My Car is Made Where? 20 Vehicles With Surprising Birthplaces
By now we all know our cars come from a variety of places, often thousands of miles from an automaker's headquarters. Many of the Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, BMW and Mercedes-Benz models sold in America are made in America, while several Ford, GM and Dodge models are made in Mexico and Canada. Yet even in this globalized economy, surprises remain. Here are 20 cars built in places you might least expect, further evidence it's a small world after all.
This compact four-door sedan with a stylish coupe-like profile has struck a chord with buyers seeking a Mercedes-Benz at an un-Mercedes-like price. But how many of them know their entry-level luxury car hails not from Germany but Hungary?
The soft-top version of the Mini Cooper, all new last year, is built by Dutch contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar. While Mini's U.K. factory in Oxford can build over 250,000 cars a year, executives say the Dutch site is needed to build even more due to demand.
Infiniti's newest and smallest crossover shares its platform with the Mercedes-Benz GLA, but the two are distinct unto themselves and built at factories on opposite sides of the English Channel. While the Mercedes GLA is made in Rastatt, Germany, the Infiniti QX30 hails from Sunderland in the United Kingdom.
This Fiat has a distinctly European flair, but comes from a surprising birthplace: Japan. There's good reason for this -- Fiat's roadster is built through a partnership with Mazda, and though it uses a different powertrain and possesses its own style, it's related to the Mazda MX-5 Miata and thus is built at the same factory in Hiroshima.
Electric car maker Tesla seems to grab headlines daily, but lost among some of the news is that it is a relatively new American automaker. Tesla builds the Model S sedan, Model X electric SUV and all-new Model 3 sedan at a factory in California that was formerly jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota.
For 2018, the Buick Regal, shedding its sedan suit, is being reborn as a five-door Sportback or as the higher-riding, all-wheel-drive TourX wagon. These Buicks are based on models by Opel of Germany, and thus are made there. And while GM recently sold its Opel unit to France's PSA, the plan is still for Opel to manufacture these new Buick models.
Ford's Transit Connect is a smaller van that's an excellent choice for commercial duties or as a passenger van for families. Aside from its convenient size, it stands out for where it's made: in Spain, in particular at Ford's Valencia plant. Bonus fact: The first-gen Transit Connect that began a wave of smaller cargo vans in the U.S. hailed from Turkey.
The Transit Connect isn't the only Spanish-made compact van that comes to our shores. Also hailing from Spain is the Mercedes-Benz Metris, the newest and smallest van from the German luxury brand. In case you're wondering, the two are made at factories hundreds of miles apart, with the Metris being built in Vitoria.
Buick's sleek four-passenger convertible comes from Europe because it's based on a German car. In this case, the Cascada is based on an Opel of the same name, and like its Euro sibling, final assembly takes place in Poland. The Cascada's cosmopolitan nature doesn't end there: Its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is made in Hungary, while its six-speed automatic transmission is made in Mexico.
Mitsubishi's three-cylinder subcompact car is known for its fuel economy, but you may never have guessed it's made in Thailand. The small five-door hatchback and its recently arrived sedan sibling, the Mirage G4, are the first U.S. automotive imports from the Southeast Asian country.
This sleeper muscle car flies so far under the radar that you may not even know it exists, let alone where it's built. Dubbed by some as "the four-door Camaro," the Chevy SS is a full-size, rear-drive sedan that packs a Corvette-derived V8 engine. It's based on an Australian Holden and is therefore built Down Under. If you want one, act soon: 2017 is likely the last year for this high-powered sedan.
Lots of cars claim to be Euro-inspired, but in the case of the Yaris, it's actually Euro-derived. That's because it's made in France at Toyota's manufacturing plant near the border of Belgium. The Yaris three- or five-door hatchback is Toyota's least-expensive vehicle, but it packs impressive features for the money, starting with the sophisticated Toyota Safety Sense C system.
Look at Mercedes-Benz's full cast of luxury vehicles, and you'll see that one that looks nothing like the others: The G-Class, aka the G-Wagen. While the G-Class brims with fine leather and the requisite accoutrements of a Mercedes, it is first and foremost an off-road utility vehicle, and a hard-core one at that. It's been this way for decades, serving countless missions doing military and emergency work before becoming a celebrity status symbol. It begins life at a factory in Graz, Austria.
This subcompact hatchback is the latest in a string of economy-minded Chevrolets made in South Korea. Totally revamped last year and now boasting a more refined ride, the latest Spark is truly a global car, sold in more than 50 markets worldwide.
Fiat may immediately bring Italy to mind, but the automaker uses a Serbian factory to build the 500L, a larger and more practical five-door hatchback. Bonus trivia: The plant in Kragujevac where the 500L is manufactured has been making cars since the 1950s. Formerly known as Zastava, at one point the factory was responsbile for the infamous Yugo.
While the majority of Honda Civics are made in America, the latest derivatives of Honda's popular compact car are made across the pond. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback and the just-introduced 2017 Civic Type R -- a high-performance version of the hatch that has long been forbidden fruit to the U.S. market -- are actually imported here from Honda's factory in Swindon, England.
Buick's new Envision crossover SUV slots directly between the subcompact Encore and the three-row Enclave. This two-row/five-passenger crossover brings the comfort, quiet and value for which Buicks are known. What most buyers may not realize is that Buick's newest crossover is exported from China, where it's already had years of success.
The Buick Envision isn't the first vehicle being exported from China to the U.S., and it won't likely be the last. Also made there is the long-wheelbase version of the Volvo S60, while other variants of this svelte sedan undergo final assembly in Belgium and Volvo's native Sweden.
While the venerable Jeep Wrangler has a long and proud history of being built in Toledo, Ohio, the Renegade is made in Italy alongside its cousin the Fiat 500X. The pact is just one of many that came out of Fiat's rescue of Chrysler in the 2009 bankruptcy.
Audi's midsize luxury SUV is brimming with high-tech driving aids, loads of safety features and elegant style. Those traits may not be surprising given Audi's innovative nature, but what is surprising is that it's built in Slovakia. Can you find that country on a map?