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Old 07-07-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
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Toyota: The Most American Car Company

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CHICAGO, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Fourth of July just around the corner, Cars.com has announced the rankings in its annual American-Made Index, which ranks the most-American vehicles based on percentage (by cost) of their parts that are made domestically, where they're built and how popular they are among U.S. buyers. This year, the Toyota Camry shot to the top of the list, dethroning the five-time winner, the Ford F-150.

In addition to grabbing the No. 1 rank, Toyota sees its Sienna (No. 6), Tundra (No. 7) and Venza (No. 10) also make their way onto the list, lifting the Japanese automaker's count above all other manufacturers. This year, Detroit automakers claimed five of the 10 spots, a record low on Cars.com's index.

"This year was unique for our index, to say the least," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com editor in chief. "The difficult sales environment and changes in cars' domestic-parts content -- both important factors in our index's equation -- played a huge role in how the rankings changed from last year."

In keeping with American-Made Index methodology, Cars.com excluded any models scheduled to be discontinued without a clear successor. That carried stronger implications this year, as most Pontiac models - including the G6, a longtime index mainstay - became ineligible. Another GM mainstay, the Ohio-built Chevrolet Cobalt, saw its domestic-parts content rating drop significantly, ending its three-year run on the list.

General Motors still takes three slots, with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups showing strong domestic-parts content ratings. The popular Chevrolet Malibu ranked third, thanks in part to its 80 percent domestic-parts content and steady sales.

The Alabama-built Honda Odyssey increased slightly in domestic-parts content, up to 80 percent this year, which played a large role in its elevation to the No. 4 spot. Another newcomer, the Ford Taurus, boasts an impressive 90 percent domestic-parts content, the highest of any vehicle on the list.

"In today's global economy, there's not an easy way to determine just how American a car is," Olsen said. "Most cars built in the U.S., for example, are assembled using at least some parts that come from somewhere else. Cars.com's American-Made Index helps consumers identify the most-American vehicles based on production location, percentage of domestic-parts content, and American sales volume for each vehicle."

About the American-Made Index

The Cars.com American-Made Index is an annual ranking of vehicles deemed most American based on American production, percentage of domestic parts and American sales volume.

Domestic-parts content is based on data that appears alongside the window sticker of new cars as a result of the American Automobile Labeling Act, enacted in 1994. The AALA mandates that virtually every new car display the percentage, by cost, of its parts that originated in the U.S. and Canada. Only those vehicles with a domestic-parts content rating of 75 percent or higher are eligible for the American-Made Index.

For more information about the American-Made Index, visit Cars.com.

About Cars.com

Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.

Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).
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Rank Make/Model U.S. Assembly Rank in July 2008
Location(s)*

1. Toyota Camry** Georgetown, Ky.; --
Lafayette, Ind.
2. Ford F-150 Dearborn, Mich.; 1
Claycomo, Mo.
3. Chevrolet Malibu*** Kansas City, Kan. 3
4. Honda Odyssey Lincoln, Ala. 7
5. Chevrolet Silverado Ford Wayne, Ind. 8
1500***
6. Toyota Sienna Princeton, Ind. 6
7. Toyota Tundra San Antonio 5
8. GMC Sierra 1500*** Fort Wayne, Ind. --
9. Ford Taurus Chicago --
10. Toyota Venza Georgetown, Ky. --

*Excludes assembly plants suspended or scheduled for shutdown: Pontiac,
Mich. (Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra) and Orion Township, Mich.
(Chevrolet Malibu)
**Excludes Camry Hybrid and Camry Solara.
***Excludes hybrid models, which are broken out separately - or, in the
case of the Malibu Hybrid, suspended for consumer sales.
Sources: Automaker data, Automotive News, dealership data, National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
......


http://www.businessinsider.com...009-7

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A new study from Cars.com sheds light on the absurdity of thinking cars have a "nationality."
When you consider that even a post-bailout GM will expand its use of foreign labor, it shouldn't be that hard to understand how an "American" car isn't really so, just because its maker was founded in Detroit.

And more generally, there seems to be little reason to think that American cars are really more American in any metrics that matter: Namely, labor and parts inputs.

According to the new survey, the most American car in America is the Toyota Camry, containing the highest percentage of American inputs, even surpassing the Ford F-150. Actually, Toyota utterly dominates the top 10 list, with a Honda thrown in for good measure.

Now some might object to this, saying that even though these cars are "made-in-America", the value still flows overseas, but really, even that's not right. Toyota still pays taxes in America. Its stock is traded in the US, and is no doubt owned by individual retail accounts and mutual funds.

If you insist on coming up with some definition of "American" that limits that moniker to the Big Three, we suppose it's this: Only Chrysler, Ford and GM have the political clout to win a bailout if needed. We really can't imagine Toyota or Honda receiving so much political support. Of course, this is a circular definition that still doesn't say much, but it's the best you can do.

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:21 AM   #2
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I believe that the Tacoma and Corolla (and may be the Venza) are also made in the Nummi factory in Fremont here in NorCal.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:54 AM   #3
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Yes Tacoma and Corolla are...or Tacoma was stopped for a while last i heard from one of my friends working at Nummi...

But Venza? Thats new to me~
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:16 AM   #4
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This isn't just about what is built in America. It factors in everything. And when everything is factored, the Camry is the most American car even over the Ford F-150.

Fact is, many dozens of foreign branded cars are built in the US even BMW's and Benz's.

But Toyota designs for the American market, pays lots of taxes here, employs 10's of thousands, produces parts here, ect... No one can continue to boycott Toyota, for example, simply because everything benefits Japan. It's just not true. Many of their models benefit America's economy more than Japan's.

And many of those "American" cars people buy are built in Mexico and Canada.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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Toyota's a big employer down here in San Antonio!

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX)

Toyota is proud of its new $1.3 billion vehicle assembly plant in San Antonio. Along with its onsite suppliers, TMMTX manufactures the Tundra full-size pickup.*

Established:
2003

Current Investment:
$1.3 billion

Employment:
1,850

Address:
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
One Lone Star Pass
San Antonio, TX 78264
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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I used to hear guys around the Harley shops talking about the virtues of their all American bikes vs. the "Jap crap." My 1985 FLTC had a Japanese built fork on the front end, and the carburetor and starter at least were Japanese as well. I'm sure a whole lot more than that was imported.

Seems to me like it was around 1979-80 that G.M. started selling a Toyota made car as a Chevy Nova. Bet it came with the sticker under the hood that said "Keep your G.M. car all G.M. Use only genuine G.M. parts."

Personally, I'm happy that the four Toyotas I've bought, an Echo and three Yarises, all came with stickers in the window showing that they contained 0% U.S. or Canadian made parts. If you're going to buy a Japanese car, you might as well get a Japanese made one.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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Toyota sets the benchmark for manufacturing excellence and has been training Americans in how to design and make durable goods.

One of the guys who used to run a small business unit where I work got majorly promoted, to the Director of a gigantic department that will improve efficiency. One of his favorite sayings is, "At Toyota they come to work saying, 'how can I do better today than yesterday?". Hope to give him a hand as he makes it work.

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Old 07-08-2009, 10:10 PM   #8
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Doesn't each company pay their corporate taxes in their home country, though? So Toyota profits go to Japan, and USA car company profits stay here.

I believe this point has been overlooked in the discussion -- it's a lot of money and at least worth a mention.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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I don't care what argument you have for it, Toyota will never be the "most american car company" IMO.

That's not a knock on Toyota's quality or commitment to US buyers, it's just a simple fact in my eyes.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tuckevalastin View Post
I don't care what argument you have for it, Toyota will never be the "most american car company" IMO.

That's not a knock on Toyota's quality or commitment to US buyers, it's just a simple fact in my eyes.
What if GM, Chrysler, or even Ford were to go out of business completely?

Then, you'd have no choice but agree that Toyota was the most American.

Really, Ford is the only one that is currently safe from extinction.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
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An interesting report. Surreal as it is, I can see their point. Global markets are strange critters indeed.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:45 PM   #12
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Ford is no where near safe from extinction...

Even if all of them went out of business there would still be brands like Tesla, Detroit Electric, Saleen, Cunningham... etc, etc that will all still be more American.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cali yaris View Post
Doesn't each company pay their corporate taxes in their home country, though? So Toyota profits go to Japan, and USA car company profits stay here.

I believe this point has been overlooked in the discussion -- it's a lot of money and at least worth a mention.
I can't imagine that Toyota doesn't pay huge American taxes as well.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:56 AM   #14
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I agree with Hilton on this one. I'm glad that my car was made in Japan.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cali yaris View Post
Doesn't each company pay their corporate taxes in their home country, though? So Toyota profits go to Japan, and USA car company profits stay here.

I believe this point has been overlooked in the discussion -- it's a lot of money and at least worth a mention.
Toyota pays the same American taxes as any other company that builds in the US. Although the tax rates vary depending on state, it isn't a situation where foreign branded companies don't pay taxes. There is a reason why the foreign branded factories are in southern states though - lower taxes than Michigan!

Just remember, it doesn't matter your country of origin, if you're manufacturing in the US, you operate under all of the same rules as the American branded companies.

The big cost difference is that the foreign brands are building cars without unions and in job friendly non-liberal states where state taxes are lower.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tuckevalastin View Post
Ford is no where near safe from extinction...
Immune from collapse? No. But currently things are looking really good for Ford as their market share is increasing each month. And as Chrysler and GM continually looks worse, that's more share for Ford. Ford isn't going anywhere.

Here's an interesting note, the Fusion this past month, sold more than the entire Chrysler linup! And the Fusion isn't even the best selling Ford.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GeneW View Post
Toyota sets the benchmark for manufacturing excellence and has been training Americans in how to design and make durable goods.

One of the guys who used to run a small business unit where I work got majorly promoted, to the Director of a gigantic department that will improve efficiency. One of his favorite sayings is, "At Toyota they come to work saying, 'how can I do better today than yesterday?". Hope to give him a hand as he makes it work.

Gene
Gene

Whereas I wouldn't disagree that Toyota has done an excellent job at it, I think the "benchmark" was set by Honda; who built the first Japanese car plant in America (Marysville, Ohio) which started production in November 1982. It currently produces four models (it is the sole global source of the Honda Accord Coupe, the Acura TL and the Acura RDX, while also building more than 90% of the Honda Accord Sedans sold in America) and employs over 5000 individuals who built 440,000 vehicles every year.

The neighboring Honda motorcycle plant was opened in September 1979 and has built more than 1 million motorcycles (Honda GoldWings). It employs an additional 300 people.

Cheers! M2
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #18
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Ford is in no better shape than GM. The only difference between the two is that Ford was able to get money from sources other than the government a few years back (although they have now started taking government loans too). Both companies are in pretty equal debt and both are losing money. In fact you could argue that GM will be in better shape because their bankruptcy will help them lose their bad assets. Once GM arises from bankruptcy and Ford finishes selling/killing its unwanted brands (Mercury and Volvo) GM and Ford will be very similar companies with GM still likely the sales leader among the two.

Chrysler remains plagued with bad ownership...
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