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Where Do the Most “Patriotic” Car Buyers Live?

Motorists in Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland most likely to buy Big Three, while LA loves imports.

by on Jul.06, 2011

Midwest buyers remain the most loyal to the traditional domestic auto brands.

“Buy American?” it’s not always easy to figure out what an American car is, these days, considering your Chevy may come from Korea, while your Kia may have been built in West Point, Georgia.  But if you’re looking for the communities where shoppers are most likely to purchase one of the Big Three brands, Midwest motorists remain the most loyal to domestic automakers, while those in California and other West Coast communities are overwhelmingly import oriented.

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The gap can be significant: in major Midwest markets, Detroit’s Big Three brands routinely capture more than two-thirds of new car sales, while three in four shoppers on the Left Coast turn to either Asian or European marques.

But domestic industry officials insist they’re seeing a shift in momentum, especially as they launch new small, fuel-efficient models that are beginning to gain traction even in import-centric California.