What Car Company do Americans trust over all others?
After my article on the failures on GM, I found myself thinking about what cars do Americans actually like.
After my article on the failures of American car conglomerate General Motors, I found myself intrigued by what Americans are pleased by. Now, as an American, I can testify that we are a hard group to please. Especially since we all seem to have very different views on how things should be done when it comes to anything really. But what does please all Americans, at least in the world of cars? The answer is simple. Americans, like all people, want affordable and reliable transportation.
In the same Car and Driver list I referenced in my article about GM, I found a place to start on what it is Americans want in a car. As stated in my previous article, Toyota seems to have a majority of cars on the list, along with other Japanese automakers such as Subaru, Honda, Nissan and Mazda. As we all know Japanese automakers are renowned for their reliability and ease of use. Thus, making them popular in the American market as everywhere else.
But why is this? It is because Americans, like the majority of people in this world, want easy to use, reliable, fuel efficient cars. This of course, makes sense especially considering the price of fuel these days. Another thing that must be considered when discussing the American consumer is the differences in the regions. For example, I live in the Gulf Coast, the majority of vehicles are Asian cars such as Toyotas and Hondas, which are made in the southern United States. But when I go up to visit my family in the Midwest, the majority of people seem to be driving traditionally American cars, such as Chevrolets and Fords. Regional differences and needs of the regions should be considered while reviewing what the American people want.
The Market in the Southern United States
A map of the Southern United States (credit: usf.edu)
As I stated before, I live on the Gulf Coast where many of the factories for Asians companies like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have their plants. And in the south they love American built goods, allowing for a stronger selling point for these already popular cars. Also, according to a chart made by Insurify, cars like the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord dominate the car market of the Southern United States. The southern states also prefer sedans over any other type of car, including SUVs.
A map of the Midwest (credit: mapsales.com)
The Midwest, contrary to the name is located in the heart of the country. And is also home to Detroit, the home of the big three American automakers, Ford, GM, and Chrysler. As a result, vehicles from these 3 companies are more popular among the people of the Midwest, due to the vehicles being easily produced in the nearby state of Michigan for most of the Midwest. People in the Midwest are very nice people, and every time I visit, I am genuinely surprised by how nice people are. This has of course leaked into its car culture and what cars people buy. Midwesterners, being nice people, want to support their fellow Americans in Detroit and will more likely buy a decently reliable car that's made nearby.
According to the Insurify chart, the Midwest has more Chevy Impalas and Malibus than any other region. This as I can testify, is true for the Midwest, especially in the small farm towns. Something that the chart doesn't tell you is that another very popular vehicle, especially in the farming community is the pickup truck. And according to my personal observations visiting family up there, the most common trucks are Ford F-150s, Chevy Silverados, and Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesels, at least in the small farm towns I visit up there. But please don't take my personal observations as Gospel, as they are my own observations and can vary from town to town.
The West Coast
The American West Coast is known for its nice cars, especially in places like Los Angeles. And along the West Coast, cars such as Honda Civics seem to be the most popular cars according to the chart. This makes sense because the West Coast is known for its JDM cars and other Asian imports. Of course, the civics are domestically made, making them easier to buy on the West Coast.
Gas Prices in Los Angeles in 2019 (credit: KTLA)
Western states like California are also known for their very restrictive emissions laws and car regulations, with cars like the Ford Mustang needing a special variant to be sold there. This also generates a specific market for California, creating the need for fuel-efficient, low-emissions cars. This is another reason why fuel-efficient Asian cars are so available on the West Coast. Also with the price of fuel across the United States, and especially California, currently having a fuel-efficient car would be very beneficial, increasing the popularity of these cars.
The Northeast United States (credit: us-map.com)
The Northeast is similar to the East Coast South in many respects. Both have the Honda Accord as the most popular vehicle. And both focus on Asian, domestically built vehicles when not having the Honda Accord as the most popular vehicle. In the northeast, states who are not interested in the Accord, are instead interested in other Asian cars, like Subaru Imprezas, and Honda Civics, along with the Ford Focus.
Now, I am not a market expert by any means, but I think I have pinpointed what exactly all Americans want in a car. Like stated in the introduction, the majority of Americans care about having fuel efficient and affordable cars that get them from A to B. Most of the supply of Americans cars is regional, with the South and West Coast being supplied by American factories building cars for Asian companies. And the Midwest being supplied by GM and Ford in Detroit primarily. This all of course makes sense, people will buy what is available, and what is affordable. So all in all, Americans want reliable, fuel-efficient, well built, easily attainable transportation.
Here's a link to my other articles on similar topics if any of you are interested. Article on GM: Why does GM keep failing in the world industry? (drivetribe.com) Article on Holden: Why did Holden fail? (drivetribe.com) Article on British Leyland: The Decline of the British Car Industry (drivetribe.com)