Believe it or not, there is an idea that every American can get behind. While we can seem hopelessly politically divided, members of every party can endorse making American-made products that are purchased by Americans. No matter your political ideology or affiliation, we can all agree that American manufacturing is vitally important. If the US manufacturing sector was recognized as its own entity, it would possess the 9th largest economy in the world. The manufacturing sector has been shrinking in recent decades, and it’s incumbent on all Americans to revive the industry. The automotive industry can usher in the next generation of American manufacturing dominance.
It should come as no surprise that the American automotive industry plays a major role in the health of the economy. Auto Alliance has found that “The automotive industry spends nearly $100 billion globally on R&D – $18 billion per year in the U.S. alone – or an average of $1,200 for research and development per vehicle. In fact, the auto industry provides 16 percent of total worldwide R&D funding for all industries.” The industry generates not only innovation in the automotive sphere but supports research and development in a host of other industries.
The automotive industry is also vitally important in terms of job creation. Approximately 4.5 percent of all American jobs are supported by the automotive industry and the industry contributes 3-3.5 percent of the total gross domestic product. The manufacture and purchase of American-made vehicles makes a substantial impact on the economy.
While almost every American would prefer to purchase a domestically made product, the data proves otherwise. Recently, the venerated automotive magazine AutoCar looked at where the best selling vehicles in America were built. Below is the top 10:
10. Toyota Corolla – Cambridge, Canada; Blue Springs, Mississippi – 308,695 units sold
9. Honda Accord – Marysville, Ohio – 322,655 units sold
8. Honda Civic – Alliston, Canada; Greensburg, Indiana; Swindon, England – 377,286 units sold
7. Honda CR-V – East Liberty, Ohio; Greensburg, Indiana; Alliston, Canada – 377,895 units sold
6. Toyota Camry – Georgetown, Kentucky; Toyota City, Japan – 387,081 units sold
5. Nissan Rogue – Smyrna, Tennessee; Kanda Town, Japan –403,465 units sold
4. Toyota RAV4 – Tahara, Japan; Woodstock, Canada – 407,594 units sold
3. Ram pickup – Warren, Michigan; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Saltillo, Mexico – 500,723 units sold
2. Chevrolet Silverado – Silao, Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; Oshawa, Canada – 585,864 units sold
1. Ford F-Series – Kansas City, Missouri; Dearborn, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Avon Lake, Ohio – 896,764 units sold
As you can see from the list above, only two of the top ten American purchased vehicles are exclusively built in the United States. This is a troubling trend and one that can and needs to be quickly reversed. American automakers have increasingly produced reliable, affordable, and attractive vehicles. If American car buyers actively support and purchase American-made vehicles, we have found an issue that can help bridge the current divide.