<VV> Country of Origin - Virtually No Corvair, but interesting
Sethracer at aol.com
Sethracer at aol.com
Sun Nov 14 23:59:57 EST 2010
For reference not all Corvairs were built in the US. Canada, Switzerland,
Mexico, Denmark, Belgium and Venezuela all assembled Corvairs. All Corvair
engines - except maybe that Porsche designed prototype (just kidding) - were
made in the USA as were all stick and automatic transmissions. Just for
fun, I checked the sticker from my wife's 2009 Saturn Aura. US built and both
engine and transmission of US origin. Cool! (Especially since both my wife
and I are also of US origin) <grin>. - Seth
>From America On Line Autos - Written by Craig Howie
It used to be pretty obvious which cars were built in the U.S. (Detroit's
Big Three of Ford, GM and Chrysler) and which weren't (everything else).
Then in the 1980’s the Japanese started building cars here, which made for
some interesting arguments about what constituted an “American” car. But in
today’s global economy, it's even harder to answer the question: Is your car
made in America?
Many consumers looking to buy an American-built vehicle are having a hard
time finding one that's assembled here with 100-percent American-built
components. That’s because it's actually impossible, at least if you’re talking
about buying a car from the major carmakers.
Made In U.S.A. (Partly)
For example, while Jeep's Patriot may be built in Belvedere, Ill., its
transmissions originate in Mexico, Japan and Germany. Similarly Ford's
Michigan-assembled Mustang may be as American as mom, Marines, and apple pie, but
its transmissions come from China, France, the U.K., and Mexico. Chrysler's
PT Cruiser isn’t even built in the U.S. – it’s assembled in Toluca,
Mexico, though its transmission is U.S.-sourced. GM, meanwhile, builds its Chevy
Camaro in Canada and its GMC Sierra pickup in Mexico.
Confusing? Yes. But that’s not the start of it. BMWs are now built in the
U.S. and so are some Mercedes vehicles (in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and
Vance, Alabama, respectively). With Japanese carmakers having established
multiple assembly plants across the U.S. and American car companies
operating plants in Canada and Mexico lines are blurred further.
So what makes a car American? It's a rancorous debate that's sure to rumble
on, but consumers can make up their own minds based on information that’s
appeared on the labels of every new car for sale for years. This states
where the vehicle was assembled and where the engine and transmission
Mark Birmingham, an industry analyst at the Center for Automotive Research,
said consumers who want to buy American primarily should look at where the
vehicle is assembled, as often that indicates a large presence not just in
“There is something to be said for buying a Detroit ‘Big Three’ label,”
he said, “in the sense that all of administrative, development and
white-collar work is indirectly supported."
Who Builds What Where?
Ford’s Fusion, Fiesta, and Lincoln MKZ models are built in Mexico, while
the Edge, Flex, Lincoln MKX, and Lincoln MKT are built in Canada. Other
North American models are built in the U.S.
According to NHTSA documents provided to AOL Autos, Ford’s compact Focus is
assembled in Wayne, Mich., with 90 percent of its parts sourced from the
U.S. and Canada, but its transmission originates in Germany. While the
Taurus is assembled in Chicago, Ill., about 65 percent of its parts are of U.S.
origin. But its engine and transmission are both built in the U.S.
The F-Series pickup truck, that most iconic of domestic vehicles, is
assembled in Kansas City, Missouri, and Dearborn, Michigan, but with just 55
percent of parts made in the U.S. or Canada. More than 15 percent of its parts
come from Mexico, although all of its engines and both transmission systems
are built in the U.S. Some transmissions for the Mustang (assembled in
Flat Rock, Michigan) come from China.
GM vehicles assembled in Canada include Chevrolet's Camaro, Equinox and
Impala and the GMC Terrain, while vehicles built in Mexico include Cadillac's
SRX and Escalade EXT, Chevrolet's Aveo, HHR, Silverado, and GMC's Sierra.
GM vehicles built in the U.S. include Buick's LaCrosse, Lucerne and Enclave,
Cadillac's CTS, DTS and STS-V, Chevrolet's Cruze, Corvette, Malibu and
Tahoe, and GMC's Yukon.
According to figures from IHS Global Insight, of the GM vehicles assembled
domestically, several Corvette engines are built in Canada, with several
transmission variants originating in Mexico. Its Chevrolet Silverado
(assembled in Fort Wayne, Indiana) carries U.S.-built engines across all models,
but several transmissions are built in Mexico. For the Cadillac CTS assembled
in Lansing, Mich., several engines originate in Canada and Mexico, and the
transmissions for various models in the CTS range come from Japan, France,
Mexico, and the U.S. Some engines for GM's Chevrolet Cruze, assembled in
Lordstown, Ohio, come from Szentgotthard, Hungary.
Chrysler says about 61 percent of the components it uses for its Chrysler,
Dodge and Jeep lines come from the U.S., while about 20 percent come from
Mexico and Latin America, about 10 percent from Canada and just under 10
percent from the rest of the world. It maintains large production facilities
across the U.S., but also builds its 300 and Dodge Challenger and Charger,
in Canada, and the PT Cruiser in Mexico.
Of the Big Three's foreign competition, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia all
proudly trumpet their domestic-built credentials. (Honda was the first
Japanese carmaker to build a car plant in the U.S., in Marysville, Ohio., in
1979, and more Honda vehicles are now built in the U.S. than in Japan.)
Toyota builds its Camry and Avalon models in Georgetown, Kentucky, its Sienna
and Highlander in Princeton, Indiana, and has large plants in Huntsville,
Alabama, and San Antonio, Texas. Hyundai builds the Sonata and Elantra in
Montgomery, Alabama, and shares a plant in West Point, Georgia, with Kia, which
recently celebrated the 100,000th Sorento rolling off that line.
Nissan and VW both have longstanding ties to Mexico, with plants in
Aguascalientes and Cuernavaca (Nissan) and Puebla (VW). Nissan assembles its
small cars like the Versa in Mexico and its larger truck and SUV lines in
Smyrna, Georgia. VW imports all its vehicles into the U.S., though it will be
opening a new plant in Tennessee.
Mercedes-Benz assembles its ML-, R- and G-Class vehicles in Vance, Alabama,
with a U.S./Canadian parts content of 62 percent, but both its engines and
transmissions are unsurprisingly sourced from Germany. BMW, meanwhile,
assembles its X-series SUVs in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with mostly German
Electric carmaker Tesla's bodywork is completed by Lotus in England, and
then shipped to California for assembly. It will jointly develop electric
cars with Toyota at the NUMMI plant in Northern California.
It's a little surprising that some excellent automotive products are born
of such a mix and muddle of production systems. But today's intertwined
global economy – and car market – ensures that no matter where it comes from,
today's cars mostly are built to high standards.
Otherwise, Americans wouldn't buy them.
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