By now we all know our cars are built in a variety of countries, often thousands of kilometers miles from an automaker’s corporate headquarters.
Many models sold in North America by the big-three, Ford, GM and Dodge are made in Mexico and Canada under the NAFTA agreement, while Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, BMW and Mercedes-Benz models, once imports, are also made in Canada & The United States of America.
Yet, even in this globalized economy, many surprises remain.
Here’s 20 cars manufactured in places you might least expect, further evidence that it has become an even smaller world after all.
2018 Audi Q7: Slovakia
Audi AG the German automobile manufacturer designs, engineers, builds and markets luxury vehicles. The Q7 luxury SUV is loaded with high-tech driving aids, safety features and elegance. Traits may not be surprising given Audi’s German roots, but what is surprising is that it’s built in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. The central European country is known for its dramatic natural landscape and many castles, and now automobiles.
2017 Jeep Renegade: Italy
While the Jeep brand has a long and proud history of being built in Toledo, Ohio, the Renegade CUV is still all-American, even though it’s made in Italy alongside its cousin the Fiat 500X. The Renegade is the first Jeep product to be produced exclusively outside of North America.
2017 Buick Envision: China
2017 Buick Envision
Buick’s new Envision four-door compact crossover went on sale in the United States in the summer of 2016. What most new buyers and loyal Buick customers may not realize is that Buick’s newest crossover is exported from China, making it the first Chinese-built GM vehicle to be sold in North America.
He Said/She Said: 2017 Buick Envision
2017 Volvo S60 Inscription: China
The Buick Envision isn’t the first vehicle being exported from China to the U.S, also made there is the long-wheelbase version of the Volvo S60. Other variants of this 4-door premium mid-size sports sedan undergo final assembly in Belgium and Volvo’s native Sweden. The Volvo car brand is currently in the hands of a Chinese company called “Geely”. Volvo was initially sold to Ford who later sold it to Geely, which begs the question, is Volvo Chinese or Swedish?
2017 Civic Hatchback/Civic Type R: England
2017 Honda Civic Type R
While the majority of Honda Civics are made in America, the latest hatchback and the just-introduced Type R models are made across the pond. We’re not headed for Japan, but rather the town of Swindon in the United Kingdom. Situated 129 km west of central London, chances are you’ve never heard of Swindon, unless you’re a Brit (or a fan of post-punk art-pop band XTC).
R You Ready for Honda’s Outrageous Hatch?
2017 Fiat 500L: Serbia
2017 Fiat 500L Lounge and 2017 Fiat 500L Trekking
Fiat may immediately bring Italia to mind, but the automaker uses a Serbian factory to build the five-door, five-passenger, compact 500L. It is manufactured by FCA Srbija in Kragujevac, the fourth largest city in Serbia, through a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
2017 Chevrolet Spark: South Korea
This subcompact hatchback is the latest in a string of economy-minded Chevy’s made in Changwon, South Korea. Totally revamped last year, the Spark city car is truly a global vehicle, sold in more than 50 markets worldwide.
Buying Used: 2013-2017 Chevrolet Spark
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Austria
Mercedes-AMG G 63
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, sometimes called G-Wagen was created to conquer challenges on six continents, the cross-country vehicle has a 39-year evolution from military work to becoming a celebrity status symbol. It begins life “Built like no other SUV“ at a factory in Graz, Austria.
2018 Toyota Yaris: France
The Yaris three- or five-door hatchback is Toyota’s least-expensive vehicle. Lots of cars claim to be Euro-inspired, but in the case of the Yaris, it’s actually Euro Designed and Euro Built. That’s because production of all U.S. and Canadian Yaris models shifted from Japan to Toyota Motor Manufacturing in France starting in May 2013. TMMF is located in Onnaing near the border of Belgium.
2017 Chevrolet SS: Australia
This muscle car dubbed by some as “the four-door Camaro,” packing a Corvette V8 engine is a real sleeper that you may not even know exists, let alone where it’s built. The full-size, rear-drive Chevy SS sedan is largely based on the Holden Commodore, an Australian-market GM vehicle; Chevy and Holden models were both built in Australia and 2017 was the last year of production for this high-powered sedan. Grab one.
2018 Mitsubishi Mirage: Thailand
2018 Mitsubishi Mirage & Mirage G4
The Mirage has a complicated marketing history, the Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer has used the Mirage name for all five generations in Japan. In the US and Canada, the first four generations were sold through a venture with Chrysler as the Dodge Colt and the similar Plymouth-badged Champ and Colt. The small five-door hatchback and its recently arrived sibling, the Mirage G4, are the first U.S. automotive imports built at Mitsubishi’s Laem Chabang plant in Thailand, Southeast Asia.
2017 Buick Cascada: Poland
Sport Red 2017 Cascada Sport Touring with Dark Effects Package
Since launch, the U.S. only Buick Cascada has outsold the BMW 2 Series convertible as well as Audi’s A3 and A5 convertibles combined. The Cascada traces its roots to the German automaker Opel. Its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is made in Hungary, while its six-speed automatic transmission is made in Mexico, and the final assembly takes place at the GM-Opel production plant in Gliwice, Poland.
2017 Ford Transit Connect: Turkey and Spain
Ford’s Transit Connect caters to the needs of tradesmen, small businesses and commercial fleets or as a passenger van for families. Aside from its versatility, it stands out for where it’s made. Ford Otosan is an automotive manufacturing company based in Turkey, responsible for building the Transit, but production now also takes place in Valencia, Spain. As before, to avoid the 25% tariff on imported trucks, all cargo vans sold in the United States will be passenger van conversions which will then be re-converted to cargo configuration upon customer demand.
2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris: Spain
The Transit Connect isn’t the only Spanish-made compact van that comes to North America. Also originating from Spain is the Metris, a version of the new Mercedes-Benz Vito that has been especially adapted to the North American market. As a midsize commercial van, the Metris is larger than other vans offered in the segment below the Sprinter on the U.S. market.
2018 Buick Regal: Germany
2018 Buick Regal GS
The 2018 Buick Regal sedan, including the Sportback and TourX wagon are based on models by Opel of Germany, and thus are built there at the Opel Rüsselsheim plant alongside the 2017 Opel Insignia (and Vauxhall Insignia) range, and then exported to North America.
First Drive: 2018 Buick Regal Sportback and Regal GS
2017 Tesla Model S: United States
Tesla manufactures the Model S sedan, Model X electric SUV and all-new Model 3 sedan at a 5,400,000 sq-ft Factory in Fremont, California that was once jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider: Japan
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso
Sporting Classic Italian Flair the roadster is related to the Mazda MX-5 Miata sharing the same platform and unibody structure, and even infotainment systems. Through a partnership with Mazda it is built at the same factory in Hiroshima thus gaining the nickname “Fiata”.
He Said/She Said: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider
2018 Infiniti QX30: England
The INFINITI QX30 Premium AWD
The QX30’s creation is the product of a joint venture between Renault-Nissan and German automaker Daimler. Assembled in the City of Sunderland, in north east England, the QX30 is truly a world car, and shares its platform with the German-made Mercedes-Benz GLA.
2017 Mini Convertible: Netherlands
The Mini Hatch/Hardtop, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster are assembled at BMW’s Oxoford Plant in Cowley, England. The soft-top version of the Mini Cooper, all new last year, is built by Dutch contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar, near Maastricht in Limburg, Netherlands due to demand.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA: Hungary
To deliver Mercedes style and technology at a sticker price several thousand dollars under that of the popular C-Class sedan, this compact four-door hails not from Germany but the city of Kecskemet in Hungary.
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