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2011 Chevrolet Volt. (General Motors)... 2011 Chevrolet Volt. (General Motors)

Jim Kosobucki knows better than most that consumers increasingly are looking to buy an American car. He says the used lot at his South Florida Buick-GMC dealership is "full" of Audis, Acuras, Infinitis and Toyotas that his customers have traded in for a GM vehicle.

"In South Florida, it's a very foreign-car market. Lexus, BMW and Audi do very well. But in the past couple of years we have had more of a type of person looking to go back to an American car," he says. "Most people know that a General Motors car is an American-made car."

Although GM has not specifically pushed its Buick flagship brand as "American Made" -- unlike, say, Dodge or Jeep's patriotically themed marketing -- it's clear that customers are increasingly taking an interest in where their vehicles are built.

Looking For An American Made Vehicle

According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, some 41 percent of car buyers said they look for an American-built car first when shopping for automobiles. That's equivalent to the 41 percent of respondents to the same poll that said they look for the best possible deal regardless of where the car is manufactured. Just 12 percent of buyers prefer foreign-built cars, according to Rasmussen.

Those numbers have changed since June 2008, when 51 percent of Rasmussen respondents said finding the best deal was their top priority and just 32 percent placed more importance on "buying American."

And while AOL Autos has previously found it's impossible to buy a 100-percent American-built car, there are some consumer advocates that are trying to help buyers make up their mind about how best to support domestic car companies and the U.S. economy, in this midst of this grinding recession.

Ownership Matters

Roger Simmermaker, the author of "How Americans Can Buy American," told AOL Autos that to buy an American car, "consumers need to consider more than just buying one made in the U.S.A. To truly buy American, we need to buy an American-made car from an American-owned company -- GM, Ford or Chrysler -- with a high domestic parts-content.

"The ownership of a company matters because American companies have more factories in America, pay more taxes to America, get more of their parts from America, and support more workers, retirees and their dependents in America," he says.

He points out that GM and Ford source nearly 70 percent of their parts from domestic sources while Toyota and Nissan only get 35 percent and 30 percent of their parts from America, respectively. He also notes that foreign-owned companies like Kia and VW also have received large tax incentives from the U.S. government for building plants in the United States.

Using Social Networking

Mike Beckham devotes a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34893538196 to buying American cars, and has built a base of 4,000 followers on the page he started in 2008 with two university colleagues from Cleveland, Ohio. Driven by his love for American cars, Beckham said U.S. car companies have fallen victim to "bad press."

"American car companies are building more fuel efficient, safe, and reliable cars than ever before," he says.

According to Beckham, the most American product currently on the market is the Ford Escape, which has a 90-pecent domestic parts content and is assembled in Kansas City, Mo.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2009, the domestic-parts-content for the Ford Taurus is also 90 percent, the Lincoln MKS comes in at 85 percent, the Buick Lucerne touts 81 percent, and the Chevrolet Malibu gets 80 percent of its parts from domestic sources.

Brian Grewe, an electrical engineering student in Northville, Mich., also uses Facebook to urge consumers to buy a car from American manufacturers. Grewe said he has fixed up and tinkered with American-made cars for as long as he can remember, and his dedication to Detroit comes from witnessing first-hand the recent turbulence in the domestic auto market.

"It sometimes seems that the rest of the nation has a resentment to the American auto industry, maybe because of the bail-out or when they had quality issues," he says. "As of the last few years, it's more about politics. People will connect GM and Chrysler and Ford to politics more than quality of the cars."

Grewe pointed to GM's Chevy Volt as evidence of American innovation while acknowledging it's actually impossible to buy a purely American car. "It's a global economy, there's no way to avoid that. We're mainly looking out for where most of the work is done and where the money is going," he says.


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  • 369 Comments
      crazy ray
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have nothing but American Cars, and always have. Four at the moment, in fact. I just love to hear all the unemployed Americans complain as they drive their foreign autos and look for sympathy. They helped rape the economy, and now they're whining. To bad. As a freind of mine once said, "Hungry? Eat your imported car."
      Karaoke Cowboy
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have finaaly decided to buy a car from an Import compny whther mad here or in the US it doesn't matter. I always bought American and suffered with the 60 000 mile repar bills while some corporate cats got rich.
      al
      • 7 Months Ago
      we need chevy astrovan back , its the best truck ever made from 1985 thru 2005! they used on verizon, comcast, bank, all different company and i use this for my business many years and i have own 6 of them ! i miss them i want buy new one!! work horse and road kill astrovan!
      crazy ray
      • 7 Months Ago
      Okay, you import buyers. See how smug you are when your children are working in sweat shops for the Chinese. Your pretty short sighted to sell your birth right in this country for a crummy piece of steel and plastic. But you don't have to be smart to buy a car. And you obviously don't care what happens to anyone but yourself, as long as you can drive your Lexus and talk on your cell phone at the same time. I wish they had fences around trailer parks to keep your kind in and away from decent people..
      • 7 Months Ago
      I am 62 years old, my first car was made by an American Company anf my current car is made by an American company. I have had no major problems with any of them, and I drive them until the wheels are ready to fall off. Any car, no matter who makes it needs maintenance, read your owners manual.Many people do not. I would walk before I would support another Country's vehicle market. I worked 28 years for an OEM supplier, and I can tell you first hand that American made vehicles use more American made parts than anyone else. We tried to supply the so called transplants, but they would pick our minds for technology then dump us, and build their own supply plants here, so who wins. All profit goes back to their country, not ours. If American's were smart they demand American made cars, clothing, appliances, and as many products they can. Do you read labels? How many Made in China do you see. The flood of Chinese products are killing off OUR JOBS! don't forget, GM still owes the tax payers a lot of money. What if China paid that debt by buying GM stocks, and become the new owners of GM.
      MAE
      • 7 Months Ago
      The author is misinformed, American cars are not back, they are still lagging behind those imports. For example the GM Volt, who is in the right mind going to spend 40,000 bucks for a sedan when you can get it half the price with other brand. I mean with kind of economy, a consumer will squeeze every worth of their dollar.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Oh AOL.....you are SO transparent.....FOR YEARS all you did was bash American made cars....for years you pushed us into Japanese...German...Bavarian made cars....but NOW that GM stands for Government Motors, American made cars have become the next best thing since sliced bread.....I will never EVER buy a car made by GM UNTIL all of the money stolen from the bond holders is returned to them by the UAW thugs!! FORD all the way.
      tomozzy123
      • 7 Months Ago
      wergtlnbrgrs, You need to keep up with the models the Big 3 are bringing back to the U.S. and plants they are reopening because they are taking back market share. You didn't read my earlier posts. Those foreign transplants are here because of U.S. import quotas and tariffs. Those foreign companies owe the U.S. taxpayer billions in subsidies and massive tax breaks. My dad is a retired UAW worker, and he busted his can in those factories. He had a strong work ethic, so quit bashing the UAW. What hurt the Big 3 were bad trade deals, foreign manufacturers dumping their vehicles here, and poor managament at the top, not the only the unions. If you go to Germany, their unions run their car companies. If you go to Japan, they have unions. You need to stop listening to Glenn Beck and his union bashing. He is just a mouthpiece for corporations.
      tomozzy123
      • 7 Months Ago
      wergtlnbrgrs, Not one of those cars made in India or China have hit the U.S. shores. Ford and GM are there because they are emerging markets. Like any company, they go where there is a growing middle class and money. I know about some engineering that is done in those countries, but GM, Ford, and Chrysler still have many home-grown designers and engineers here in the U.S.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Ultimately, most people will choose to buy a car not on whether it is foreign or domestic, but on the car's reputation for value, safety, performance, and reliability. I sure hope American car manufacturers get their act together, but the last time I was in the market for a new car, it was Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers that had the top-rated offerings for the type car I needed.
      dgforslund
      • 7 Months Ago
      Buy a car mede in the USA.? I doubt if it will happen in my lifetime! (My age: 73) Dave Forslund Norwalk, CT
      • 7 Months Ago
      Love my 7 yr old Ford Explorer. 60K + miles... not even a hint of problems My next car,, another FORD!!!! Amwrican made, American loved!
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