Monday, June 27, 2011

Report: The two 'most American' cars are Japanese

The two most American cars aren't, well, American, according to a new ranking by our friends at For the third straight year, Toyota Camry, a product of Japan's largest automaker, is the "most American car," as determined by formula. Honda Accord, the flagship of Japan's second largest automaker, is second.

The highest car on annual ranking from a Detroit Big 3 maker is General Motors' Chevrolet Malibu.'s annual American-Made Index ranks the most-American vehicles based on percentage of their parts that are made domestically, where they are assembled and how many are sold to U.S. buyers.

Both Camry and Accord are made with 80% of their parts coming from the USA. And most are assembled in the U.S. Camrys are made in Georgetown, Ky., and Lafayette, Ind.

The Ford Explorer comes to the list, reborn as a crossover, with a higher percentage of domestic parts, 85%, than a Camry or Accord and is made in a Chicago factory. But it doesn't sell in as great a numbers as they, meaning also that it probably results in fewer American factory jobs.

"In today's global economy, there's not an easy way to determine just how American a car is," said Patrick Olsen, editor in chief. "Most cars built in the U.S., for example, are assembled using at least some parts that come from somewhere else. Additionally, many U.S. automakers assemble vehicles in Canada and Mexico, while foreign automakers have opened plants on U.S. soil. Our index is another resource that car buyers can use to help guide their purchase decision."

Besides Camry, Toyota also has the Tundra (No. 9) and the Sienna (No. 6) on the list. GM also has three vehicles on the list -- the first time since 2009. In addition to Malibu, they are Chevy Traverse (No. 8) and the GMC Acadia (No. 10). Honda held two spots in the top 10, while Ford and Chrysler each held one.

"Despite the disaster in Japan, and General Motors usurping Toyota as the world's largest automaker, we're not surprised to see the Camry in the No. 1 position again," said Olsen. "The Camry remains an incredibly popular vehicle, and higher total sales require a higher number of U.S. factory workers and a larger number of U.S. suppliers – all of which contribute to Toyota's ranking."

Here's the list of the top 2011 model-year vehicles on's list, and their percentage of domestic parts:

Toyota Camry: 80%.
Honda Accord: 80%.
Chevrolet Malibu: 75%.
Ford Explorer: 85%.
Honda Odyssey: 75%.
Toyota Sienna: 75%.
Jeep Wrangler: 78% for 2-door, 79% for 4-door.
Chevrolet Traverse: 75%.
Toyota Tundra: 80%.
GMC Acadia: 75%.


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