After a long romance with foreign rivals, Americans are once again falling in love with American cards. In a new AP-GfK poll, 38% said US-made cars are of a higher quality than their Asian rivals, compared to 33% who preferred Asian brands. The numbers appear to have been largely fueled by a plunge in Toyota's reputation and an upsurge in Ford's—the survey was conducted in March, when Toyota's recall scandal was in the news.
Though the US advantage is modest, it marks a significant turnabout. When the same question was asked in a December 2006 AP-AOL poll, 46% said Asian countries made superior cars, with only 29% backing American vehicles. American cars are now especially popular among those over age 50, and rural residents; men, residents of Western states, and the better educated were more likely to prefer Asian cars.