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Made in America - AIADA

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Jenell Ross
AIADA Chairwoman

Washington DC July 3,2013; With the 4th of July almost upon us, preparations are ramping up in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, for barbecues, fireworks displays, and neighborhood parades. In Dayton, and in communities across our nation, Americans are looking forward to Independence Day – a time to remember and celebrate what it means to be a citizen of this great country.

Of course, the American dream means something different to everyone. For my mom and dad, it meant starting a business that would support their family and bear their name. For me, it means continuing that legacy, and committing to using my success to help others achieve their own dreams.

International nameplate auto dealers have a unique perspective on what it means to attain the American dream. Demographics have shifted wildly from the 60s and 70s – when ‘The Detroit Three’ was once synonymous with ‘made in America’. Today, international name plate brands are redefining what it means to be an American car by building and assembling more of their vehicles in the United States than ever before.

If you’re like me, and you like to see numbers back up statements, consider this:

  • International manufacturers have established 21 total vehicle manufacturing plants in the U.S.
  • And they employ more than 125,000 employees at those plants.
  • At the same time, dealers operate 9,614 international nameplate franchises,
  • While employing 398,500 dealership workers.

For more proof of investment, check out the and the annual American-Made Index, released last month. The index identifies the top ten most American made vehicles by factoring where the vehicle's parts come from, whether the vehicle is assembled in the U.S., and total sales. In 2013, five of the ten, and three of the top five vehicles on the list were international nameplates.

Fortunately for dealers, just as international nameplate manufacturers are building more cars here, Americans are buying more of our brands. Last month, more than half of the cars Americans bought – 54.1 percent of them – were international nameplate brands.

That’s not just good news for our manufacturers and dealers. It’s also great news for our communities. International nameplate dealers have always gone the extra mile in supporting local schools, charities, rec leagues, and food drives. And when we sell more cars, we can do more for the town and cities we love. Including hiring more employees, sponsoring more parades, and, yes, even paying more in local taxes.

So this 4th, before you kick back with friends and family, do all of us in this industry a favor by spreading the word: Today, international nameplate brands are America’s brands.