Do U.S. car buyers truly favor brands associated with America? The question seemed appropriate for the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s signing this week. CarGurus.com surveyed dealers around the country to find out what brands local customers were seeking most. Here are the top five cities in the U.S. when it comes to patriotic car-buying tendencies.
5. (Tied) St. Louis, Mo.
The Gateway to the West came in tied for fourth and fifth place with another Missouri city. St. Louis is home to Anheuser Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD), the beer of choice for most patriotic Americans, making it no surprise it ended up in the top five. Driving down the road in a foreign-brand car is known to invite unpleasant stares in and around old St. Louis.
5. (Tied) Kansas City, Mo.
If cyclists want a piece of the road in Kansas City, they’ll likely be sharing it with a U.S.-brand car. Kansas City came in tied for fourth and fifth place with St. Louis. Ford Motors (NYSE:F) has a big plant in Claycomo, Mo., just 10 miles outside of Kansas City. With so many employees and patriotic locals in the area, drivers will find the Big Three well represented on local roads.
3. Indianapolis, Ind.
It’s no accident that Chevy (NYSE:GM) cars have paced the Indy 500 for the the past 12 years. Indianapolis is the heart of American car country, with either a Camaro or Corvette pacing the pack for over a decade at the legendary race. A Chevy ride has made the opening lap 19 times in the race’s history, culminating in this year’s 2014 Corvette Stingray, which was driven by Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers coach is part owner of Panther Racing, which ran two Chevys in this year’s race.
2. Cleveland, Ohio.
Toledo, Ohio is home to a major Chrysler plant, where new Jeep Cherokees are made. Like the other most patriotic car buying cities in the Midwest, Cleveland’s proximity to Detroit and home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame make it as American as a July 4th cookout. In fact, only one city could claim to be more devoted to the U.S. auto industry.
1. Detroit, Mich.
Home of the Big Three and forever the symbol of the U.S. auto industry, it’s easy to understand why more than two-thirds of any car inquiry in Detroit revolved around American models. The revival of the industry as a whole has been one of the national success stories in recent years. Driving a foreign-built (or even foreign-branded) model is likely to provoke ire in some circles of Motor City. Can anyone blame them?
In the doghouse — those topping the list of least patriotic cities — were three California cities. Auto analysts believe the penchant for electric and hybrid vehicles is behind the statistics. San Francisco featured the least requests for U.S. cars, according to the survey, followed by Los Angeles in second and San Jose in third. Maybe the upstart Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) will change that tune in the coming years.