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The old commercial proclaiming "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet" to be the four pillars of Americana may need a bit of a revision. New research has found that Americans consider Ford to be the "most American" brand.
Overall, 15 percent of respondents say that Ford is the most American brand, beating out General Motors and Chevrolet. Just 5 percent of people call GM the most American brand, while 4 percent listed Chevy, which is owned by GM, as the top brand. Rounding out the top five were McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
However, researchers found that those feelings may be a bit misguided. That's because people have a number of different opinions on what makes a product American-made. Seventy-five percent of people say that products have to be manufactured in America to be American-made. Fifty-two percent say that products simply need to be made by a U.S. company, and even fewer say that products need to be made from parts made in the U.S.
"What many consumers don't know is that companies very traditionally seen as American, from GE to John Deere to Levi Strauss, outsource varying portions of their operations overseas, so it takes a lot of attention and research to determine if you're buying American and what that specifically means to you," said Mike de Vere, president of the Harris Poll, which conducted the research. "Even the big three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Chrysler — two of whom were thought of as the most American brands in our findings, increasingly have cars in which parts are produced abroad, while Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have upped U.S. production."
Regardless, those feelings may be good news for brands. Researchers found that 56 percent of Americans find it important to support American companies. Additionally, two-thirds of those respondents say that it is important to support those companies to keep jobs in America. Nearly half of Americans are also concerned about the safety of products produced outside the United States.
However, respondents were more likely to purchase certain products depending on where they were manufactured. Seventy-nine percent of people say that they want to buy major appliances made in America. More than 70 percent also found it important to buy furniture, clothing and small appliances made in the U.S.
The research was based on the responses of 2,176 people in the United States.