RAC Cars News


If your car had a passport

By raccars Published


You may think you know where your car comes from, but what would its passport say?

There was a time when you could look at a car's badge and know exactly where it came from. A BMW came from Germany, for example, and a Honda came from Japan. These days it's all a lot more complicated and you may be surprised to find out that your 'German' car was built in the USA. Britain in particular, has become a manufacturing powerhouse for a number of international manufacturers. So where do you think your car came from?

Are you surprised by your car's passport?


The big German SUV is actually made at the Spartanburg BMW factory in South Carolina in the United States, along with the X6, X4 and the X3. This is BMW's only production facility in the USA and about three quarters of its output is destined for global export.

Ford Fiesta

Britain's most popular car is actually built in Cologne, Germany. The Fiesta is sold internationally and is manufactured for other markets elsewhere - American Fiestas are built in Cuautitlan Izcalli in Mexico, for example.

Ford EcoSport

Originally based upon the Ford Fiesta, the company's smallest SUV was first built in Brazil and was very successful in the South American market. The One Ford strategy has seen the EcoSport's market expand globally and the SUV is now built in India and Thailand. British and European Ford EcoSports come from the Indian factory in Chennai.

Ford Edge

Released relatively recently in the UK, the Edge SUV is another member of the One Ford programme and is built for all markets in Ontario, Canada at the company's Oakville Assembly Complex.

Honda Civic Type R

This very Japanese high performance car is made in Honda's huge Swindon factory in the UK, for the domestic and European markets. The standard Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V are also manufactured in Swindon.

Audi TT

It may be as German as lederhosen and bratwurst, but the Audi TT is built at the Gyor Audi plant in Hungary. Originally the TT was assembled at Gyor with bodyshells made at Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany, but the Hungarian facility makes the third generation model from start to finish.

Jeep Renegade

Fiat's partnership with Chrysler means that despite its all-American image, the Jeep Renegade is made in the Basilicata region of southern Italy, alongside the Fiat 500X with which it was jointly developed.

Nissan Navara

The rough and tough pick-up is not only named after the region of Navarre in northern Spain but is also built for the European market at Nissan's Barcelona factory.

Seat Alhambra

It wears a Spanish badge and is named after one of the country's greatest monuments, but the Alhambra MPV is made in Portugal at the VW Group's Palmela facility, along with its badge engineered counterpart the Volkswagen Sharan.

Renault Captur

The Captur compact crossover has been largely responsible for an upturn in the French manufacturer's fortunes and displays a thoroughly Gallic image. However it starts its life in north-west Spain at the Renault plant in Valladolid.

Nissan Qashqai

The Japanese crossover that almost single handedly changed the face of the automotive industry was designed and engineered in the UK and is built for the European market and the Middle East at Nissan's huge Sunderland factory, with some additional production in Russia mopping up the overspill in demand where it exceeds the capacity of the UK plant. Far East and Australian models are made in Japan and China. The Nissans Leaf, Note and Juke are also built in Sunderland.

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti is Nissan's premium sub-brand and is also housed in Sunderland in the UK. The Q30 hatchback actually uses a Mercedes-Benz chassis but is built alongside Nissan's other output. Nissan is currently building a new factory in Mexico which will take up Q30 production for certain markets.

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