40% of Americans Believe the Most Reliable Cars Are U.S.-Built

Is there any truth behind the belief?

How many miles has your car traveled without a breakdown? Does it sputter when you start the engine, does it stall? These are the daily worries of owners of old or unreliable cars.

To avoid such stresses in life, you want to go for a car made in the United States. At least, that's what 40% of respondents to a recent survey, carried out by Simple Dollar, believe. The question is, are they right?

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Patriotism trumping pragmatism?

The Simple Dollar compared the findings of their survey — in which they questioned 2,000 Americans — to that of the 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study from J.D. Power.  

They found that, despite the fact that 54% of Americans believe Toyota and Honda are the most reliable car brands (both are Japanese companies), the majority (40%) of respondents also believe cars made in the U.S. are the most reliable.

29% of Americans in the survey chose Japan as the country with the most reliable cars. Only 18% believe German-made vehicles are the most reliable.

As for big American brands: only 16% of Americans in the survey said they believe Ford manufactures the most reliable vehicles.

And the winner is...

According to the J.D. Power study, the countries that manufacture the most reliable vehicles are, in fact, the exact opposite of what the surveyed Americans think.

40% of Americans Believe the Most Reliable Cars Are U.S.-Built
Source: The Simple Dollar

The study outlines the geographical representation of car manufacturers above and below the industry standard for reliability. 

While the study isn't explicit whether the factory considers factory location (for example, a Ford car built in Mexico), it is most likely taking into account the car brand companies' HQ locations.

As the J.D. Power study indicates, the country with the most car brands above the industry standard is Germany.

Breaking down the stats

Germany represents 35% of the car brands that scored above the industry standard. Japan, meanwhile, had five brands below the industry standard for reliability and only four above the standard.

As The Simple Dollar points out, they discovered that most Americans believe cars made in the U.S. are the most reliable in the world. 

40% of Americans Believe the Most Reliable Cars Are U.S.-Built
Source: The Simple Dollar

Questionably, this didn't coincide with their views on actual brands — when asked about specific car brands, Toyota and Honda were cited by Americans as the most reliable.

Moreover, according to J.D. Power’s dependability study, the belief that U.S.-made cars are the most reliable is not true.

40% of Americans Believe the Most Reliable Cars Are U.S.-Built
Source: The Simple Dollar

In fact, more U.S. car brands fall below the industry standard of problems per 100 vehicles than above the industry standard.

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According to J.D. Power, Germany's automotive industry manufactures the most reliable vehicles in the world.

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