by David Kiley | AOL Autos
Made In The USA
Republican White House hopeful Rick Santorum had his “Made in the USA” campaign messaging adorning the hood and quarter panels of Tony Raines’ No. 26 Ford Fusion in the Daytona 500.
“NASCAR and the Daytona 500 are about as American as you can get, and it’s great to have my campaign represented by one of these incredible machines,” Santorum said in a press release. “The race weekend is a wonderful tradition that we’re excited to be a part of as we spread our message. I like how Tony Raines turned some heads last weekend with his qualifying run, and we’d like to keep turning heads, too. I think we’re both looking for a win in the end.”
The trouble for the Santorum campaign, though, is that no one seems to have advised the campaign that the Fusion is actually made in Ford’s Hermasillo, Mexico factory.
The North American Free Trade Act, as well as an increasingly global economy and auto industry, has made it difficult for politicians, as well as consumers, to cleanly play the “Buy American” card. Indeed, an annual study by Cars.com ranking cars as “most American”, based on their parts content, put the Georgetown, Kentucky-built Toyota Camry atop its list for 2011. The runner-up was the Marysville, Ohio-built Honda Accord.
The Santorum press office did not respond to AOL Autos’ inquiries at press time.
Not only are those Camrys built in U.S. factories, but they have most of their content sourced from U.S. suppliers and plants; more so than many vehicles produced by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
The good news for the “Buy American” crowd is that the 2013 all-new designed regular-petrol powered Ford Fusion will be built in Flat Rock, MI, while the hybrid version will continue to be built in Mexico.
Cars.com’s annual American-Made Index ranks the most-American vehicles based on percentage of their parts that are made domestically, where they are assembled and how many are sold to U.S. buyers.
Here are the top five “most American” cars, according to the 2011 Cars.com study: