American Vs. Import Cars: Are They That Different?

Toyota-logo-650wIf you drive an American car (i.e. Ford, Chrysler, etc.) you may assume it was built in our country, just like you would assume import cars are built in a different country. But you may be wrong.

Some import cars can and are built right here in the United States of America, while some American brand cars can and are built outside of our borders. And, possibly, it could have been built partially outside the USA and partially inside! So, depending on the car you’re driving, American and import cars might not be too different.

American Vs. Import Cars: Are They That Different?Ford_Motor_Company_Logo.svg

Here are some interesting facts which may give you a better understanding on which American and import cars and more different or similar to each other:

  • The Toyota Camry, a Japanese brand, is actually built in the US at Toyota’s plant in Kentucky
  • Ford’s F-Series pickup, meanwhile, is built at a plant in Mexico, as well as in other plants throughout North America
  • The popular Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon are also assembled in Mexico
  • German automaker BMW has a large assembly plant in Spartanburg, S.C., where the 3 Series sport sedan, Z4 roadster and X5 sport-ute are built
  • Honda has six facilities in Ohio building the Accord, Civic and Element

Let’s take a look at some of the partnerships which helped change the definition of what domestic or import cars really are:Chevrolet-logo

  • GM has bought engines from Japanese automakers – and GM has sold its highly regarded hydra-matic transmissions and A/C systems to car companies all over the world
  • GM was previously partnered with Toyota, and models like the Toyota Corolla and Geo/Chevy Prizm were essentially the same car
  • Ford is partnered with Mazda – both the Ranger pickup and Escape SUV share sheet metal with the Mazda B-Series pickup and Tribute SUV
  • Ford uses technology acquired/licensed from Toyota in its hybrid vehicles
  • The Chrysler 300 shares its underlying platform (but not its engines) with the Mercedes E-Class sedan

Whether vehicles from the Big Three automakers are assembled partially or completely in Mexico, Michigan or some other place doesn’t make them any less American. But the flip side of that coin is that import cars assembled entirely or partially in the United States, by American workers, are arguably just as domestic. What do you think?