SANTA MONICA, Calif. — July 1, 2013 — Patriotic shoppers looking to buy American-made cars over the 4th of July holiday might be surprised to learn that Japanese brands Toyota and Honda produce some of the "most American" vehicles on the market. In fact, says Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car buying and automotive information, the "most American" vehicle in four of eight vehicle segments is made by one of the two Japanese brands.
Edmunds.com's analysis found that the Toyota Avalon (80% U.S./Canadian content) was the "most American" car among sedans. Toyota Tundra (75%) and Toyota Venza (65%) each tied for the "most American" vehicle distinction within the Trucks and Wagons categories, respectively. Meanwhile, Honda Crosstour (75%) is the "most American" car among hatchbacks.
|Category||Vehicle||% U.S./Canadian Composition*|
|Minivans||Dodge Grand Caravan||80%|
|Trucks||(tie) Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra||75%|
|Wagons||(tie) Cadillac CTS Wagon, Toyota Venza||65%|
"In a world of global supply chains, buying an 'American' car can be difficult," says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Carroll Lachnit. "A car's 'American-ness' is often in the eye of the car shopper and the manufacturer. The 2013 Avalon, for example, was designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States and 80 percent of its content is domestic. Many car buyers, however, reject the idea that a company based in Japan makes 'American' cars."
Finding a car that's born and bred in the United States was supposed to be made easier by the American Automobile Labeling Act (AALA), which requires carmakers to provide parts-sourcing and manufacturing information to car buyers. But the AALA list (which Edmunds.com used for its analysis) can be puzzling. Under its provisions, for example, the term "American" means either U.S. or Canadian content.
To comply with AALA, the window sticker of a new car must have a section that shows:
- The percentage of U.S./Canadian parts content for the car line.
- The names of any countries other than the U.S. and Canada that individually contribute 15 percent or more of the equipment content, and the percentage of content for each such country, to a maximum of two countries.
- The final assembly point by city, state (where appropriate) and country.
- The country of origin of the engine.
- The country of origin of the transmission.
- A statement that explains that parts content does not include final assembly (except the engine and transmission), distribution or other non-parts costs.
Ultimately, says Edmunds.com, car buyers still have to decide if those factors add up to their personal definitions of an "American" car.
Edmunds.com has more information on how to evaluate an "American" car at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how-to-buy-an-american-car.html.
When a car buyer purchases an "American" car from a foreign automaker, does that money stay in the U.S. or does it go back to the carmaker's home country? Edmunds.com attempts to answer this question at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/foreign-cars-made-in-america-where-does-the-money-go.html.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.