It’s what they do

“Imported from Detroit” was the tag on the very last frame of one of this year’s better Super Bowl ads, a two-minute scowl by Eminem featuring the Chrysler 200 sedan. A few detractors argued that this was a slim, perhaps shady, claim, inasmuch as the 200 is actually assembled in Sterling Heights, Michigan, whose boundaries start about six miles beyond 8 Mile Road, and besides, all the shots at Chrysler these days are being called by Fiat, which is about as American as bocce balls, and furthermore, they’re all using those damn Chinese parts anyway.

It therefore falls upon me to check it out, and fortunately, I have just the tool for it: the April Car and Driver has a three-page feature (at this writing, not yet on their Web site) called “Domestic Bliss,” which identifies every automobile assembled between Baffin Bay and Belize that’s offered for sale in the States, and the domestic content thereof. “Domestic content,” says writer Tony Quiroga, has a legal definition:

By Uncle Sam’s reckoning, if 75 percent (by value) or more of a car’s parts come from the U.S. or Canada, it’s considered a domestic product; less than that, and it’s not.

So it was a simple matter to turn to the Michigan section, look up Sterling Heights, and there’s the 200, which has a domestic content of, yes, 75 percent. I’d say Detroit can claim this one as one of their own.

Smack that, haters.


  1. KingShamus »

    2 March 2011 · 4:38 pm

    But is the car any good?

  2. CGHill »

    2 March 2011 · 5:38 pm

    It’s not the World’s Greatest Midsized Platform by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a silk purse compared to the pork rind that was the old Sebring.

    Still unanswered: how this and big-brother 300 are going to compare with the teensy Fiat 500 on some of the same lots. I mean, shouldn’t the 500 be bigger? I mean, it’s got a bigger number and all.

  3. fillyjonk »

    2 March 2011 · 6:45 pm

    ….unless “Imported from Detroit” is to get us all ready for the planned give-back of that region to Canada.

  4. CGHill »

    2 March 2011 · 7:00 pm

    And Ottawa said to Washington, “What makes you think we want it?”

  5. McGehee »

    3 March 2011 · 7:07 am

    It was offered to North Korea. They’re still thinking about it.

  6. Gabrielle Dolly »

    3 March 2011 · 8:33 am

    I got the impression that people were knickers-betwisted that the ad seemed to be knocking Detroit. A native Motowner of my acquaintance allowed as how it was actually pretty cool and captured the pride of the Motor City in the auto industry fairly well. It COULD have shown the sickening square miles of abandoned houses, factories, and warehouses, but didn’t. All-in-all, as an ad, a win.


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