Are you considering buying a new vehicle? You are not alone, new car sales were higher in August than any time since the economic downturn began six years ago. With higher sales dealerships are having trouble keeping enough vehicles on their showroom floors. There are many things to consider before you buy; and one that gets a lot of attention is where the vehicle was manufactured. Was it made in the good ol’ USA?
Not too many years ago you really could tell a “book by it’s cover” or in the case of cars its origin by its brand. As our economy has become more global that has all changed.
Domestic manufacturers are buying more and more from overseas and traditionally foreign manufacturers. Even Ford and General Motors have looked outside our country for less expensive parts and even for the assembly. Our domestic automakers are less and less American in their parts composition and are often put together overseas too. On the flip side some of the foreign automakers have increased their investment in US manufacturing facilities and parts. So, what does that mean for the value conscious, but committed to America vehicle purchaser? It is flat out hard to distinguish how American Made your new vehicle might be.
The three main things to consider if buying an American Made vehicle is important to you are:
1. Where is the assembly plant?
Assembly plants located right here in the USA create thousands of jobs and huge amounts of money to be invested locally.
2. What percentage of parts are made in the United States?
Parts production creates jobs and the monetary investment is substantial.
3. Where does the profit go, not just what country the parent manufacturer is located, but also where do they invest the profit?
This can be the hardest factor to figure out. You cannot assume that all the profit from a foreign company leaves the United States as some of the foreign brands aggressively reinvest profit right here in the United States.
Sounds daunting, huh? Whether it’s a traditionally domestic or foreign brand they are all mixed up these days and there have been big changes over the last two years. Half of the vehicles in last year’s American Made Index did not make it back onto this year’s list. Every vehicle on the list has at least 75% of its parts made in the US and its final assembly is at a US plant. The F150 is back as number one bumping the long reigning Toyota Camry down a slot. It’s still a 50/50 split between traditionally American automakers and their overseas counterparts.
So, how do you figure it all out? Labeling through the AALA American Automobile Labeling Act can help a little as you navigate this maze and there are some secrets in your vehicle identification number that can help too. You can also check out the American Made Index list of the most American Made vehicles for this year.
The Toyota Camry leads the list again this year. Keep in mind that manufacturers sometimes make the same vehicle at different locations, so if is an important factor for you check on the specific vehicle you are buying.
When selecting a new or used vehicle always keep in mind the way you are going to use and how long you plan to keep it. To read more tips on selecting the vehicle that is perfect for you just visit www.ThatCarLady.com.
Wishing you miles and miles of happy driving,
Listen to That Car Lady, Lynn Beckwith, on KPRC 950 am every Saturday morning from 6am to 8am on The Car Counselor Show. You can reach her during the week at Beckwith’s Car Care on FM 1960 in Humble. Lynn has been helping her customers in Kingwood, Atascocita and Humble drive safe and dependable vehicles for more than 25 years.