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What makes a car American?

Edward Lapham is the editor of Automotive News

OCT. 30 -- These troubled times have brought a flood of patriotic advertising, like the ``Keep America Rolling'' incentives.

While many advertisers might like to wrap themselves in the flag, consumers can have a very different view of what makes a car "American."

In a recent poll by America Online, 47 percent of the respondents said a Chevrolet Avalanche is not an American vehicle because it is assembled in Mexico.

At the same time 14 percent said the Volvo S40 is an American car because Volvo is owned by Ford.

The continued growth of international brands - including vehicles that are imported and vehicles that are built here - suggests that being an American car is not a big advantage.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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