The phrase “Made in America” may conjure up different things for different people, but a Toyota is not usually one of them. However, most Japanese cars in the United States are made here.
Big Three of Japan have plants in North America
Bemoaning the collapse of American manufacturing has become a national pastime. Plenty of products still bear the label “Made In America,” but there are some that might seem surprising — a Toyota Corolla, for instance. Toyota celebrated the opening of its plant in Blue Springs, Miss., in November, 2011, according to the press release on Toyota’s website. The plant will make about 150,000 of the mid-size cars per year, employing about 2,000 people.
In fact, according to AutoBlog, the Big Three of Japanese automakers — Honda, Toyota and Nissan — had 29 manufacturing plants in North America as of 2010, employing more than 400,000 people, according to a report by the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association released in 2011.
Good chance a car is not imported
The JAMA also reported, according to USA Today, that 68 percent of all cars in America by a Japanese brand are made in North America. If a person buys a Honda, according to the New York Times, there’s an 80 percent chance their car was made at a North American Honda plant. Honda only imports some of its hybrid models.
Japanese automakers also, according to the Wall Street Journal, import fewer parts for certain models than American automakers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in 2009 that 80 percent of the parts in the Toyota Sequoia SUV were made in North America, compared to 66 percent of the Jeep Patriot. The NHTSA also found that the car with the highest concentration of American-made parts was the now-discontinued Ford Crown Victoria at 90 percent. Some cars by American companies aren’t made here at all. The Pontiac G8, for instance, was imported from Australia.
German automakers make a lot of cars in America too. According to the Spartanburg Herald Journal on GoUpstate.com, the BMW plant in Spartanburg, S.C., made more than 270,000 cars in 2011, of which 70 percent were exported. The plant makes the X series of SUVs.
Mercedes, according to InAutoNews.com, produced about 143,000 cars at its plant in Vance, Ala. Mercedes plans to expand that to 185,900 this year.
Volkswagen started producing cars in America in 1978, according to MSNBC, when it launched a plant in Westmoreland, Pa. That plant is now defunct, but VW recently returned, having recently opened a new facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/12/seven-of-out-10-japanese-cars-made-in-the-usa/1″