In a new report released today, Cars.com says that, for the second year in a row, the Toyota Camry is the "Most American" vehicle on the road, with the Honda Accord close behind.
The site determines how "American" a vehicle is by where it's made, how popular it is with U.S. buyers, and the percentage of its parts -- by cost -- that are made in the U.S. or Canada. (Although the editors are fine with looking north, south doesn't count, and several vehicles are left off the list because they, or a majority of their parts, are produced in Mexico.)
For the record, the ten in order are Camry, Accord, Ford Escape, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Odyssey, Dodge Ram 1500 (except for the single cab, made -- horrors! -- by those folks south of Texas), Toyota Tundra, Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Sienna.
Yes, I used to have an "eat your foreign car" sticker on my vehicle, a long time ago, before I learned that vehicles are no longer domestic or foreign. Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics are made not too far from where I live in Ontario; the Chevrolet Aveo comes from Korea. Almost all automakers, be they Japanese, German or Korean, have some sort of a manufacturing presence in North America. And the "domestics" have been shipping components to their North American plants from all over the world for years. Your Ford, GM or Chrysler may have been built here, but it probably contains parts from China, Thailand, Korea, India or anywhere else you can drop your finger on a map.
I believe that countries need a manufacturing base to be healthy, which is why the U.S. and Canada are going steadily downhill, morphing from countries that make goods, into ones that simply retail them. But I also see the big picture, and nothing makes my blood boil faster than someone who waves off "import" companies by saying, "Yes, they make the cars here, but then they send all that money back to a foreign country."
News flash: if you're in Canada, every car company is based in a foreign country. We haven't had a truly Canadian company since about, oh, 1920 or so. Every company is putting money back where it's building the cars, whether it's in wages to employees, investments in the facilities, or business taxes (just don't get me started by whining about government funds used for bailouts -- GM and Chrysler just took the money up front, while other companies quietly accept billions in tax credits from state governments hungry for the jobs). Buy the car that's right for you, and if it's made in a plant near you, all the better for your local economy. They're not sending your money away: they're spending it right where you live, no matter what badge is on the trunk.