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WHAT IS A U.S. CAR? WHAT IS AN IMPORT?

 WHAT IS A U.S. CAR? WHAT IS AN IMPORT?
 DETROIT, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Many companies are offering cash


incentives to employees who purchase a U.S. car. But what is a U.S. car?
 Automotive News explores that question in a story and table in its Feb. 17 issue. The subject is not as simple as it appears.
 The nameplate doesn't always provide the answer. Dodge Stealths are built in Japan, and most Honda Accords are built in Ohio.
 In general, Automotive News considers all cars and light trucks assembled in the United States and Canada to be domestic. Canada is included because of the trade pact between the two countries.
 But the federal Environmental Protection Agency doesn't buy that argument in every instance. The EPA insists that a vehicle must have at least 75 percent U.S.-Canadian content to be considered a part of the "domestic fleet" for fuel-economy regulations.
 Automotive News notes that a Ford Crown Victoria, which is usually considered as American as apple pie, is an import in the eyes of the EPA. It's built only in Canada, and it does not have 75 percent U.S.- Canadian content.
 On the other hand, a Mercury Tracer gets EPA's nod as a domestic, even though it's produced only in Mexico. And a Cadillac Allante is an import because of its Italian-made body. Forget the fact that it's assembled in a General Motors plant in Detroit, the home of the domestic auto industry.
 Try another tack: import duty. If it isn't subject to U.S. import duty, it's a U.S. car. Wrong again. The U.S. Customs Service assesses import duty on the imported parts and components in every vehicle. If a vehicle has 5 percent imported content, duty is levied on that 5 percent.
 Is a Tennessee-made Nissan Sentra just as American as a Michigan- made Chevrolet Caprice? Automotive News suggests that the answer often lies in the eye of the beholder.
 Automotive News is published each Monday in Detroit by Crain Communications Inc., a privately held company. Crain Communications publishes 25 consumer, business and trade publications including Advertising Age, Detroit Monthly, AutoWeek and Crain's Detroit Business.
 -0- 2/15/92 R
 /NOTE: Automotive News believes its story (page 4) and table (page 66) will interest business editors and reporters.
 CONTACT: Peter Brown of Automotive News, 313-446-1600 or 313-971-6707 (home)/ CO: Automotive News; Crain Communications Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT PUB SU:


JG -- DESA01 -- 0524 02/17/92 09:11 EST
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Date:Feb 17, 1992
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