4 in 10 Seek American-Made Cars First

Here’s a bit of good news for those venturesome souls who are buying up stock in the back-from-the-dead General Motors: A Rasmussen Reports poll fielded this month finds 41 percent of respondents saying they look for an American-built car first when they’re in the market for a vehicle.

That nearly equals the 44 percent who said they look for “the best possible deal regardless of where it was manufactured.” Just 12 percent said they look first for a foreign-built car.

The buy-American constituency has risen significantly since a similar Rasmussen poll in June 2008, when it stood at 32 percent. And the best-possible-deal vote has declined from its June figure of 51 percent.

Of course, with factories that build foreign-based brands having proliferated in the U.S., it’s more complicated now to decide just what constitutes an American-made car. Forty-one percent of respondents subscribed to the view that buying a foreign brand of car that’s manufactured in the U.S. is “the same as buying an ‘American’ product.” Forty-two percent dissented from that notion, and the rest were unsure.

Looking at the matter another way, the poll found 59 percent saying they “consider just the Detroit Big Three—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler—to be American car companies.”