Foreign Carmakers Outproduce Detroit Brands in US

2023 Marks Shift for First Time
Toyota assembly
A Toyota on an assembly line. (Milan Jaros/Bloomberg News)

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Foreign-owned manufacturers churned out more vehicles in the U.S. last year than their rivals in Detroit, a first for the market that underscores major shifts in domestic auto production.

Non-U.S. brands including Toyota Motor Corp. and Mercedes-Benz Group AG built more than 4.9 million cars in 2023, a jump of about 500,000 from the prior year, according to a report July 9 from Autos Drive America and the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

The big three domestic brands — General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and the former Fiat Chrysler, Stellantis NV — made 4.6 million in the market, a modest decline.

Separately, U.S. electric vehicle makers Tesla Inc., Rivian Automotive Inc. and Lucid Group Inc. produced 754,342 cars in the U.S. in the same period, according to the auto groups, which lobby for international car companies and their dealers.

The production shift “makes clear that international automakers are driving economic growth throughout the country,” Jennifer Safavian, CEO of Autos Drive America, said in a statement.

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