Buy American!

You hear this phrase more and more, but when it comes to cars it isn't all that easy.A decade ago things were different. With rare exception, back then, if you went to a Ford, Chrysler or GM dealer you were buying American.

Go to a Honda or Toyota dealer and you were buying a car made overseas.

Today Toyotas are being built in California and Kentucky. Hondas are built in Ohio, Mazdas in Michigan, Nissans in Tennessee. Yamaha builds golf carts in Kentucky. Some of the Hondas built in Marysville, Ohio, are being exported to Japan. Toyota sends some of its Celica models over here to be customized as convertibles and then ships them back to Japan.

Ford dealers sell the Festiva built in Korea. The Mercury Tracer is built in Mexico. Chevy GEO's come from Japan. Pontiac's LeMans is built in Korea. The Colt and Conquest sold by Chrysler dealers come from Mitsubishi in Japan, as does the Raider sold by Dodge.

Until recently, when demand forced the assembly at a U.S. plant, Voyagers and Caravans were built by Chrysler exclusively in Canada.

If you want to buy American, you have to do your homework.

Most Honda cars sold east of the Mississippi River are built in the United States. As of now all Toyota Camrys sold in the United States will be built in a huge new plant in Georgetown, Ky.

Automobile manufacturing has become a global business for every major company. Recent changes in the value of the dollar have made "made in the U.S.A." very practical for foreign firms. The Mazda MX 6 comes down the same assembly line in Flat Rock, Mich., as the Ford Probe.