By Andrew Ganz
Friday, Jul 5th, 2013 @ 8:00 am
 
Although the definition of an "American car" has changed dramatically over the last few decades, consumers still usually equate the brand of a vehicle produced by one of the Detroit 3 as a patriotic purchase.

Nowhere is this more true than in Michigan, where nearly 80 percent of all new cars sold are built by Chrysler, Ford or General Motors, according to a release issued by TrueCar. The pricing and analysis firm said that Michigan led the next closest state by more than 10 percent.

For the most part, patriotic consumers are found in less populous states, where low population density has long limited the number of import car brand dealerships. In addition, it's a safe bet that most truck buyers in farm and ranch-heavy states like the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska are buying trucks made by Detroit automakers.

Conversely, coastal buyers - and especially those in Hawaii - are far less likely to buy American. Import brands gained ground early on on both coasts, where regional distributors capitalized on proximity to ports in order to ferry in new vehicles.

Of course, these days it's hard to define just what makes a car "domestic." Many cars badged by American automakers are designed and built overseas, while plenty of "import" brand cars were largely developed and assembled in the U.S.

Overall, TrueCar says that more than half of all buyers in 18 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia bought Detroit 3 cars, while fewer than 30 percent of buyers in the bottom eight states chose the patriotic route.

States most likely to buy from the Detroit 3
  • 1. Michigan - 79.2%
  • 2. North Dakota - 68.1%
  • 3. South Dakota - 65.6%
  • 4. Iowa - 63.2%
  • 5. Wyoming - 62.6%
  • 6. Montana - 61.1%
  • 7. Nebraska - 59.7%
  • 8. Oklahoma - 59%
  • 9. Arkansas - 55.7%
  • 10. Indiana - 54.5%

States least likely to buy from the Detroit 3
  • 51. Hawaii - 19.4%
  • 50. District of Columbia - 22.6%
  • 49. California - 22.9%
  • 47. (tie) Connecticut - 25.8%
  • 47. (tie) Massachusetts - 25.8%
  • 46. New Jersey - 26.7%
  • 45. Rhode Island - 28.7%
  • 44. Florida - 29.8%
  • 43. Maryland - 30.3%
  • 42. Washington - 30.6%