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Driving Through Flint, Michigan Must Be Easy on the Eyes
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
September 8, 2002

I've never been to Flint, Michigan, but I would love to at least drive though it. According to a recent Associated Press article, a whopping 96% of their citizens own or lease an American car. Driving is so much more pleasant when you are surrounded by smart people. How would I know if they are smart, you ask? Just look at what they are driving!

A recent study revealed that 75% of American drivers own or lease an American car, while 43% own or lease foreign cars. The two percentages add up to be greater that 100% since some drivers have more than one car.

Now I do have a slight disagreement with the way imports are classified according to the study. Imports are classified as foreign-owned models - even the ones that are made here. I agree that models made by foreign companies should be classified as foreign cars, but the ones produced here should not be called imports because, well, they aren't imported. I also agree that models made by American-owned GM or Ford should be classified as domestic cars regardless of point of manufacture, but the ones that are imported should be called imports.

Anyway, the rest of the cities where people are likely to buy or lease an American car are as follows:

Wichita, KS 94%
Toledo, OH 92%
Des Moines/Ames, IA 91%
Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MI 91%
Charleston/Huntington, SC 90%
Indianapolis, IN 90%
Tulsa, OK 89%
Detroit, MI 89%
Kansas City, MO 88%

Our nation's capital ranked a lowly 65%, taking 70th place out of the 75 markets studied, and only 56% of those in New York City own or lease a domestic car. You have to wonder if the percentage was even lower before September 11.

Topping the list of cities where people are most likely to lease or own a foreign car is Honolulu, HI at 66%. The rest of the cities are as follows:

San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA 64%
Los Angeles, CA 60%
San Diego, CA 60%
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL 58%
Portland, OR 56%
Washington, D.C. 55%
Seattle/Tacoma, WA 55%
Raleigh/Durham, NC 52%
Hartford/New Haven, CT 50%
Austin, TX 50%

I was actually kind of surprised that Orlando, Florida wasn't one of the cities where people are most likely to buy foreign cars. It seems there are just as many foreign cars on the road here where I live as domestic cars. Maybe I should move to Flint, Michigan instead. Just a casual observance during daily driving would give me the impression that I was in the right place.


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