Made in the USA? Not these cars – USA TODAY
For the auto industry, made-in-the-U.S. means something much different these days.
Tension over the location of automotive assembly plants reignited after Ford Motor confirmed that it would shift all of its U.S. small-car manufacturing to Mexico. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also recently said it would cease U.S. small-car assembly. On the campaign trail, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said of the shift of auto jobs to Mexico, “We shouldn’t allow it to happen.”
Ford and Fiat Chrysler have been caught up in the ongoing political firestorm over the role of U.S. trade policy — and the North American Free Trade Agreement in particular — in encouraging auto companies to move production to lower-cost plants in Mexico.
To be sure, both Ford and Fiat Chrysler have invested billions in U.S. plants in recent years, largely to make bigger, more profitable vehicles that Americans are buying at higher rates.
Want to buy American? OK. But what does that even mean?
A Cars.com assessment this year determined that the Toyota Camry, assembled at plants in Kentucky and Indiana, is the most made-in-the-U.S. car you can buy. The Honda Accord was a close second.
Japanese automakers, in fact, have invested heavily in U.S. manufacturing plants in recent decades. If buying a car made in America is your goal, you can’t go wrong with a Camry or Accord.
Want to buy union? That’s another story. Only General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler operate unionized automotive assembly plants in the U.S. The Japanese, German and Korean automakers’ plants in the U.S. are not unionized. Tesla Motors, which assembles cars in California and batteries in Nevada, is not unionized, either.
No matter which manufacturer you select, buying a new car entirely made in the U.S. is, in fact, impossible.
Of the more than 450 vehicle models sold in the U.S. for the 2016 model-year, none was manufactured using parts made only in the U.S., according to American Automobile Labeling Act figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
No matter what vehicle you buy, you’re supporting the economy of a foreign country.
As it happens, there are more than 50 vehicle models with zero parts made in the U.S. or Canada — not a single one, according to the AALA figures.
Here’s the list. If you’re driving one of the following vehicles, your car is 100% imported.
- Audi: A3, A6 and S3.
- Honda: CR-Z.
- Kia Soul: EV.
- Mazda: 3, 6, CX-3, CX-5, CX-9, MX-5.
- Mercedes: B-Class E-CELL, C-Class Coupe, CLA-Class, CLS-Class, E-Class, Cabriolet/Coupe, G-Class, GLA-Class, GLC-Class, GT-Class, Metris van, S-Class, S-Class Coupe, SL-Class and SLK-Class.
- Smart: Fortwo and Fortwo EV.
- Mitsubishi: i-MiEV and Outlander.
- Infiniti: Q60, Q70, QX50, QX70 and QX80.
- Nissan: 370Z Coupe, GT-R, Juke and Quest.
- Subaru: BRZ, Forester, Impreza, WRX and XV Crosstrek.
- Lexus: GS F, LS 460, LS 600h, NX, RC, RC F.
- Scion: FR-S, IM, Mirai and tC.
- Toyota: 4Runner, Prius C, RAV4 hybrid and Yaris.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.