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The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
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41% Now Say Buying American Is Top Factor When Purchasing a Car

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Washington, Nov. 17, 2010: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Adults say they look for an American-built car first when shopping for automobiles. Slightly more (44%) say they look for the best possible deal regardless of where it’s manufactured. Just 12% prefer foreign-built cars.

Those numbers have shifted from June 2008, when 51% said finding the best deal was their top priority and just 32% placed more importance on “buying American.”

While a plurality of investors are most concerned with finding the best deal, non-investors think buying an American car is more important.

But Americans are divided on what exactly American-made means. Forty-one percent (41%) believe buying a foreign brand that is built in the U.S. is the same as buying American, but 42% do not. Another 17% are not sure.

Still, a majority (59%) of adults consider the “Big Three” – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler to be the only American car companies. Twenty-nine percent (29%) disagree, while 12% are undecided.

Earlier this month, 54% of Americans said they are less likely to buy a GM car because the federal government is the automaker’s majority owner.

Still, in a separate survey in early June, 48% of those who planned to buy a new or used car in the next year said they are at least somewhat likely to buy either a Ford or a vehicle made by General Motors. Those findings included 20% who were Very Likely to buy a Ford and 26% Very Likely to buy a GM product instead.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans still think the federal government bailout of GM and Chrysler was a bad idea. Most adults were opposed to the taxpayer bailout of the two auto companies right from the start.

A plurality of voters continues to believe that the country’s economy will benefit from free trade, but they also think it will stunt job growth.

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