If you look at the history of American cars, there are two car companies you have to mention. One is Ford, and the other is General Motors. General Motors once held the title of the world's largest automaker for 76 years (1931-2008) and was a household name in the U.S. as a "national brand", but it lost out to Toyota before the financial crisis broke out in 2008.
As of 2022, Ford Motor Company was the largest automobile manufacturer in the United States and one of the largest in the world, ranked 5th. Core American car brands include Ford, Chevrolet/Chevy, Tesla, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Jeep, Lincoln, Dodge/Ram and Chrysler.
Which car models best represent American car culture?
I'm sure pickup trucks and muscle cars are two of them. Pickup trucks and muscle cars are often considered symbols of American car culture—Ford is the biggest winner. Over the years, pickup trucks have become a popular form of transportation in America and a necessity for many people; while the Ford F-Series is the star of this class of vehicle.
On the other hand, muscle cars are also a symbol of the American spirit. Just like the cowboy culture in the 19th century, muscle cars symbolize Americans' free-spirited and enterprising character (its birth coincides with America's yearning for freedom, advocacy of individuality, and national spirit). The Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Charger are all examples of the classic American muscle car.
Let's take a look, Which car brands are on the list.
Mass Market Brands
Ford and Chevrolet have been business rivals for over a century, and their rivalry is one of the most well-known in the automobile industry (homegrown brands). Each brand has its own loyal supporters who are passionate about their favorite brand and will go to great lengths to promote it.
Which American car brand is most reliable?
Buick. According to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), Buick (147 PP100) ranks highest among American car brands.
The Buick brand currently consists mostly of sedans, SUVs, and MPVs. However, it remains an important part of GM's portfolio due to its popularity in China (Buick's greatest market is in China) and its contribution to the company's bottom line.
- 11903-PresentFordMass-Market Cars
- 21911-PresentChevroletMass-Market Cars
- 31941-PresentJeepSport Utility Vehicles
- 41911-PresentGMCPickup Trucks, Other
- 51903-PresentBuickMass-Market Cars
- 61900-PresentDodgePerformance Cars
- 72010-PresentRAMPickup Trucks, Vans
Luxury Car Brands
Cadillac has been one of America's premier luxury carmakers for more than a century. It has set many standards for the industry and created many firsts in the luxury car world. It is no exaggeration to say that Cadillac's history represents the history of luxury cars in America.
Lincoln is the luxury vehicle division of the American car company Ford. Marketed among the top luxury brands in the United States, Lincoln has competed closely against Cadillac since its inception.
- 11902-PresentCadillacLuxury Vehicles
- 21917-PresentLincolnLuxury Vehicles
- 31925-PresentChryslerEntry-Level Luxury Cars
Electric Car Brands
Tesla is far and away the most popular electric car brand in the world. In 2022, the Tesla Model Y overtook its sibling, the Model 3(Model 3 was the world's best-selling electric car from 2018 to 2021), to take the top spot with 771,300 units sold. This marks the first time the Model Y has taken the world's best-selling electric vehicle title.
- 12003-PresentTeslaLuxury Electric Vehicles
- 22015-PresentKarmaLuxury Electric Vehicles
- 32007-PresentLucidLuxury Electric Vehicles
- 42014-PresentFaraday FutureElectric Vehicles
- 52002-PresentBrammoElectric Vehicles
- 62009-PresentRivianElectric Vehicles
- 72018-PresentLordstownElectric Vehicles
- 81998-PresentWorkhorseElectric Vehicles
- 92017-PresentCanooElectric Vehicles
- 102013-PresentDrako MotorsLuxury Electric Vehicles
The U.S. logistics industry relies heavily on trucks, and longhead trucks with semi-trailers make up the majority of freight vehicles traveling on U.S. highways.
Freightliner is one of the largest truck manufacturers in North America (with 40% of the market share), producing a wide range of commercial semi-trucks for various purposes. The company sells over 190,000 trucks to customers throughout North America each year, including on-highway, medium-duty and severe-duty vehicles--to meet customers' varying needs.
- 11942-PresentFreightlinerMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks (Class 5-8)
- 21939-PresentPeterbiltMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks (Class 5-8)
- 31912-PresentKenworthMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks (Class 5-8)
- 41902-PresentInternationalMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks, Severe-Service Trucks
- 51900-PresentMackMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks
- 61967-PresentWestern StarHeavy-duty Trucks (Premium Class 8)
- 72014-PresentNikolaHeavy-duty Electric Vehicle (Class 8)
Sports Car Brands
The Ford Mustang is now the world's best selling sports car brand, according to an IHS Markit analysis of Ford data. Ford Mustang is the world's most popular sporty 2-door for the third year in a row.
The Mustang's popularity can be attributed to its combination of classic style, powerful performance, and advanced technology. It's a car that drivers of all ages can enjoy, from those who remember the original Mustangs of the 1960s to younger drivers who appreciate its modern updates and features.
- 11964-PresentFord MustangSports Cars
- 21953-PresentChevrolet CorvetteSports Cars
- 31992-PresentDodge ViperSports Cars
- 41965-PresentVLFSports Cars
- 51971-PresentVectorSports Cars
- 61989-PresentPanozCustom Sport Cars
American supercar brands include the Hennessey Venom GT, which holds the world record for the fastest production car (it has a top speed of 270 mph, which is faster than a Bugatti Veyron. Ranked 3rd among the 20 fastest car in the world.), and the SSC Tuatara, which is expected to challenge that record soon.
There are also several boutique manufacturers such as Saleen, Mosler, and Panoz, which produce limited-production supercars with unique designs and features.
- 21998-PresentSSCLuxury Supercars
Manufacturer & Bus
General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US are often referred to as the "Big Three", being the largest automakers in the United States.
- 11908-PresentGeneral MotorsManufacturer
- 42002-PresentIC BusSchool Bus
Defunct Car Brands
These defunct American car brands have left a lasting impact on the automotive industry, and their cars are still admired and collected by enthusiasts. They represent a different era in American car manufacturing, with unique designs and features that set them apart from other brands.
Here are 20 car brands worth remembering:
- 11938-2011MercuryEntry-Level Luxury Cars
- 21926-2010PontiacLuxury Vehicles
- 31985-2010SaturnCompact Cars
- 41992-2010HummerSport Utility Vehicles
- 51897-2004OldsmobileLuxury Vehicles
- 61928-2001PlymouthCompact Cars
- 71954-1988American MotorsAutomobiles, Other
- 91975-1982DeLoreanSports Cars
- 101852-1967StudebakerWagons, Buggies, Carriages
- 111908-1963Willys-OverlandMilitary Jeeps, Sport Utility Vehicles
- 121928-1961DeSotoEntry-Level Luxury Cars
- 131957-1960EdselFull-size Cars, Station Wagons
- 141899-1958PackardLuxury Cars
- 161945-1953KaiserLuxury Cars
- 181911-1939StutzLuxury Cars, Luxury Sports Car
- 191901-1938Pierce-ArrowExpensive Luxury Cars
- 201913-1937DuesenbergLuxury Cars
*Sort by defunct time
More Defunct Brands
Nothing lasts forever. Every once in a while, a car brand, for one reason or another, will fail. While their cars may no longer be on the roads, they remain a part of American automotive history.
- 12007-2014FiskerElectric Vehicles
- 31906-2008SterlingMedium and Heavy-duty Trucks (Class 5-8)
- 41988-1999EagleLuxury Sedans, Sports Cars
- 51989-1997GeoCompact Cars
- 61985-1989MerkurLuxury Cars
- 71902-1985International HarvesterManufacturer
- 111907-1939Detroit ElectricElectric Cars
- 121900-1937AuburnLuxury Cars
- 131902-1934FranklinLuxury Cars
- 141909-1925ColeLuxury Cars
- 151909-1919Abbott-DetroitLuxury Cars
*Sort by defunct time
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