similar amount of vehicles in the US, but the majority of their employees are not here. It is good that some of the employees are American, but only a small percentage of the total employees used to develop a vehicle are American. I am good with you buying the best vehicle for you, but know that the majority of your dollar left the country, so these secondary benefits to State/Fed Taxes, local service economy, etc. are going with your dollars.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Poorman, Did you even read the article? "Assembly is a small portion of the costs. Typically about 25%" of it. When assembly is 1/4 of the total price, it is not considered small. "You paid some lower compensated Americans to put your car together to fund suppliers, engineering, development, testing...." If you would have read the article, you would understand what "American made" means. It means that parts were made here. As the article pointed out, the Toyota Matrix is 95% made here, but it didn't make the list because it was assembled in Canada. And when these foreign companies open a plant here, they are helping our economy tremendously. They employ our people to build the buildings they need, engineers, the production lines, etc. And you know what? They even pay federal, state, and local taxes too!


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.

Ofcourse, there are some here in Michigan, but, who owns the Intulectual Property they develop? Regarding their total MI employees, Add them all up, for all foreign manufactures in our state, multiply that number by ten, and it won't equal one of the domestic OEM's total. It is not even close, but they sell a similar qty of vehicles here to our domestic manufactures. America is becoming low cost labor for these companies. I am not pro union and I believe in an open market, but don't think your helping our nation or state economy with a foriegn vehicle.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Hyundai-Kia, Honda....all right here in A2.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:43 a.m.

Poorman, you realize that Toyota has a bunch of highly paid employees right here in Ann Arbor?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

It counts, just not as much. You could have had more of your money stay in this country, or maybe your state. The transplants employ about the same number of employees they just have less of them here. Assembly is a small portion of the costs. Typically, about 25% of the total price for a vehicle goes toward it's assembly labor. You paid some lower compensated Americans to put your car together to fund supliers, engineering, development, testing, and profits primarily outside of our economy. You also funded technology for another nation. It is a free country, so do what you want. Enjoy your car, there are many nice vehicles. Just include in "you price range" all of the costs.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

Just buy from the companies that employ the most Americans or even better, the most Michigan residents. These numbers are very manipulated.