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    by: Craig Howie | AOL Autos
     

    Jim Kosobucki knows better than most that consumers increasingly are looking to buy an American car. He says the used lot at his South Florida Buick-GMC dealership is “full” of Audis, Acuras, Infinitis and Toyotas that his customers have traded in for a GM vehicle.

    “In South Florida, it’s a very foreign-car market. Lexus, BMW and Audi do very well. But in the past couple of years we have had more of a type of person looking to go back to an American car,” he says. “Most people know that a General Motors car is an American-made car.”

    Although GM has not specifically pushed its Buick flagship brand as “American Made” -- unlike, say, Dodge or Jeep’s patriotically themed marketing -- it’s clear that customers are increasingly taking an interest in where their vehicles are built.

    Looking For An American Made Vehicle

    According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, some 41 percent of car buyers said they look for an American-built car first when shopping for automobiles. That’s equivalent to the 41 percent of respondents to the same poll that said they look for the best possible deal regardless of where the car is manufactured. Just 12 percent of buyers prefer foreign-built cars, according to Rasmussen.

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    Those numbers have changed since June 2008, when 51 percent of Rasmussen respondents said finding the best deal was their top priority and just 32 percent placed more importance on “buying American.”

    And while AOL Autos has previously found it’s impossible to buy a 100-percent American-built car, there are some consumer advocates that are trying to help buyers make up their mind about how best to support domestic car companies and the U.S. economy, in this midst of this grinding recession.

    Ownership Matters

    Roger Simmermaker, the author of “How Americans Can Buy American,” told AOL Autos that to buy an American car, “consumers need to consider more than just buying one made in the U.S.A. To truly buy American, we need to buy an American-made car from an American-owned company -- GM, Ford or Chrysler -- with a high domestic parts-content.

    “The ownership of a company matters because American companies have more factories in America, pay more taxes to America, get more of their parts from America, and support more workers, retirees and their dependents in America,” he says.

    He points out that GM and Ford source nearly 70 percent of their parts from domestic sources while Toyota and Nissan only get 35 percent and 30 percent of their parts from America, respectively. He also notes that foreign-owned companies like Kia and VW also have received large tax incentives from the U.S. government for building plants in the United States.

    Using Social Networking

    Mike Beckham devotes a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34893538196 to buying American cars, and has built a base of 4,000 followers on the page he started in 2008 with two university colleagues from Cleveland, Ohio. Driven by his love for American cars, Beckham said U.S. car companies have fallen victim to “bad press.”

    “American car companies are building more fuel efficient, safe, and reliable cars than ever before,” he says.

    According to Beckham, the most American product currently on the market is the Ford Escape, which has a 90-pecent domestic parts content and is assembled in Kansas City, Mo.

    According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2009, the domestic-parts-content for the Ford Taurus is also 90 percent, the Lincoln MKS comes in at 85 percent, the Buick Lucerne touts 81 percent, and the Chevrolet Malibu gets 80 percent of its parts from domestic sources.

    Brian Grewe, an electrical engineering student in Northville, Mich., also uses Facebook to urge consumers to buy a car from American manufacturers. Grewe said he has fixed up and tinkered with American-made cars for as long as he can remember, and his dedication to Detroit comes from witnessing first-hand the recent turbulence in the domestic auto market.

    “It sometimes seems that the rest of the nation has a resentment to the American auto industry, maybe because of the bail-out or when they had quality issues,” he says. “As of the last few years, it’s more about politics. People will connect GM and Chrysler and Ford to politics more than quality of the cars.”

    Grewe pointed to GM’s Chevy Volt as evidence of American innovation while acknowledging it’s actually impossible to buy a purely American car. “It’s a global economy, there’s no way to avoid that. We’re mainly looking out for where most of the work is done and where the money is going,” he says.

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    1 - 20 of 366 Comments
    candacedwan@mail.com Feb 10, 2011 12:50 AM
    I would like to buy an American-made car and support an American neighbor's job. Who knows how American the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is?
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    joskrzyj Jan 13, 2011 5:50 AM
    YES I AM A PROUD OWNER OF US MADE FORDS NEVER OWNED A JAP CAR AND NEVER WILL I WISH YOU JAP CAR OWNERS COULD SEE WHAT THEY BRUTILY DID TO AMERICAN POW S I HOPE YOU SLEEP WELL A--HOLES SIGN ME ********** A PROUD AMERICAN COMBAT MARINE *************
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    joskrzyj Jan 13, 2011 5:39 AM
    SOME PEOPLE JUST DO NOT GET IT TOYOTAS AND HONDAS ARE ASSEMBLED IN THE USA THERE PARTS ARE SHIPPED HERE FOR ASSEMBLY SO THE JAPS DO NOT HAVE TO PAY IMPORT FEAS FOR ASSEMBLED CARS ITS THE MODERN JAP SNEAK ATTACK ON STUPID AMERICANS WHO FALLFOR THEIR CRAP ANYONE WHO DRIVES AJAP CAR IS A SLAP IN THE FACE TO THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE STILL ENTOMBED IN THE USS ARIZONA AT PEARL HARBOR.TWO BOMBS WERE NOT ENOUGH I KNOW I PERSONALLY PREVETED A FEW SLANT EYES FROM REPRODUCING
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    OldsVistaCruiser Jan 13, 2011 5:10 AM
    I have a 1992 Jeep Cherokee, which has just over 300,000 miles on it, built in ("holy") Toledo, Ohio. In its lifetime, it has had two recalls - the one I had to take care of was a minor improvement which added an interlock that requires that you step on the brake before shifting out of park. That Jeep runs beautifully on its original powertrain, but it is starting to rust out after 19 years. If Chrysler would bring back the XJ Cherokee (with the 4.0-liter inline six), I'd be back in the dealership in a heartbeat. On the other hand, my mom has a Canadian-built 1995 Ford Windstar parked in her driveway, as it would cost nearly $2200 to pass a Pennsylvania safety inspection. It has had 15 recalls, including several for major safety issues. It has 168,000 miles on it, and its second engine has blown a head gasket. It is also on its second transmission. For those asking about American-built cars, out of the four brands raced on NASCAR tracks, only one is American-built. Ford? No. Built in Mexico. Chevy or Dodge? No. Built in Canada. It's the Toyota, which is built in Georgetown, Kentucky. Every Honda Accord that has been built in the last 20 years (including those sold in Tokyo dealerships) has been built in Marysville, Ohio.
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    Latesleeper35 Jan 13, 2011 4:49 AM
    I am still po'd over a brand new 1974 Dodge station wagon that I bought and almost immediately became aware that it had been saboutaged by union workers on the assembly line who were not satisfied with their salaries. In my case, dirt had been poured in the radiator and an empty can placed in the door frame causing a rattle. It also stalled on left turns until the 4th repair when the entire carb was replaced. Thousands of other Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler purchasers suffered the same or similar fates. And who can forget that these cars came with those wonderful Firestone 500 tires which blew apart at highway speeds? I dare say that most Chrysler corporation car owners switched to foreign cars at the first opportunity and never went back to any American made car.
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    R Jan 13, 2011 3:01 AM
    AMERICA IS ALMOST BANKRUPT TOYOTA THANKS YOU
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    781987674@facebook.aol Jan 13, 2011 1:04 AM
    If we had less full size SUV's with one lil punk gansta driving it on our roads polluting and more small sedans and coupes with singles or couples in them we would safe gas... Im sick of seeing all these big pick up trucks and SUV's that get 6 to 16 mpg while my V6 cargo van gets up to 18.25 combined with easy driving... I Also have a Subaru that gets over 30 Mpg combined if driven correctly. Avoid peek driving times 6 30 am to 9 30 am Also avoid 3 00 pm and 7 pm if not just take the most direct route off of the HWYS esp during bad weather. As far as cars go they all have thier flaws and good points. So you just have to make your best decision on what you buy and hope that Chevy Dodge or Toyota outlasts that same make model and year the Jonses bought 2 states away that drive the same mileage and take the same type of care for it.
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    781987674@facebook.aol Jan 13, 2011 12:59 AM
    Some american cars trucks jeeps and vans are good! Buy a Ford Cargo van or Transit van that will last you 200 to 500k if well maintained. The new Mercedes Sprinter van is great if you can afford to register the 42k which is easy to stand in if you are under 6'4. The Sprinter is an investment and will last 15 years. Chevy makes good offroad vehicles and have nice interiors and look good stay away from the cars smaller than the cobalt because of safety and poor styling...Ford makes some good cars such as the NEW fusion thier trucks might be popular and solid but they could do a better job in the interior department. Dodge makes a great looking Ram Truck solid interior great handling and just a rugged truck with great styling in and out! DO your research and pick what you like and stay away from Minivans made by Mopar Honda and Toyota unless you want to be avoided on the road or mistaken as a photo enforcement officer. Minivans especially the older ones are a major eyesore and distraction. Honda Subaru now Koreans make decent cars. Do your research and try to find cars that good fuel economy that are Safe look good and are reliable.
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    EVI Jan 13, 2011 12:57 AM
    Love my 7 yr old Ford Explorer. 60K + miles... not even a hint of problems My next car,, another FORD!!!! Amwrican made, American loved!
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    Die6Ln Jan 13, 2011 12:18 AM
    Buy American as if YOUR JOB here depended on it. The thing that completely makes me want to puke, is WHY couldn't this happen a few years ago, when Olds, Pontiac Plymouth, and even Saturn (who started to FINALLY build some halfway decent looking cars), were still around. I have Olds and Pontiacs. A lot of the world's cars from elsewhere picked up on nice accessories that we offered in our cars and trucks. We used to be leaders. To American Manufacturers, you really need to correct these flubs in your vehicles : GET RID of PLASTIC HEADLIGHT LENSES!!! They're SH*T and you know it! Go back to glass plug-ins and yes you can offer them with Xenon or Halogen. I don't need a pair of yellowed hunks of crap in funky shapes (which SHOULD BE CLEAR) on the front of my car that light up. Spend TIME DESIGNING pleasing asthetics of your carbodies, not just used soap-bars. Humpy-roofed sedans with spoilers is NOT Super-Cool! Taillights DON'T NEED to have the over-used Cliche round-light-ups and overlapping round buttons. Round is alright, but don't just make drab buttons, or weird fish-eyes, like the older, 2003 Impala had. or Oddly offset like the Cobalt coupe. (BLECHH!) And do we need clear lenses over the Taillights? Likely made of the same crap covering the headlight bulbs! Manufacturers have gotten the folding hardtop to convertible down well, but why can't there be HARDTOPS. Safety?? Really? I'm sure that NO ONE gets killed in SEDANS where the doors can't be pried open before the wreck catches fire?!! Sedan roofs have been sheared off, too. Remember that a good part of safety depends on the nut behind the steering wheel. Gray interiors are fine for laundry trucks or work vehicles. Give us back COLOR, and Metallics in interiors. Bumpers of bright-work Aluminum- even just corner bumperettes would be an improvement, and hence the namesake, protect the corners. Or even just a simple blade bumper is an improvement. I don't dig huge chunks of hollow "skin" covering the front and back of the cars. They get holes and cracks and still cost more than a real bumper of steel! More Crap. Offer more exciting tires and wheels. Blackwalls are fine for ....(see the above commentary on gray interiors). DON'T hold your windows up straight using a tab in a rubber channel!!!! @#&%*#!!!! Improve these items I listed, and you will have improved!!
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    GodsOneCoolDude Jan 12, 2011 11:39 PM
    i havnt bought a foreighn car and i never will i have always had a chevy or gm product.I bought a new chevy colbalt in 2010 it runs great gets good milage only change the oil once a year or 8,000 miles.china already owns us keep buying that foreighn stuff. we will have china marts all over every corner.
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    Duster3401287 Jan 12, 2011 11:08 PM
    Just because a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc... is built in America DOES NOT mean it's American. Look at the domestic parts content. We just put THEIR cars together using parts shipped to us from THEM. Plus, the money YOU SPEND on a Toyota, Nissan, etc... is not going to the American Economy, it's going to the Japanese. I'd rather keep those jobs on the Assembly lines going, by buying an American car. Thank you very much!! BIG THREE FOREVER!!!
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    Acbobbyb Jan 12, 2011 11:05 PM
    I haven't bought an american car since I bought a 1957 chevy and I am not about to start buying them now. They are over priced and horribly built. The repair shops are filled with american pieces of crap. There is a reason why not many things are made in america. Wake up and smell the coffee.
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    Jmm1007 Jan 12, 2011 10:56 PM
    Hi, I'm all for buying an American car...but what's more American? A Toyota built in the US, or a Chevy built in Mexico? I try to buy American as much as possibie, but with cars, it seems that it is an amalgamation of countries around the world. I guess I try to find where the 'money trail' ends...I would like to think that for a Ford or GM car that the profits stay here...but are they going overseas to build new factories, and avoid one of the highest corporate tax bases in the world (i.e, in the US)? I just leased a Chevy Cruze...and love it. I did check the parts content (transmission made in Mexico, and even a few parts from Malaysia), ************ that the majority of the car parts were from the US. I'm glad to see the auto industry being more competitive with the imports...I hope that they can keep it up. Peace, John from Philly. ' '
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    Cattsar Jan 12, 2011 10:49 PM
    I have always bought American! I have a '99 Chrysler Sebring with 220,000 that I drive cross country twice a year~ with no problems!! BTW 30 mpg highway at 70 mph!! CATTSAR~ PSP
    Report This
    Gmhtv1 Jan 12, 2011 10:46 PM
    Will never buy an American car again...... Never......
    Report This
    RobDaBlogger1 Jan 12, 2011 10:45 PM
    Wait until the chinese flood the market with their $2000 POS vehicles. Just like all the other products, people will start buying them since it's cheap.
    Report This
    FBosco4785 Jan 12, 2011 9:56 PM
    I used to always own American name plate cars, As it turned out I spent more vacation days in the Ford repair shop. Plus after 8 recalls, I wised up and bought a Toyota made in America, my Ford was made in Mexico.All my Toyota,s went to the 200,000 mark, my Ford the engine went at 49,000 miles, Ford,s response WE CANNOT HELP YOU.Well guess what Ford, My whole family now only buy,s Toyota,s and we are very happy, Sorry Ford your sales are down I cannot help you. By the way I am a proud American and a union worker.
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    Mr Jan 12, 2011 9:40 PM
    IM for buying american made just bought a 2011 Toyota van made in america by american workers best car i have had to date. Looked at mexican Fords and chevys made in mexico with there chineese parts had to go with us built Toyota. The best thing about buying Toyota mine have all went 200,000 or more miles no problem.
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    Akapopeye2001 Jan 12, 2011 9:39 PM
    To all the "alleged" patriots that buy foreign cars, I suggest you look at yourself in the mirror again. I don't care how good you say they are or that they hold their value better than american cars. The american automobile has been on pretty much equal footing for years now. If you love this country as you say you do then "buy American" and if you don't then quit your hocking about the state this country is in cause you're a contributor to that condition. I realize there are foreign parts on/in almost everything and people like you caused that by selling out to cheap labor from a foreign country. Demand American products and support this country you say you love. Nuff said.
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