What Is an American-made Car?

Remember those thrilling days of yesteryear when we used to pop the hood and, within minutes, locate and solve whatever problem we might be having? Try that today!

Remember when we used to adjust our carburetors? Now you can’t even find your carburetor because they’ve been extinct on new cars since the early 1990s.

Remember when an American-made car was easy to identify because you could pronounce the name of the manufacturer? (GM, Ford, Chrysler, American Motors Corp.)

Well, things are certainly different today. In today’s global economy, there’s no easy way to determine just how “American” a car is. The “Buy American” crowd may think the simple fact that a car or truck comes from a Detroit automaker means it’s American. Maybe once. That’s no longer necessarily so.

Many cars built in the U.S., for example, are assembled using parts that come from somewhere else. Some cars assembled in the U.S. from strictly American-made parts don’t sell very well, meaning that fewer Americans are buying those models.

Cars.com is the most comprehensive car information web site today. It provides users with complete local and national inventories of new and used vehicles; tools such as automotive reviews, model reports, advice and dealer location; and financing information to make the car researching and buying process easy.

Cars.com is a web site which launched in June 1998 … a division of Classified Ventures, which is in turn a joint venture by major media companies including the Gannett Company, the McClatchy Company, the Washington Post, the Tribune Company, and Belo. It claims that two thirds of U.S. car buyers use its service in some way.

Cars.com developed an “American-made Index” which rates vehicles built and bought in the U.S. Factors include sales, where the car’s parts are made, and whether the car is assembled in the U.S. Models that have been discontinued are disqualified, as are those with a domestic-parts content rating below 75 percent.

Based on the above criteria, the most current ratings of American-made cars is as follows.

  1. Toyota Camry assembled in Kentucky and Indiana.
  2. Ford F-150 assembled in Michigan and Missouri.
  3. Chevrolet Malibu assembled in Kansas.
  4. Honda Odyssey assembled in Alabama.
  5. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 assembled in Indiana.
  6. Toyota Sienna assembled in Indiana.
  7. Toyota Tundra assembled in Texas.
  8. GMC Sierra 1500 assembled in Indiana.
  9. Ford Taurus assembled in Illinois.
  10. Toyota Venza assembled in Kentucky.

How ironic that five of the companies in the top 10 list of American-made cars were once considered “foreign manufacturers”! How ironic that the #1 spot is held by Toyota! Things have certainly changed and will obviously continue to do so … faster and more radically than ever before.

The point here … recognize that major changes have occurred in most every aspect of our lives. Accept that fact and prepare for the changes coming to your organization, industry, state, and home town. Prepare to adjust, focus on life-long learning, and make the very best of the inevitable. Fail to do so and you will suffer the consequences. Prepare to do so and you will ride the wave of change to greater success and satisfaction. The choice is yours!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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