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Where 10 popular car models get their parts

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March 2, 2022
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Where 10 popular car models get their parts

Some of the most popular cars in the world have a lot in common. Many are relatively affordable and perform well with stylish design. What they don’t have in common? They're made from parts that are sourced from different corners of the world. Some parts are produced primarily in the United States and Canada, while others come from manufacturing plants and producers from  Germany, South Korea, Japan, and more.

CoPilot analyzed 2022 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine which countries contribute parts to 10 different vehicles. For every vehicle, data is available on the vehicle type; the percentage of parts from the United States and Canada—the NHTSA doesn’t differentiate how much of every vehicle is specifically made in the United States or Canada; the percentage of parts from other countries, if it’s 15% or more; the final assembly location; and the origin of the vehicle’s engine and transmission.

This data is in line with the American Automobile Labeling Act that requires any vehicle manufactured for sale in the United States to have a label with this exact information, which is why countries that contribute less than 15% of a vehicle’s parts are not included—and why only the origin of the engine and transmission are publicly available.

Read on for a look at some of the most popular car models in the world, and where they and their parts are manufactured.

1 / 10
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Ford Explorer

- Vehicle type: multi-purpose vehicle
- Parts from United States and Canada: 45%
- Parts from other countries: 15% (Mexico)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: United States
- Origin of transmission: United States

Ford Explorers are among the bestselling SUVs in America. With a base price of around $34,000, they are also a relatively affordable option for an SUV. The car sells well in the rest of the world too, and with nearly 8 million sales by 2019, the company even claimed the car was the bestselling SUV of all time. Although Ford has a reputation as a distinctly American company, the majority of its parts are made in Mexico and China, key suppliers of Ford parts.

2 / 10
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Ford Mustang

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 50%
- Parts from other countries: data not available
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: United States
- Origin of transmission: United States

A Ford Mustang is perhaps one of the most iconic American cars in the world. It is beloved for its sporty design and turbocharged engine. The car launched sales in Europe relatively recently, where its sales have been strong. Mustangs are assembled in Flat Rock, Michigan, which befits its status as a classic American car. And although about half of its parts are made outside of the United States and Canada, all of the work that goes into that famous engine and transmission system is done in the United States.

3 / 10
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Honda Accord

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 50%
- Parts from other countries: 20% (Japan)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: United States
- Origin of transmission: United States

Honda is a Japanese company, with its headquarters in Tokyo. The Accord is one of the most popular cars in the world. Its base price of around $26,000 makes it an affordable option for a wide range of people. Although the motor and transmission are sourced in both Japan and the United States, the Accord is largely made in America. When the parts are ready to be assembled, they travel to a Honda plant in Ohio, in the heart of America’s manufacturing region.

4 / 10
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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 1%
- Parts from other countries: 90% (South Korea)
- Final assembly location: South Korea
- Origin of engine: South Korea
- Origin of transmission: South Korea

The Sonata hybrid is a gas and battery-powered midsize car. It may be particularly attractive for budget-conscious car buyers, as its base price of around $24,000 is affordable, and its hybrid nature will save on gas. In Hyundai’s home country of Korea, the Sonata is commonly used as a rental or taxi car. And given its home court advantage, the majority of the Sonata’s parts are also made in Korea. The cars are primarily built in Ulsan, one of Seoul’s primary manufacturing districts.

5 / 10
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Nissan Altima (four-cylinder)

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 50%
- Parts from other countries: 15% (Mexico)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: United States
- Origin of transmission: Mexico

The Nissan Altima is the most popular used car in America. Drivers love it because of its luxury look and feel combined with its affordable price point of around $25,000. The company has been working with Mexico to produce the car for more than 60 years. The Nissan plant in Mexico was established in the 1960s and was Nissan’s first plant outside of Japan. But despite its Japanese headquarters, a solid half of the car’s parts are made in the United States and Canada.

6 / 10
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Subaru Outback

- Vehicle type: multi-purpose vehicle
- Parts from United States and Canada: 50%
- Parts from other countries: 35% (Japan)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: Japan
- Origin of transmission: Japan

Subaru's Outback is one of its most popular car models, and has a reputation for being a very dependable car. Its design spun off an earlier Subaru model, the Legacy Outback. Subaru’s manufacturing center is based in Ota, Japan, which is north of Tokyo, and a significant number of the car’s parts are made in Japan.

7 / 10
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Toyota Camry

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 60%
- Parts from other countries: 15% (Japan)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: Japan
- Origin of transmission: Japan

Toyota Camrys are particularly popular cars with ride-sharing drivers. They have a low base price of around $25,000 and a reputation for reliability. Toyota sources a majority of its parts from the United States and Canada. In the United States, Camrys are assembled at the company’s plant in Lexington, Kentucky, which is Toyota's largest plant in the world. The plant both assembles the vehicles and manufactures many of its parts, including axles, steering components, and engines.

8 / 10
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Toyota Corolla

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 30%
- Parts from other countries: 60% (Japan)
- Final assembly location: United States
- Origin of engine: United States
- Origin of transmission: Japan

The Toyota Corolla is the top-selling car in the world. It routinely sells more than 1 million of them per year, every year. The model is extremely popular in the United States, where it's known for its reliability and affordable base price of around $20,000. The car has a majority of its parts made in Japan, where its parent company is headquartered. However, some parts are made in the United States, including at the Lexington, Kentucky, plant, which provides cylinder heads and more.

9 / 10
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Toyota Tacoma

- Vehicle type: truck
- Parts from United States and Canada: 50%
- Parts from other countries: 15% (Japan)
- Final assembly location: United States, Mexico
- Origin of engine: United States, Japan
- Origin of transmission: United States, Thailand

The Toyota Tacoma is an extremely large truck. These trucks are particularly popular for off-roading and for their stylish exterior. American Tacomas are assembled in San Antonio, Texas, while others are assembled in the Mexican state of Baja California. Tacomas are only produced within the American continent, as are the majority of their parts. However, the truck was initially designed by a Toyota designer based in Japan.

10 / 10
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP // Getty Images

Volkswagen Golf R (automatic)

- Vehicle type: passenger car
- Parts from United States and Canada: 1%
- Parts from other countries: 28% (Germany), 21% (Hungary)
- Final assembly location: Germany
- Origin of engine: Hungary
- Origin of transmission: Germany

The Golf R is extremely popular in the United States. The car gets high marks for design and function alike. The car’s engine is made in Hungary and it is assembled in Germany, where Volkswagen is based. The Hungarian engine manufacturer landed the company in hot water for an emissions scandal, in which Volkswagen was accused of allowing 2 million Hungarian-manufactured engines to intentionally circumvent clean air laws.

This story originally appeared on CoPilot and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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