30 'Foreign' Cars That Are Made in America

2020 Kia Optima


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2020 Kia Optima

Domestic Imports

In the global economy, “made in the USA” is a term with some gray area. Many of the world’s most popular overseas automakers, for example, assemble, finish, and ship their bestselling cars right here in the States. That's not likely to change even as more cars make the switch from gas to electricity: Toyota, for example, just announced plans to build a $1.29 billion plant in North Carolina that will make batteries for electric vehicles — and create more than 1,700 jobs — starting in 2025. Here are some not-so-foreign "imports" you may already know.

Related: 30 Iconic U.S. Brands That Aren't Made in America

2020 Toyota Camry
2020 Toyota Avalon

Toyota Avalon

Toyota also makes the Avalon and Avalon Hybrid at the Georgetown plant in Kentucky, Toyota’s largest auto manufacturing plant in the world. A newly proposed investment of nearly $500 million will help add new technology and bolster its ability to help with electric vehicles. 

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2020 Toyota Sequoia
2020 Toyota Highlander
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Highlander

Aside from the Sequoia, the Toyota plant in Princeton also builds the Highlander, the Highlander Hybrid, and the Sienna. The facility, occupying the equivalent of 70 football fields under a single roof, was built as part of a nearly $5 billion investment by Toyota, which made $3.7 billion in purchases in Indiana in 2018 alone.

2020 Toyota Tundra
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2020 Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Tacoma

The San Antonio plant is also responsible for making the Tacoma, which, like the Tundra, is a pickup truck offered with several different trim packages. In 2008, the plant became the first Toyota facility to be awarded the JD Power Silver Award for Assembly Plant Quality in North and South America in its first year of operation. (Find out why the Tacoma is one of the Most Reliable Trucks of All Time.)

2020 Toyota Corolla
2020 Honda Accord

Honda Accord

In 2020, Honda made its 20 millionth car in Ohio. The Honda of America Manufacturing Marysville Auto Plant has been making vehicles since 1982, and today the 4 million-square-foot plant assembles not just the popular Accord, but also the Acura ILX and TLX. It is the heart of Honda’s Ohio operations.

2020 Acura ILX

Acura ILX

The Marysville plant also assembles the Acura ILX, of Honda’s luxury brand. The ILX is what the automaker calls the “gateway vehicle to the Acura lineup,” an entry-level luxury car that serves as a bridge between the more affordable Honda offerings and the pricier Acura lineup.

2020 Acura TLX

Acura TLX

The Acura TLX also comes out of the Marysville plant, billed as a vehicle that represents a blend of the Acura TL and TSX. With nearly 40 years of continuous operation, the Marysville plant exports Honda and Acura cars to more than 100 countries.

2020 Honda CR-V
American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda CR-V

In addition to the Marysville plant, the Honda CR-V also comes out of another plant in Ohio, the East Liberty Auto Plant, as well as a plant in Greensburg, Indiana. The 2.1 million-square-foot East Liberty facility has been in operation since 1989.

2020 Acura RDX

Acura RDX

The East Liberty Auto Plant is the sole producer of the Acura RDX, a premium SUV. Since its inception in 1989, the facility has made more than 4.5 million vehicles under the Acura and Honda brand names.

2020 Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln supports 45,000 jobs and has a $12 billion economic impact every year. It builds not just the Honda Odyssey, but also the Honda Passport, the Pilot, and the Ridgeline.

2020 Honda Passport

Honda Passport

The Lincoln plant builds not just the Honda Odyssey, but also the Honda Passport, a popular midsize SUV. The facility’s economic impact represents a full 5.4% of Alabama’s GDP. In 2018, it paid more than $200 million in taxes. Honda also makes the Pilot and Ridgeline there.

2020 Nissan Maxima
2020 Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan also builds its popular Pathfinder SUV at the Smyrna facility. The plant began operations in 1983 and today holds the distinction of being North America’s highest-volume vehicle assembly plant, a title many Americans might assume was held by one of the Detroit automakers.

2020 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

Nissan’s other major American plant is the one in Canton, Mississippi, which is capable of making 450,000 vehicles yearly. Another plant in Decherd, Tennessee, assembles powertrains. The Canton plant makes the the Altima, Frontier, and Titan.

2020 Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback

Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette is home base for Subaru’s North American production arm. The Subaru Outback, Legacy, Impreza, and Ascent are all assembled in the plant, which made more than 367,000 vehicles in 2020, up from 4,087 during its initial run in 1989. The 3.65 million-square-foot facility sits on 820 acres and includes 16.85 miles of conveyors.

2020 Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy

Subaru also builds the Legacy at the plant in Lafayette, an enormous facility that includes a 2-mile test track and a 156-acre motor pool. It’s home to a 10,500-square-foot technical training building and a nearly 1.4 million-square-foot container yard.

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama is in Montgomery. The 2 million-square-foot, $1.7 billion plant is the first of its kind in the United States for the Korean automaker, and it supports more than 3,000 jobs. The Hyundai Elantra is made there, as is the Sonata, Santa Fe, Tucson, and new Santa Cruz Sport. 

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai also makes the five-passenger Santa Fe SUV at the facility in Montgomery. In 2007, the facility earned a coveted highest certification by the International Automotive Task Force.

2020 Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia is in West Point, and when the $1.1 billion, 2,200-acre site opened in 2006, it was one of the largest single foreign investments in Georgia history. It has a capacity of 340,000 vehicles a year and supports 14,000 jobs when suppliers are included. 

2021 Kia Optima/K5
Kia America, Inc.

Kia K5

The Kia K5, which replaced the better-known Optima, is a midsize sedan, and it, too, comes out of the West Point plant. It’s Kia’s only manufacturing facility in the United States — and the only automaker of any brand in the entire state. It’s responsible for supplying 940 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada.

2020 Kia Telluride
Kia America, Inc.

Kia Telluride

Kia builds not only the Sorento and K5 but also the popular and highly rated Telluride in West Point. The company has built more than 2.7 million vehicles there since the facility opened in 2006. The plant operates 24 hours a day and 90% of the vehicles it makes wind up in U.S. dealerships — that’s 40% of all Kia sales in the U.S.

2020 Volkswagen Passat
2020 Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas

VW also builds the Atlas at the Chattanooga Assembly Plant. In fact, the 100,000th Atlas was assembled there in 2018. It’s a unique facility that includes on-site protected wetlands that serve as a home to plant and animal habitats. Its 33,000 solar panels generate about 12 million kilowatt-hours of energy every year.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a completely unified plant, with assembly, painting, body, shipping, and administration all under one roof. The facility, opened in 1995, is the largest Mercedes-Benz plant outside Germany, employing 3,800 people directly and 10,000 indirectly. The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and SUV are assembled there, as are the GLS-Class and C-Class models.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class

Mercedes-Benz GLS Class

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class luxury SUVs come out of the Tuscaloosa facility in Alabama. The plant runs on a streamlined production philosophy that it calls “just in time” manufacturing, allowing only two hours’ worth of inventory to be stocked at any time to prevent waste and backlog. When new inventory is needed, an automated system orders it for immediate delivery.

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class

Mercedes-Benz C Class

Mercedes also produces its C-Class vehicles at the Tuscaloosa facility. The plant is the first major auto manufacturing facility in Alabama, and the company has invested more than $6 billion in the state. It’s currently investing more than $1 billion in new capital to begin the production of all-electric passenger cars.

2020 BMW X-Series