My wife and I got quite a shock while window shopping at a local
auto dealership the other day. Ideally, wed like to buy a car that is
at least assembled in the United States, and one that gets good
mileage at a price in the low 20s.
A salesman for one of the Big 3 auto dealers recommended a car that
fit the bill -- except for the fact that its assembled just across
the border in Mexico.
But thats no good if you want to buy a car thats assembled in
America, is it? I pointed out.
Yes, but you have to remember, he said, leaning in close and
lowering his voice in a confiding tone. All of the money comes back
to the company in the U.S., and none of it goes to the UAW workers
making $65 an hour.
I was flabbergasted. What hope is there for our country if even a
salesman for the Detroit automakers doesnt care if his
fellow Americans have jobs?
Im glad that Mexican autoworkers are making a good living
producing our cars, but still, charity begins at home.
It turns out, however, that few cars are now 100% made in
America, and its not always easy to track down home-grown wheels.
According to the Automobile Trade Policy Council, even
Michigan-based auto companies purchase many of their parts, engines
and transmissions from other countries. The group reports that the
U.S.-made parts content for GM and Ford is 73%, with 72% for Chrysler.
The remaining parts for those vehicles are built in countries such as
Mexico, Canada, Philippines and Japan.
On the other hand, even Japanese companies have a fairly high
content of American-made parts, along with many of their cars
assembled in the U.S. For instance, Toyotas made-in-America content
is 48%; Hondas is 59%, and Nissans is 45%. And of course, many cars
we think of as imports are actually assembled in the U.S. --
including various Honda, BMW and Subaru models.
So, perhaps like me, you own a car with a foreign footprint. When
it comes to your autos pedigree, things seem to be as uncertain as
the breed of a junkyard dog.
Heres a little rundown on where our cars are built, courtesy of a
link in the Auto section of www.nytimes.com. You may think youre
driving Detroit iron, when in fact your muscle car is built entirely
in Canada or Mexico...
Made in Michigan:
Chrysler Sebring -- Sterling Hts
Dodge Avenger -- Sterling Hts
Dodge Dakota - Warren
Dodge Ram - Warren
Dodge Viper - Warren
Jeep Commander - Detroit
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Detroit
Ford F-150 - Dearborn
Ford Focus - Wayne
Mustang - Flat Rock
Shelby GT500 - Flat Rock
Buick Lucerne -- Hamtramck
Cadillac CTS - Lansing
Saturn Outlook - Lansing
Buick Enclave - Lansing
GMC Acadia - Lansing
Cadillac DTS - Hamtramck
Cadillac STS - Lansing
Chevrolet Malibu - Orion Twp.
Pontiac G6 - Orion Twp.
Silverado - Pontiac & Flint
GMC Sierra - Pontiac & Flint
Made in Mexico:
Cadillac Escalade EXT
2010 Cadillac SRX
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Dodge Ram (heavy-duty)
Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid
GMC Sierra Crew Cab
Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid
Imports Assembled in US:
BMW - 2 models
Honda - 9 models
Hyundai - 2 models
Mazda - 4 models
Mercedes-Benz - 3 models
Mitsubishi - 5 models
Nissan - 9 models
Subaru - 3 models
Suzuki - 1 model
Toyota - 9 models