Myth Busting: Made in America – Foreign Vehicles Made in the USA
Many fleets lean towards American manufacturers like Ford and General Motors when assessing which vehicles to procure. The “Buy American” mantra holds a lot of weight in our country, as many companies want to support the U.S. economy.
However, what numerous fleets don’t realize is that some of the most popular vehicles from foreign automakers are built by American workers. In contrast, some “American” vehicles are produced outside of the United States. In this article, we will take a look at some of those vehicles, many of which may surprise you.
Toyota Camry & Tundra
One of the best-selling sedans of all time, the Toyota Camry, has been the flagship vehicle for the Japanese automaker for decades. It’s also a homerun amongst fleets looking for an affordable and reliable option for their drivers. However, you may be surprised to learn that the Camry is also manufactured in America. As of 2012, Toyota ceased importing the vehicle from their Tsutsumi plant in Japan to produce all Camrys for the U.S. market in Georgetown, KY. This plant also manufactures the hybrid iteration of the vehicle.
Moreover, it isn’t just sedans being made in the U.S., the Toyota Tundra is the only full-size truck to make Cars.com’s “American-Made list.” Toyota has been manufacturing the Tundra from their San Antonio factory since 2006. According to a Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota is responsible for 1 in every 200 jobs in Texas.
Subaru Outback, Impreza, & Ascent
An incredibly popular vehicle for fleets with drivers in colder climates, Subaru is another Japanese auto manufacturer with deep U.S. ties. In fact, 3 of the most popular models for the North American market, the Outback, Impreza, and Ascent, are all made in Lafayette, IN, at the Subaru of Indiana’s assembly plant. The plant is Subaru’s only non-Japan-based facility and is responsible for 35% of the manufacturer’s global output.
Mercedes GLS, GLE, & C-Class
When you think of Mercedes-Benz, German craftsmanship might be the first thing that comes to your mind. Even if you drive specific Mercedes models, you might not realize that your vehicle is actually manufactured in Tuscaloosa, AL. The German giant produces the GLS, GLE, and C-Class models, for the American market, at this plant. Mercedes has been manufacturing vehicles in the U.S. since 1995 and employs nearly 3,700 US workers.
Volkswagen Passat & Atlas
Formally inaugurated in 2011, Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN, assembly plant is the home of the Atlas (since 2016), the Atlas Cross Sport (since 2018), and the ID.4 (starting in 2023). Although Chattanooga is the German automaker’s only U.S. plant, rumors are circulating that the company is considering a second U.S. production facility, increasing production capacity to over 600,000 vehicles annually. The current Chattanooga facility employs approximately 3,800 workers.
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