American or Foreign

The country of origin of your car is a very controversial issue. Some people always buy American cars. Others always buy foreign. What should you buy?

To approach this discussion, let us begin with the question "What do most people buy?" Table 1 shows the top ten selling cars for the first seven months of 1997 [reference].

Car Make and Model     Number of Sales

Toyota Camry               239,041
Ford Taurus                207,426
Chevrolet Cavalier         195,519
Honda Accord               194,910
Honda Civic                187,773
Ford Escort                177,538
Saturn                     153,713
Chavrolet Lumina           145,114
Toyota Corolla             138,363
Pontiac Grand Am           120,271

Table 1.  Top Ten Selling Cars from January 1997 through July 1997

At first glance, the above table says that people prefer the Toyota Camry, a foreign car. A closer look reveals that six of the top ten cars are American. In fact, 57% of these cars are American.

To be fair, trucks should be considered, too. Table 2 presents the top ten selling trucks for the first seven months of 1997 [reference].

Truck Make and Model     Number of Sales

Ford F-series                448,348
Chevrolet CK                 305,963
Ford Explorer                220,350
Dodge Ram                    199,983
Dodge Caravan                181,192
Ford Ranger                  174,145
Jeep Grand Cherokee          140,225
Ford Windstar                131,785
Chevrolet S-10               123,438
Ford Expedition              122,882

Table 2.  Top Ten Selling Trucks from January 1997 through July 1997

Amazingly, all of the vehicles on this list are American. Combining the two tables, only 20% of these vehicles are foreign. For all vehicles (in 1992) [reference], only 18% of the vehicles are foreign.

Clearly, most people are not buying foreign cars. Are they buying American trucks? No. Only 34% of vehicle sales in 1992 are American trucks [reference].

Apparently, there is no one vehicle type that most people buy. There may be a vehicle type most people advocate, but they do not take their own advice. If there is no one vehicle type that most people like, then "American or Foreign?" is the wrong question. "What gives me the most attributes for the money?" is the right question. In Coolness, I note that American and foreign cars have more similarities than differences. Ignore the American-foreign debate and get the best car for YOU.


Copyright 1997 Alacrity Research