Washington DC April 30, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that America's new cars and trucks were a little more international in 2006, as Detroit and Japan's top six automakers bought more of their parts from outside the United States and Canada last year.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the trend is fueled by continuous pressures for cost cuts, which have pushed suppliers to seek the lowest cost by building factories in countries such as Honduras, Romania, and Cambodia.
At the same time, an analysis of federal data shows a trend among Japanese automakers to use more U.S.- or Canadian-made parts in the vehicles they built in North America. In fact, Toyota 's North American-built cars and trucks had fewer imported parts on average than those built by Chrysler Group.
Among Japanese automakers, Honda had the highest average U.S. and Canadian parts count in 2006 with 60%. Toyota averaged 48%, and Nissan averaged 45%, both down from last year due to strong sales of smaller imported vehicles. A few of Toyota's U.S.-built 2006 models surpassed 80% domestic parts, including the Camry sedan. The new 2008 Tundra pickup is also at 80%.
Among Detroit automakers, GM had the highest average domestic parts content by sales in its 2006 models at 80%. Ford was second with 79%, and the Chrysler Group averaged 73%.