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Top 10 Most Popular American Cars That are Actually Made Abroad

American made isn’t always the case.

Updated June 27, 2017

“Made in America” badge has always been important to domestic buyers and car industry was once a proud paragon of such practice. American automakers have gone through their ups and downs in recent decades and regardless of their importance to country’s economy, they’ve all reorganized their business models. By this, I mean to say they’ve all dislocated large percentages of their production capacities abroad. This practice has become so expeditious in fact, that there were only 8 cars considered made in America for 2016. Kogod School of Business, however, has a different formula for determining car’s impact on American economy. According to their research, things aren’t that grim, but they certainly aren’t that hunky dory either. Whether they’re only assembled or fully built abroad, domestic carmakers still market them as American made vehicles. Here are 10 of the most popular and best sold “American made cars” that aren’t actually made here.

Chrysler 300

Chrysler 300 has lost its early to mid two thousands sales momentum, but it’s still one of the favorites among American buyers. At least among those willing to buy a hulking American full-size muscle sedan. Except, Chrysler 300 isn’t all that American any more. It’s actually assembled in Canada. Brampton, Ontario to be more precise. This means 53,241 2016 Chrysler 300 owners didn’t really get the “Made in America” deal they thought they did.

Chrysler Pacifica

Pacifica has managed to outsell the 300 in its initial year in the market, but not by much. With 62,366 Chrysler’s new minivans circling the American streets, Pacifica prides itself with being 81st vehicle by volume sales in the US. Of course, Pacifica too is assembled in Canada. In minivan specialists Windsor, Ontario plant to be more precise.

Dodge Challenger

Challenger is being produced at the Brampton assembly alongside already mentioned Chrysler 300 and its 4-door sibling Charger. With 64,433 Challengers sold the last model year, Mopar’s muscle car trails around 8,000 units behind the Camaro, and more than 40,000 units behind the Mustang. Still, with new models arriving soon, Dodge Challenger seriously threatens to change the muscle car sales picture in the future.

Dodge Charger

Speaking of Charger, full-size muscle sedan from Brampton, Ontario found 95,437 new owners last year. Being more practical than the Challenger (read available all-wheel drive, 4 doors, more space), Charger outsells the 2-door muscle car by some margin. So much in fact that there were 21 spots between them. Challenger is 79th overall, while Charger takes 58th position among all vehicles sold in the US for 2016.

Jeep Renegade

Stylish new petite crossover has quickly become Jeep’s best selling vehicle overall. Last year, 106,605 Americans decided to domesticate this delicate animal. Quite a leap compared to 60.946 units sold in 2015. Like many FCA’s vehicles, however, Jeep Renegade too is built abroad. This one is being assembled in Melfi, Italy, but quenching the global market’s thirst required two additional plants – one in Brazil, and one in China.

Ford Edge

Ford Edge is yet another Canadian-manufactured American badge highly popular in the US. Blue Oval moved 134,588 of these crossovers last model year. Enough to justify Oakville, Ontario assembly’s facilities after discontinuing the oddball Ford Flex. Because around 4,000 Lincoln MKT’s and 30,000 MKX’s wouldn’t have been enough.

Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain

Chevrolet sold 242,195 Equinoxes last year which makes the mid-size crossover 15th most popular vehicle in the US. Add to that 87,925 GMC Terrains – Equinox’s mechanical twin – and GM’s soon to be compact crossover earns itself a top 10 spot. Of course, they’re both made in Canada. Terrain in Ingersoll, Ontarion, and Equinox in both Ingersoll and Oshawa, Ontario.

Ford Fusion

Fusion falls short competing with Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, but it’s still the best-sold American mid-size sedan. Except, as of last year, all Fusions are manufactured in Hermosillo, Mexico, leaving Flat Rock, Michigan Assembly Plant with only Mustang and the upcoming Lincoln Continental. Ford sold 265,840 Fusions last year which is 11.4% drop compared to the 300,170 models from 2015.

Ram 1500

Top three American customer’s picks are full-size pickup trucks. Nothing surprising there. Ram 1500 has recorded a healthy 8.4% growth in sales compared to the last year, and at third spot, pushed 489,418 units in 2016. And, while many of them are actually built in Warren, Michigan, all Regular Cab and large chunk of Crew Cab models are being built in Saltillo, Mexico.

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra

With number one spot of the most popular American vehicles traditionally belonging to Kansas City and Dearborn-made Ford F-150, number two (or should I say numero dos) spot goes to Chevrolet Silverado and its mechanical twin GMC Sierra. 574,876 Silverados and 221,680 Sierras sold last year have mostly been manufactured in America – that’s true. However, popular Crew Cab model’s production had to be transferred to Silao, Mexico in order to accommodate the growing demand.


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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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