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.”