10 'most American' cars

Here were some sales flops by Ford of cars made in England and sold through Ford agencies:

  1. Ford Prefect–mid 1950’s
  2. Ford Cortina–mid 1960’s (Ford called this car their Model C)
  3. Ford Fiesta–circa 1978

I always thought one was out with three strikes. Apparently, however, we are now going into extra innings.

Wow, Mike, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

Ford alone has more engineers in product development than Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have white collar workers (of all types) combined. That isn’t supposed to matter?

And do Ford and GM have R&D overseas? Yep. Both also have the majority of their business overseas, but have the majority of those jobs in the US. Toyota gets over 30% of its business from the US, but only 5% of their engineers are based in the US.

Ignoring white collar jobs is only being an apologist for those companies that simply don’t provide them in any significant numbers.

The first two weren’t sold in the US, and the third was designed and built in Germany (Ford also built them in the UK and Spain, but all those imported to the US were made in Germany)

Wow, Mike, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.










To Quote Ross Perot “I can hear the sucking sound!”

The Buick Regal will be assembled at the Oshawa, Ontario plant for the North American market, which is not nearly so far away. Parts could easily be manufactured in the USA for this car. It’s close to Buffalo.


Do you not understand that Ford and GM also sell a lot of cars overseas?

Do we have a right to jobs supporting cars sold overseas? Not in my book - we only have a right to claim the # of jobs in proportion to the sales in the US.

Ford currently has about 78,000 employees in North America. If you take out all the employees in Canadian and Mexican plants (13,695), that still leaves 64,305 employees. If you take out all the workers in US plants (40,660), that still leaves 23,645 workers, most of them white-collar… over 8,000 are engineers in Michigan alone.

Overall, Ford has 176,783 employees worldwide, according to their website. That means 36% of their employees are in the US. Last year Ford sold 1,682,323 vehicles in the US, and 4,817,000 worldwide (rounded to nearest thousand in annual report). That’s 34.9% of worldwide sales coming from the US… meaning Ford’s employee base in the US is almost perfectly aligned with their sales from the US.

How does Toyota compare?

They have 28,783 employees in the US, about 2000 of which are engineers (mostly mid-lower level, as VERY little advanced R&D is done in the US - they just started hiring their first PhDs). They have 320,808 employees worldwide. In Toyota’s 09-10 fiscal year they sold 7,237,162 vehicles worldwide. They had 1,796,163 sales in the US. That’s 24.8% of worldwide sales but 9.0% of employees in the US.

Now, when Ford has nearly as many white-collar employees in the US as Toyota has employees total, while Toyota sells more vehicles in the US… and Ford has approximately the same % of their workforce based in the US as they have % of their sales from the US… and Toyota has a small fraction of the % of their employee base in the US relative to their sales % from the US…

You tell me which one is doing the better job at employing Americans.

The fact that Ford and GM have facilities in other countries is immaterial so long as they keep their employee base weighted in the US appropriately. They sell MANY vehicles overseas, and those countries that buy them deserve jobs, too.

Complaining that they have development facilities in other countries while refusing to acknowledge that Toyota/Honda/Nissan severely underweight their US employment relative to their sales, a problem that is NOT happening at GM or Ford, is simply ignorant.

The parents of a high school classmate had a Ford Prefect and it was purchased in this country. There was a 2 door version available called the Anglica. Consumer Reports tested a group of imported cars back in the late 1950’s and the Prefect was one of these cars. This was Ford’s answer to the Vauxhall sold by Pontiac dealers and the Opel sold by Buick dealers in the late 1950’s.

The Cortina was advertised in magazines in this country. The car was sold here, but not for very long.

I may be wrong about the country of origin of the Ford Fiesta.

No you don’t understand…GM and Ford worker base in the US is shrinking…sorry but it’s a FACT…and has been for the past 20 years…Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Nyundai are GROWING…Sorry but that’s also a fact…

Complaining that they have development facilities in other countries while refusing to acknowledge that Toyota/Honda/Nissan severely underweight their US employment relative to their sales, a problem that is NOT happening at GM or Ford, is simply ignorant.

YES THEY ARE…Sorry…but GM and Ford do NOT disclose the number of jobs that are outsourced to other countries…You want to keep waving the flag…GREAT…But then there’s reality.

Has the number of people employed by GM and Ford decreased in the past few decades? Yes, without question. But so has their market share. If you combine that with productivity improvements, then it is simply mindbogglingly ignorant to think that GM should still be employing 600,000+ Americans, like they did in 1979, when they had around 45% of the US market, compared to around 19% today. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai had VERY little market share back in 1979, so of course they had to grow! They had nowhere to go but UP! And they didn’t come in using factories that were mostly manual labor - they came in with automated factories, so they haven’t seen the loss of jobs from productivity improvements as the domestic makers have. Should GM have insisted on using all that manual labor rather than automating? NO!

You’re simply being blind, Mike - these companies DO disclose where their jobs are.

Total Worldwide employment at Ford: 176,783 (http://www.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2009-10/society-data-engagement#c)
North American employment at Ford: 78,000 (http://www.ford.com/about-ford/investor-relations/company-reports/financial-results - do not forget to add Financial Services in).
Canadian and Mexican employment at Ford: 13,695 (http://www.ford.com/about-ford/company-information/operations-map)

So US employment ~= 78,000 - 13,695 = 64,305
% of total Ford employment = 64,305/176,783 = 36%

Sorry, but apologizing for Toyota, who has 9% of their employees and 25% of their sales in the US, but attacking Ford/GM, who both have a % of their employee base approximately equal to the % of their sales that come from the US, simply doesn’t fly. You blame one company for scaling its employment to what its sales are, but praise another for falling WELL short of that same goal? Ridiculous.

The only defense you could have would be if the % domestic content was somehow lower… but it isn’t, as I’ll show you:

“They played a role…but NOT a big role…”

I disagree. The UAW was a large part of the problem because they were, and still are, the biggest difference in cost. They earn higher wages, have more benefits, and have significantly padded the employment rolls over the years so that the union management can get re-elected. That’s how it worked in the steel mill I used to work in and I’m sure it’s the same in almost all strong union shops. We weren’t unique among steel mills or unionized industries; just part of the crowd in that respect. The shop stewards and higher local leaders got elected by promising to fight any and all grievances no matter how small or petty. They got re-elected by continuing to do so.


“New Buick Regal Sedan to be Built in Canada from 2011, Until Then it Will be ‘Made in Germany’.”

Ford’s sales through May of this year of non-discontinued models, along with domestic content %:
(http://www.ford.com/about-ford/news-announcements/press-releases/press-releases-detail/pr-ford26rsquos-us-may-sales-up-23-32695 & http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA)+Reports)

Focus: 74,635 -> 90%
Fusion: 92,763 -> 25%
Taurus: 29,760 -> 65%
Mustang: 31,061 -> 60%
Crown Vic: 15,413 -> 90%
Escape: 83,440 -> 90%
Edge: 47,854 -> 65%
Flex: 16,453 -> 60%
Explorer: 25,164 -> 90%
Expedition: 14,369 -> 50%
F-series: 193,843 -> 55%
Ranger: 24,165 -> 90%
Econoline: 45,516 -> 90%
Transit Connect: 8,879 -> 15%
MKZ: 9,414 -> 25%
MKS: 6,620 -> 60%
Town Car: 5,481 -> 90%
MKX: 8,983 -> 65%
MKT: 3,440 -> 65%
Navigator: 3,506 -> 50%
Milan: 14,236 -> 25%
Grand Marquis: 12,943 -> 90%
Mariner: 11,997 -> 90%
Mountaineer: 2,467 -> 85%

Now, if you multiply the sales for each model by the % domestic content, add up all those values, and divide by the total sales number, you’ll get a weighted average domestic content…

Ford sales weighted average domestic content: 65%.

Now on to Toyota…

Toyota sales through May of this year of non-discontinued models, along with domestic content %:
(http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota-reports-may-sales-159466.aspx & http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA)+Reports)

Yaris: 20,577 -> 0%
Corolla: 118,625 -> 50%
Camry: 125,804 -> 75%
Venza: 21,684 -> 80%
Avalon: 10,641 -> 80%
Prius: 55,041 -> 0%
xB: 8,077 -> 0%
tC: 5,325 -> 0%
xD: 3,860 -> 0%
ES: 18,643 -> 5%
HS: 5,889 -> 0%
LS: 4,911 -> 0%
GS: 2,947 -> 5%
IS: 13,279 -> 5%
Sienna: 33,744 -> 85%
Rav4: 68,427 -> 25%
FJ Cruiser: 6,240 -> 5%
4Runner: 18,527 -> 0%
Highlander: 33,763 -> 5%
Land Cruiser: 772 -> 5%
Sequoia: 4,586 -> 75%
Tacoma: 42,550 -> 50%
Tundra: 80,147 -> 80%
LX: 1,324 -> 0%
GX: 6,946 -> 0%
RX: 36,012 -> 55%

Toyota sales weighted average domestic content: 45%

So compared to Ford’s 65%, that is SIGNFICANTLY lower. Again, Ford may have outsourced, but they clearly support MANY more jobs in the US than does Toyota… in fact 2.2 TIMES as many direct jobs, and countless more indirect jobs from the higher domestic content %… all with lower sales numbers.

Again, attacking Ford and praising Toyota for their US employment habits is completely backwards. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc have grown their US employment over the past decade (though most have taken a large step back recently - Toyota has laid off around 6,000 from their peak)… but not as fast as they have grown market share… and Ford/GM/Chrysler still employ a # equal to their dependence on the US market.

Sorry, Mike, but those are FACTS.

If they haven’t started building the 2011 Regals yet, it should start in a couple of weeks. I just looked on Edmunds and they don’t show a 2010 version of the Regal. Did I misuderstand your quote?

Whitey, I have to disagree with you. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, I always proudly stated I was American. Everyone busted out laughing "so are we!'I get Automotive News. They always picture a vehicle and list the suppliers. 2010 Vette- Ignition coils-Mitsubishi electric.Clutch-ZF.Fuel pump-Shanghai SDZ.Intercooler connections-Jiffy Tite.Heated seat switches-Panasonic.Belt tensioner-Gates.Cylinder head Gaskets-ElringKlinger.Brake system-Brembo,Cooper Standard.All Aluminum Space frame-Dana.Rear axle Diff -Getrag.I think you all get the idea.May 10,2010 issue.

Of course you also have to consider where those parts are made and whether that supplier employs people in the US at all levels in proportion to their sales here as well. Some suppliers have considerable operations in the US (much more proportional to their business here than other companies)

Again, attacking Ford and praising Toyota for their US employment habits is completely backwards.

I hate to tell you this…but FORD is an American company…Toyota ISN’T…FORD made it’s BILLIONS from Americans…NOT Indians or Chinese…Yet FORD is shipping jobs over to India and China faster then ever before.

There are many things you’re NOT accounting for which is very difficult to measure…For one…Robotics…Many automotive plants are automated…and well over 90% of these robotics are NOT made in the US. So saying that this car is 80% made in America…while yes 80% of the car IS made in the US…probably 75% of that car was assembled by Japanese or Korean made robotics. These figures also don’t show what percentage of outsourced parts are made overseas…Only that they bought them from an American or Foreign company. That company may have manufacturing in many different parts of the world…Where was that TI chip or Intel chip made…how about that Hitachi circuit??? It’s near impossible to get EXACT figures on those…And lets not forget about the Steel…and other things like Tires…

In other words you really don’t know do you.

Mike -

I hate to tell you this, but FORD is a GLOBAL company. So is Toyota. I own Toyota stock and bonds, but not a cent of Ford.

Despite your apologetics for Toyota, Ford is NOT shipping jobs overseas to India and China. They’re establishing facilities to design and build cars for those markets… those are the markets they are GROWING in, as opposed to the US, where their sales have dropped significantly. If people in the US don’t buy their products, they don’t “owe” us the jobs. The fact is that they provide FAR more jobs in the US per vehicle sold than does Toyota. Simple, pure fact. Their (and GM and Chrysler’s) employee base is overweighted in the US relative to the number of vehicles they sell here. Toyota’s is massively underweighted.

This is a global economy, and these are global companies. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc, are all providing a small number of jobs relative to their sales and simply have NOT grown their US employee base to keep up with their increased sales.

As for robotics - are Toyota and Honda using US made robotics anymore than GM or Ford? No.

And domestic content, it does not count as domestic if it was made overseas, plain and simple.

Your inability to cope with facts is astonishing, but not surprising.

I agree eraser. Remember the Chevrolet GEO? Trying to fool the public into buying American, when the vehicles were made by Toyota ,Suzuki, and others. Now that everything is global, I don’t think the car buying public cares where the car is manufacturered.The Chinese own us.No one cares if the USA is sold acre by acre to foreign countries.

You’ll have to take that up with CR and carscoop…I’m just the “relayor” their quotes.
So Canada is OK too ?