A new study by the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association has found 70 percent of Japanese vehicles sold in the U.S. were built on a North American assembly line.

According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the study found that more than 400,000 jobs have been created by Japanese automakers since Honda opened its first facility in the U.S. in 1982. Honda, Toyota and Nissan had a total of 29 plants operating in the U.S. in 2010 with a combined investment of $34 billion. Those numbers are likely to increase in the coming years.

The Japanese Three have made no secret that the companies are looking to guard their operations against an ever-stronger yen. Odds are we'll see even more Japanese facilities open their doors in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Toyota is slated to open a new line in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Honda is expected to begin assembling the Fit in Mexico soon.

But Toyota, Honda and Nissan aren't just building vehicles in the U.S. for American consumers. Japanese-owned plants here are also producing vehicles for consumption abroad. Last year, a total of 145,000 vehicles were built in the U.S. for foreign markets by Japanese automakers, up from 95,000 units in 2010.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 140 Comments
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      And 100% of the profit stays out of this country.
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Profits go to the shareholders, who are worldwide.
          DB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          TMTexas: Japan has the highest repatriation tax in the world. (In the past this has helped keep the yen from getting too strong) It is actually in a Japanese companies best interest to reinvest profits locally. Bringing the money back means they pay taxes twice. The same holds true for American companies who make profits overseas. Honda, for example, will ship American-made Accords back to Japan to avoid paying the repatriation tax. I hear that "American made" Hondas are looked at favorably in Japan.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          "Profits go to the shareholders, who are worldwide." If the company is a public company, yes once a dividend has been voted. However, American subsidiaries of Japanese parents are private companies, wholly owned by the parent. Voting a dividend to the parent company is unlikely, but can happen. Profits though are usually retained for future working capital.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          "Otherwise, it heads to the company coffers to be invested in various projects." That can't be done between group companies unless a dividend is voted or a loan account is established. The latter is monitored by taxing jurisdictions.
          TMTexas
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          "Profit" only goes directly to shareholders if the company pays a dividend. Otherwise, it heads to the company coffers to be invested in various projects. Some at home in Japan, some in the US, some in China, etc.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        [blocked]
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          "Yes they did." There's a difference between accounting profit and taxable profit. Whatsmore, an accounting profit can be turned into a taxable loss, and it can be negated completely if there are accumulated taxable losses already in place.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ None Yes they did.
        Klinkster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        IBx27 - you need to get out of the house more often and explore the GLOBAL economic environment. I (like many others with stocks and 401K's) regularly reap the benefits of Toyota stocks that pay dividends - and I live in North America. That profit goes to shareholders across the globe (much of which comes from the USA) or back into capital investment for the Company so it can earn more $$.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        "And 100% of the profit stays out of this country." Comments such as these demonstrate a total lack of understanding as to what a) profit is and b) how it can be maneouvered between group companies. It's rare that a parent company will syphon profits via dividends from a subsidiary, especially internationally given forex fluctuations, and instead accumulated profits remain with the subsidiary to fund future working capital. However, management charges between group companies are also used, but those are closely monitored by taxing jurisdictions and can be denied tax relief to the subsidiary.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Doesn't matter really - lets say 100% did go back to the home countries. That still doesn't take away the jobs the Japanese auto makers have created here, opposed to building cars in Japan (that probably irks the Japanese, as their economy has been flakey for 20 years). Tell the workers at the Japanese, Korean, and European auto plants in the USA that their jobs are bad because profits go back home. Some people never like to look on the bright side of things...sheesh.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          "Doesn't matter really - lets say 100% did go back to the home countries. That still doesn't take away the jobs the Japanese auto makers have created here, opposed to building cars in Japan (that probably irks the Japanese, as their economy has been flakey for 20 years). Tell the workers at the Japanese, Korean, and European auto plants in the USA that their jobs are bad because profits go back home." I'm not quite sure what you're babbling on about. I said profits are usually retained locally by the subsidiary to fund future working capital - which entails in local job creation in the foreign country.
        TMTexas
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Not 100% of it (some comes back as investment into new plants, etc.) but your are correct, it all goes to the home office and gets allocated from there.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      To hear all the Japanese leg humpers, one would think TuRDyota's are more American than the big three. The whalekillers haven't created a single job in America, just stole jobs from good American companies that haven't had the help of government the way Japanese and Korean car companies do. Japan has the highest debt per capita in the world, worst than Italy or Greece because of how they subsidize their trade predator comapanies. American who buy Japanese are just like the native Americans who sold Manhattan for beads and trinkets.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Whalekillers? Really? Note to the rest of the world, not all Americans are this stupid. Please don't let this fool let you think that we are.
        MKIV
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        You sir are..... well... really, not very bright.
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        I don't get it. If Chevy had 10 people working, Honda steals all 10, does Chevy cease production? No, they hire 10 replacements.
          clquake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          So, how does it work then? If I run company A, and company B hires some of my employees, what do you think I should do? Just sit back and be short on workers and productivity? Or go out and find replacements. It works that way all the time, and not only in the auto industry, but every possible industry/line of business.
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 3 Years Ago
          @clquake
          Doesn't really work that way, but sure.
        Burabus
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        dem forn contries turk er jerbs
      GreaseMonkeySRT
      • 3 Years Ago
      So what? If the Japanese stopped selling vehicles in the US, the demand for new vehicles would still exist and the jobs would be absorbed into other auto companies. Profits are still going to a foreign company.
        MKIV
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        So Grease Monkey, Should the big 3 stop selling in foreign countries as well?
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MKIV
          What's your basis for that thought? If people in other countries want to buy foreign products they can do so if they wish. I choose to not buy cars from foreign companies. If I was born and lived in Italy, I guess I would be buying Fiats.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MKIV
          [blocked]
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MKIV
          "I guess Chrysler/Dodge/RAM should stop selling in the USA now that they are Italian." Chrysler Corp, which owns the three brand names you mentioned, is a private American company. Its shares are owned by a public Italian company. That does not make Chrysler Italian in any way, shape, or form.
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        Most money is staying in the US economy. I'll all for supporting the US economy but damn most of you people who hate on foreign vehicle owners base your whole arguments on misinformation. At least get educated and formulate an opinion based on actual facts, not just crap thats regurgitated on every forum.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        GreaseMonkey: it's obvious you don't have any clue about corporate groups and how profit can be distributed. Furthermore, you need to open your eyes as to what would happen if GM, Ford and Chrysler stopped selling their wares internationally. All three would fold within a very short period of time.
        GreaseMonkeySRT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        aatbloke1967 You're able to garner all of my knowledge of the automotive industry from a simple sentence? That's amazing. I never said anything about GM, Ford, or Chrysler to stop selling vehicles internationally. I have no idea where you got that from.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          You're able to garner all of my knowledge of the automotive industry from a simple sentence? That's amazing." What's even more amazing is a statement about "profits going to a foreign country". So, either you were simply kidding, or you have no knowledge of how corporate structure works. Honda Manufacturing of America, for example, is an American company. Its profits are certainly not syphoned off to its parent in Japan. If they were, it would indicate serious problems with the holding company - which is public - and likely spark a serious sell-off. "I never said anything about GM, Ford, or Chrysler to stop selling vehicles internationally. I have no idea where you got that from." No you didn't. But you're talking about the Japanese ceasing to sell vehicles in the US. If the US decreed that, do you honestly think other countries would sit back and accept it? You have to look at both sides of the equation, and the ramifications. You don't sound particularly worldly, business oriented, or deep thinking.
          clquake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          Your simple sentence demonstrates a lack of knowledge on how money flows within corporations, especially international ones.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          "It is still owned by Honda, and is not a publically traded US stock." It is publicly traded on NASDAQ http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/hmc
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          First off, Honda Manufacturing of America for example is not an "American" company. It is still owned by Honda, and is not a publically traded US stock. Again, putting words in my mouth. I never said ANYTHING about Japan ceasing sales of vehicles in the US. We live in a free country. If people want to buy them, fine. I choose not to. Other countries already make it a financial disadvantage to purchase a foreign vehicle, Japan being one of them. So other countries already do sit back and accept it.
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't wait for some pro-UAW idiot to chime in here. They terk er JERBS!
        imoore
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        I agree. King Bob and his minions will definitely have something to say about this.
      Bill Cosworth
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem making a car in the country you are the SLAVE of the company . The profits, high end jobs and money invested are done over seas. Where the money the auto workers make is spent at target buying foreign goods, because that's all they can afford. Basically this system takes the wealth out of our country. American money is going away. Buying a foreign car will keep the erosion of our middle and high class.
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Cosworth
        Sorry, Bill, if you have the ability to refuse employment and you get paid for your work, you are not a slave. As far as buying foreign goods, much of the problem lies with the dismaying amount of overregulation here in the US mainly put in force by the party you vote for.
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Cosworth
        Are you saying you know how EVERY US autoworker employee spends their paycheck?
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Cosworth
        You do realize Bill that most of the money from a foreign vehicle manufactured here stays in the US economy, correct? Or were you just making an uneducated statement?
      James Scott
      • 3 Years Ago
      I knew this all along... I see people with bumper stickers around here saying "Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign!" Perhaps I should print off these statistics and stick it under their windshield wiper before I smash the hell out of their car. Second note will read "Now you can buy a better car that you used to think wasn't American"
        GreaseMonkeySRT
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James Scott
        Assembled by foreign owned equipment and plants. Real American.
          SYJ
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          Someone should tell none that the SRT products have nothing to do with Fiat and are built in the US or Canada. They were also designed and engineered in the US. A whole lot of Japanese vehicles are designed in Japan and built in the US. And let's not forget "america" includes a host of plants in Canada, lots of Honda/Acura products are built in Canada.
          TMTexas
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          @ goVintage - outside of Chevrolet's dabbling in Korean built bowties, or Chrysler under DBAG's use of the SLK and Sprinter for the Crossfire and Sprinter - what vehicles that sell in numbers are made outside the NAFTA region? Most every Chrysler, Ford, or GM product you see on the road today went through final assembly in the US, Canada, or Mexico and was engineered in Auburn Hills, Dearborn, or Detroit. If you're trying to make a point, I fail to see it.
          goVintage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          Look at the domestic content of the domestic vehicles and you will rescind your comment. Just because it wears a domestic logo, doesn't mean it is made in North America.
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          @ goVintage If you average all domestic vehicles vs. foreign, domestic vehicles win by far. Only a handful of foreign vehicles have more domestic content. But if you want to pick extremes, the previous Chevy model Aveo had less than 15% domestic content will look pretty bad compared to a Camry. All domestic vehicles currently being manufactured are manufactured in North America though.
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          @none I used to own an SRT vehicle, manufactured in December 2007 when Chrysler was owned by Cerberus. I'll give you credit for your extremely well thought out quip though. I'll use your logic and assume by your user name it must mean: your intelligence = none?
          clquake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          In order to do business in the US, most of the large automakers have a US corporation that owns these plants. Corporations that PAY US taxes. And you're forgetting the actual important part. They are putting Americans to work here in the US, and this is what really helps to strengthen the local economies.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          "But if you want to pick extremes, the previous Chevy model Aveo had less than 15% domestic content will look pretty bad compared to a Camry." That's because it was a Korean product. Indeed, the current Aveo/Sonic is as well, although the North American model is built in North America using more US content. Same goes for the Ford Fiesta - a German car and the North American spec model built in Mexico using more North American parts content.
          Imaginary lines
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          True to some level, I've been in VW's Passat plant (TN) and most in not all the machine's were German....
          jtav2002
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GreaseMonkeySRT
          As opposed to assembled by American owned equipment in Mexico by Mexican. That's the real 'Merican way!
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James Scott
        Yes, I'm sure the bumper stickers only refer to Japanese cars built in the USA.
      viperbono
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lets be more precise, Assembled here, parts made in Japan, so they are not built here. If they are built here then why would Toyota and Honda be so affected so badly by the events in Japan (tsunami)?
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        Reading comprehension fail. The term "North American CONTENT" refers to where the PARTS are from, not the location of the final assembly.
        imoore
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        Don't forget Thailand. When the floods hit that country last year, parts supplies that were sourced from Thailand for US-assembled vehicles became scarce. Honda was hit pretty hard.
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        Lets be more precise, some of these vehicles have 85% American content, higher than some American cars. So in the case of MANY imports, it's not assembled here, it's made here. Because they're sourcing parts from US companies. Please, educate yourself before speaking. So to recap, 85% parts made here, not in Japan. Lets recap, 85% parts sourced from US, means the car wasn't really made in Japan at all. As far as the tsunami, sure, SOME vehicles are still made there and still source parts from there, it's just common sense. Just like all US cars aren't built here and aren't using all American content.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        [blocked]
        theblackemblem
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        > parts made in Japan That is enough proof. The Japanese supply chain was crippled by the earthquake, which caused parts shortage. Power shortage caused factories that manufacture these parts to either shut down or reduce production. Transportation became very limited as well.
      Diz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll say something about the UAW Having a shop organized by them is the best predictor of closure, bankruptcy or transplanting that there is. Nothing says "Shut Down" like UAW!
      dondonel
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is a big difference between being built here and being assembled here. In other news: iPhones are Chinese built because the case is sealed there.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        SYJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        Stop lying., all of the big 3 have announced huge investments in the US after the UAW contract talks. GM announced $2B of investment in US/Canada last year- that was BEFORE the contract was even settled. The big 3 plants in China and Europe primarily supply their native markets, not the US.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SYJ
          [blocked]
      maverick_02
      • 3 Years Ago
      Proud to say that I own two Honda's and both are built right here in the USA - not in Mexico, not in Germany, not in Canada, not in Japan.
        Josh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @maverick_02
        Proud to know my fellow Americans are interested in furthering the profits of an off-shore corporation just so they can say their car was 'built right here'. They were right; it is EASY to get the one half of the poor to hate the other half, it's amazing.
          merlot066
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Josh
          You do realize that American companies also export their vehicles to other countries, right? The Ford Explorer and Lincoln Navigator are huge export models and Ford assembles the Maverick in America exclusively for export. So again, there is nothing that the Japanese are doing above and beyond any American companies, so in the end it is still better to buy an American car from an American company.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Josh
          The Japanese cars built in the States are built buy American companies. Those companies are subsidiaries of Japanese parent companies, but they pay property, income and corporation tax to the US at local, state and federal level, boost local economies and in some cases, even export to other countries, assisting with the balance of payments of the country as a whole. You need to understand what profit is, and how it is able to be distributed between group companies. You'll find that it's usually retained by the subsidiary for future working capital. So, your problem again was?
        Basil Exposition
        • 3 Years Ago
        @maverick_02
        Do you want a cookie or something?
      TMTexas
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meh, whatever. It's a global economy now, nothing other than low run high price exotics are made exclusively anywhere, and even those share parts bin stuff with international OEMs. In general, the article is right that the transplant OEMs have provided Americans with jobs (and their foreign counterparts as well, it takes home office support to run a foreign operation). However, to claim a net job increase is certainly a stretch as I'd wager the market share tradeoffs and decline of the Big 3 have offset any gains made by Japanese OEMs (I would NOT include menial plant jobs lost to automation and process improvements, however, those would have happened regardless of transplant OEMs). Bottom line, it's a personal choice as to what you buy. I buy American assembled cars from American OEMs because I live here, I love it here, and I want to do as much as I can to support this country. Some people don't share that view, that's fine, it's still a free country (and hopefully it continues to be). Just don't get upset when I rib you about your decision to purchase a Prius, though . . . ;-)
        SYJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TMTexas
        agreed. all of these cars have parts from all over the world. when Japanese cars were largely imported people said "I will buy whatever represents the best value and best suits my needs" but now that so many Japanese branded cars are built here many folks want to make a big deal out of US assembly. I thought it didnt matter? GM and ford actually lean heavily on global operations for their small and midsize cars and I think that leads to better cars. Increasingly the Japanese brands are selling "US only" models that wouldnt pass muster in Asia or Europe. While those vehicles have high US content, they arent necessarily class leading.
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