• Mar 11, 2013
The F150 was Ford's only Top 10 entry in the "American ... The F150 was Ford's only Top 10 entry in the "American Made Index" compiled by Cars.com in 2012. (Photo courtesy Ford).
A new survey shows consumers view Ford as the "Most American" company in the United States. But it might not even be the most American car company, says an annual study, let alone the most American overall company.

"Buy American," is an important criteria for many consumers as they think about supporting local jobs, buying local and helping the U.S. economy. But because large companies like automakers operate globally, defining "American" and "local" is actually quite difficult.

A new Harris poll asked consumers what company they viewed as "Most American" and 15 percent said Ford. General Motors and Chevy came in second with 9 percent of voters. Soft-drink icon Coca-Cola scored 4 percent of votes.

Each year, Cars.com calculates what cars can be ranked as "Most American." The analysis is based on where vehicles are built and where the parts and components in vehicles are sourced. In the 2012 Cars.com American Made Index, Ford only had one model, the F150 pickup, in the top ten.

Indeed, the "Most American" vehicle was the Toyota Camry, based on the facts the best-selling car in America is built in Kentucky and with mostly U.S. sourced parts. The Toyota Tundra pickup and Toyota Sienna minivan also landed in the top ten. Honda has both its Accord and Pilot SUV on the list. General Motors had three on the list – the GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, and Buick Enclave. The Jeep Liberty also made the list.

"What many consumers don't know is that companies very traditionally seen as American, from GE to John Deere to Levi Strauss, outsource varying portions of their operations overseas, so it takes a lot of attention and research to determine if you're buying American and what that specifically means to you," said Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll.

"Even the big three automakers – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – two of whom were thought of as the most American brands in our findings, increasingly have cars in which parts are produced abroad, while Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have upped U.S. production."

While there is much that divides the country, there is bipartisan support for buying more U.S. sourced goods and services to help create and protect jobs in the U.S. Seventy-five percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats ranked buying American as "important" or "very important."

Of course, truly understanding the nuances of what could make a Toyota Camry more important than a Ford pickup or Jeep Liberty is a tall order for most car buyers. And auto executives at rival companies don't agree on definitions either, so that muddies the water even more for consumers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do you think Toyota has its 45 Billion in cash in US banks??? Have you ever seen the headquarters of Toyota Japan? Do you think all of those employees working at the headquarters in Japan get their coffee form Dunkin Doughnuts in America? Where is Honda’s marketing, purchasing, finance department, in the USA? If Ford built and sold products assembled in Japan out of components such as engines, etc that were built in the US and elsewhere wouldn't that be good for the USA. Would that circumvent Japan's import tax? The USA would get a check for each unit sold wouldn't that be nice instead of sending a check to Japan for buying a Honda? FYI, Ford and GM pay more benefits for retired USA personal than Toyota and Honda currently employ in the US. Furthermore, did you know assembly of a vehicle accounts for a very small percentage of the vehicle content. How many people does Honda Toyota and Nissan Employ in the US is the question? How many people collect their health care from these companies VS Ford and GM? And FYI, the new Fusion will be "assembled" in a new plant in the USA
        • 1 Year Ago
        Some of the Fusions will be made in the USA, but some will still be made in Mexico. With all the robots building the cars, it seems weird that it's even much cheaper to assemble cars in Mexico. It doesn't take the manpower it used to.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was going to buy a Ford fusion until I discovered it was mad in Mexico, I bought a Honda Accord made in Ohio instead.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Fusion manf. is will also be made in MI shortly too. You think Ford's R&D, finance, legal, company headquarters, and all the many, many other support departments and thousands of people (behind the sceen) it takes to design and build a car is located.
      Craig Ewing
      • 1 Year Ago
      By the "most American car brand", this analysis chooses to ignore location of all the "overhead" of these vehicles: All the engineering, finance, accounting and management located in the home country of the brand. How much would that change the rankings?
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, when Japan went through the earthquake/tsunami a couple of years ago, why were their American assembly plants shut down? GM and Ford didn`t shut down. That should tell us something right there.
        • 11 Months Ago
        Toyota does get minimal parts from Japan, and for the fact that Any hybrid made in America (which is most of them) the Hybrid Synergy Drive Power train does come from Japan. If there was a major earthquake in Mexico All the "US" made ford and Chevy's would halt production. And they also did it for respect of their fellow team members in Japan.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would love to drive an American car, but they still aren't as good as Japanese cars as far as durability and reliability and I don't have the money to spend on something that doesn't last. I buy American as much as I can with other goods, but when it comes to cars, Honda, Toyota and Nissan still build the best cars. I have a 1999 Nissan Sentra that drives like it's new and it's an econobox so I didn't expect it to last this long. I don't see too many 1999 American cars on the road. Everyone I know with Toyota Corollas and Camrys routinely gets 200,000 miles out of them and some get 300,000 and beyond. I will happily buy American cars when they can do that. Right now, I just don't think the Focus will last as long as it's Japanese competition or I would buy one.
        • 5 Months Ago
        HA! Toyotas may get 220k with anal retentive maintenance, but you'll never see 300k without replacing at least one transmission. If you want to see a car that will never die, buy an 80's volvo.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Hey spazaru, nice try. I have two 1971 Ford Trucks. One is an F-250 4x4 and the other is an F-100...they will be running long after your Japanese car has been melted down and made into a Chinese bed pan!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Misinformation. The Cars.com American index is NOT just based on American assembly and parts content. It is also weighted for sales volume. The Camry has a very high parts content at 80%, but if you want to make the most impact with your purchase regardless of what other people do, then are American cars that are higher.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jordyn. you think Kathryn`s postlng is something, on monday I bought a brand new Chrysler from bringing in $9931 this past 5 weeks and even more than ten grand lass-month. this is certainly my favourite work Ive ever done. I started this three months/ago and straight away began to earn at least $81.. per-hour. I follow this great link,............. BIT40.ℂom