Foreign Car Brands (Top List)

Do you want to learn about the various foreign car brands that exist? Are you confused about some car models, choice pick or do you wish to seek clarity about the makers? 

Look no further because you are in the right place. We have analyzed the diverse foreign car brands in the market and have provided a complete compilation of everything you need to know, including their specifications and characteristics.

From Korea and Japan to the U.K. and Germany, every country has many highly exotic brands to choose from. In this article, we will provide you with all the information about foreign car brands, including their origin, their features, and various models put out on the market. You would also learn about the relative advantages that these cars have over one another,

Let’s get started!

Foreign Car Brands – Japanese Car Brands

A few of the popular vehicle brands in America are of Japanese origin. However, in the concluding years of the 20th century, unrest occurred ( the gas and emission crisis). This gave way for Japanese vehicle producers, to penetrate the market with affordable, fuel-efficient, and reliable vehicles.

Since then, Japanese vehicle manufacturers have become a big force and highly reckoned with in the U.S., making up a large percentage of all the vehicles in America.

1. Acura

Acura would have passed easily as Honda; however, having it under the Honda umbrella would not have been fair, if its popularity is to be considered. Acura vehicles are luxurious models of Honda. They are known for models like sedans and compact crossovers, and they also make sports cars. In 1986, Acura made its first appearance in the American automobile market.

2. Honda

A popular brand among several American vehicle owners. Honda manufactures very reliable vehicles, which do not cost too much to maintain and have a great overall performance. Honda is known for many good models, however, Accord, CR-V, and Civic are among the best-selling Honda models, as also Odyssey, which rates among the most common minivans in America.

The Honda brand found its way into the U.S. automobile market with the Benly, Super Cub, and Dream models in 1959.

3. Infiniti

Infiniti is a product of Nissan. This luxury model of Nissan is usually called the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Infiniti products vary from sedans to SUVs, with their first model being the Infinity QX80. The M30 luxury coupe and Q45 luxury sedan were the company’s first models sold in the U.S. in 1989.

4. Lexus

Japanese manufacturers have a clear pattern, that does not exclude the Toyota brand.

Lexus vehicles are luxury models of Toyota. Lexus is arguably the first among these luxury models, and Toyota did everything within its power to conceal its link with Lexus.

Presently, some of the best sedans and SUVs available in the market, are Lexus models (i.e., LEXUS IS and LX); however, the most common model is the R.X. crossover. Just like Infiniti, Lexus models were first seen in the U.S. market in 1989. ES 250 and LS 4000 sedans, were the first ones on the market.

5. Mazda

For more than 20 years, Mazda has been a widely accepted brand in convertible vehicles, as the MX-5 domination in the automobile market continues. In addition, the Mazda brand also manufactures many crossovers that are quite comfortable, reliable, and not too expensive. In 1969, Mazda sold its first set of cars in the United States, the year Mazda Motor of America came to life.

6. Mitsubishi

At least before it allied with Nissan and Renault, Mitsubishi was not a well-known brand in the U.S. market. However, They still make some known and widely used models, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, although Nissan control other areas of the automobile market.

In 1981, Mitsubishi made its first appearance in the American automobile market; however, before that year, Mitsubishi made vehicles for Chrysler. The Chrysler Colt is a notable product in this phase.

7. Nissan

In the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, at least, Nissan stands out as the biggest ally of the group in America. Nissan is quite different from other Japanese products and can be considered a nice brand. Nissan produces Z-cars, Nissan Titan pickup, and Nissan Versa, which many vehicle owners appreciate, although it is not as popular as some people would have expected.

Nissan ranks among the oldest brands from Japan in America, making its first appearance with Datsun vehicles in 1958.

8. Subaru

Subaru is very popular for its WRX series. The BRZ and Subaru Outback are very popular models too. It is worth of note that Toyota owns about 20% of this company. Subaru sold its first set of vehicles in the U.S. in 1968.

9. Suzuki

Suzuki vehicles can not be found much in the U.S. anymore, with Suzuki SX4 and Suzuki Kizashi being the last models to be found in the U.S. in 2012. Nonetheless, they still have a significant presence in the U.S. because Suzuki found a way into the U.S. market and has been selling vehicles since 1985.

Foreign Car brands

10. Toyota

Undoubtedly, Toyota ranks as the No. 1 selling brand from Japan, in the American automobile market and arguably one of the highly appreciated brands globally. A lot of Toyota models exist and are of different classes. These models include Corolla, Tacoma, RAV4, Tundra, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, etc.

The Toyota brand has Scion and Lexus, under its control and ownership. They sell vehicles made in Japan, and those made domestically in Toyota facilities in the U.S. Toyota also takes the accolade, for being the first Japanese brand to show up in the U.S. automobile market in 1957.

Foreign Car Brands – South Korean Car Brands

South Korea does not have many vehicle manufacturers like Japan; however, they have a significant industry when it comes to car production, with some having global recognition. For example, brands like Kia and Hyundai are recognized globally and occupy a significant space in the American automobile market, with their recently manufactured models.

1. Genesis

Genesis vehicles are luxury models of the Hyundai branch. They manufacture some top-tier luxury sedans, like the Genesis G90. This company is also the maker of the all-electric SUV, known as the GV60. However, genesis did not find a way into the U.S. market until recently (late 2016).

2. Hyundai

Hyundai has several categories of vehicles, which can also be found in America, ranging from passenger cars to SUVs. Hyundai is also putting a lot of effort into electric vehicles and plans to start exporting the logic five crossovers. Hyundai entered the U.S. market in 1986, with their subcompact Excel being their first available model.

3. Kia

In recent times, Kia has gathered a lot of praise in the U.S. automobile market, because the Kia Telluride SUV is appreciated, and considered among the best-rated vehicle models in 2022. Kia first appeared on the U.S. automobile market in 1992, when the Sportage and Sephia models came into the U.S. market.

Also Read: Is Driving Barefoot Illegal (Everything to Know)

Foreign Car Brands – German Car Brands

For a long time, German vehicle manufacturers have been widely known for prestige and luxury, with Lexus considered the only brand that could go toe to toe with them. Recently, Top-tier vehicles are more luxurious; however, several other models have very cool features and can be very affordable.

1. Audi

Audi is widely recognized for its Q-series crossovers, A-series sedans, and some other high-quality vehicles. Audi is also recognized in the electric vehicle market, with its E-Tron being the breakthrough vehicle. Audi’s first appearance in the U.S. was in 1970 when they started selling the Audi 100LS in the automobile market.

Audi remains a highly sophisticated vehicle, considering its impact on the Electric Vehicle industry, and its innovative technology features. Audi released the Q4 E-Tron crossover SUV, which joins other existing Audi EVs like the E-Tron and E-Tron GT (which are SUV and Sedan vehicles, respectively). This means an Audi Electric Vehicle is available in popular vehicle body structures.

Audi is now making vehicles with features similar to the Alexa systems on google, that allow a vehicle owner to control his home features right inside his vehicle. Also, the brand’s Personalization 2.0 is now enhanced. It comes with a customized profile, featuring control climate, locking, seat, and lighting settings, which can be found in any recent Audi vehicle.

For drivers who do not want to wait while driving due to red traffic lights, Audi has also developed another feature known as Traffic Light Information (TLI). Using the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) swarm technology, Audi vehicles can predict the accurate speed at which the vehicle should move, evade red lights and see nothing other than green light after green light.

2. BMW

Another widely recognized German brand is the. The letter BMW is an acronym that means Bayerische Motoren Werke in German (and Bavarian Motor Works in English). Although a subsidiary of the popular brand Rolls Royce, this brand is known for its numerous luxury vehicles, especially the BMW X3, Z4 Roadster, MINI, 3-series, and M3 Coupe.

Maintaining a top spot among other exotic brands can be a difficult task. For the BMW brand, their less significant impact in the automobile industry in 2022, has swept them off their spot at the top and taken them two spots down to third. Regardless, BMW is still a top brand, due to its significant movements in the E.V. industry, including a full project of ICE and hybrid vehicles, to provide several custom options.

The BMW iX, the first electric SUV from the brand, ranks among the most dependable luxury vehicle brands. This model (BMW iX) would sell, even more, considering the increase in the growth and development, the crossover SUV industry has experienced recently. The BMW iX has a dual-motor AWD feature that is capable of competing with the best. The newly produced BMW i4 sport sedan also joins the BMW electric Vehicle collections list.

Other major moves made by BMW in 2022 include a newly designed 2-Series, a 627 horsepower M5 C.S., first-time AWD 3 Series. Also, remember that BMW is a manufacturer of some motorcycles, which rank among the fastest globally.

3. Bugatti

The Bugatti brand does not pass for a German vehicle, because it is an innovation of Ettore Bugatti (an Italian) in Molsheim ( a German town), and can be found in present-day France.

However, considering its link with Volkswagen, the decision maker in this connection is obvious and unarguable. In addition, Buggati also entered an alliance with Rimmac, a Croatian electric supercar producer.

4. Maybach

As stated earlier, Lexus is a Toyota product that provides worthy competition for Mercedes-Benz. Lexus’s purpose is quite similar to what Maybach does for Mercedes-Benz. Maybach is a comfort and luxury vehicle, made to compete with Rolls Royce.

With Maybach being a globally appreciated brand, its S-Class models are preferred by many CEOs, billionaires, brand owners, and presidents.

5. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz remains a very influential and top-tier vehicle producer, and its innovation and ideas have helped shape the automobile industry. Several features now seen as the standard were available on S-Classes over two decades ago. The vehicles ranging from sedans to SUVs do not need any further glorification, with high prices being the only issue with the brand.

Mercedes’s first appearance on the American auto market was in 1952. However, the brand’s branch in the U.S. and its official dealership came up in 1965.

In the world we live in, two choices exist. It is either a thing that changes as time goes on, or it is left in the past. A new era for the Mercedes-Benz brand was marked in 2022. Its quick expansion in the E.V. industry, with a good lineup, put Mercedes-Benz in the top spot in 2022, following a number 2 spot in 2021. The only issue with Mercedes Benz is that the internal combustor engine is still way off.

Mercedes Benz came into the electric vehicle industry and started with the EQS, which has a similar luxury to the S-Class and creates 631 lb-ft of torque and about 516 horsepower. This is why the vehicle is rated above others, in the electric vehicle market.

However, this is unacceptable for an A-class brand like Mercedes-Benz. The brand is also making big moves with its designs, which is evident in its Vision EQXX and Vision AMG vehicles. Both concepts would have been imagined in the past, but it is a reality today.

6. Porsche

For some people, Porsche is just a sports car product which is an obvious and unarguable point.

Porsche has moved from producing sports cars only and is now a sports sedan producer, not forgetting their crossover models, and all these vehicles maintain a good performance, which is one thing Porsche is known for. Porsche got into the U.S. in 1982, upon establishing Porsche North America.

7. Smart

Smart vehicle was a gamble for Mercedes. It gained a lot of applause for its super compact design, which is advantageous if used in a city. However, its high prices made buying them unrealistic for many people in the U.S., and maintaining them is even more expensive. As a result, smart left the U.S. automobile market as a result of unsuccessful sales.

8. Volkswagen

Surprisingly, a brand like Volkswagen, being the most popular in Europe, is not so popular in America. Although, they are present in the American market and have been selling since 1949, with the Volkswagen Beetle being a very popular model.

In recent times, the brand has been attempting to sell out its exotic vehicles, and find a breakthrough in that part of the industry.

Foreign Car Brands

Foreign Car Brands – British Car Brands

The vehicles manufactured in Britain have been placed in a different class, for a long time. Today, most British vehicle companies are under the ownership of foreign companies such as BMW, Tata, Ford, and V.W.

Although British vehicles have lost some prestige based on this, they are very reliable, and their structures are of good quality, which makes them quite a good option in the auto market.

1. Aston Martin

Aston Martin probably has the best marketing strategy, among British vehicles (also known as the James Bond car). Although a small brand, Aston Martin centers on creating high-quality sports cars like DB11, Vantage, and DBS and also produced their flagship SUV, the DBX. Aston Martin made its first appearance in the American market in 1990, although its sales have been limited.

2. Bentley

While Aston Martin produces luxury vehicles with a big focus on its performance, Bentley produces luxury vehicles, although they focus more on luxury. The Bentayga, Flying Spur, and Continental are three models of the brand (an SUV, sports coupe, and a sedan, respectively.)

When Bentley first appeared on the American market, it was not known; however, there is a belief that it entered the market with the Grand Tourer model.

3. Jaguar

Jaguar’s presence in the auto industry is known for its average and high-quality sedans, which compete with Mercedes Benz or Audi. However, the unique British design is quite distinct from its German competitors. An interesting fact is that the F-pace (an SUV), is Jaguar’s biggest sale in the auto market. Jaguar’s first sales in America was the S.S. Jaguar in 1935.

4. Land Rover

Several off-road SUVs are available on the auto market, however, just a few can meet up with the luxury and potential of this brand’s models, like the Range Rover and Defender. Land Rover has cemented its spot among the best SUV producers globally, and it started selling its models in America in 1987.

5. Lotus

As a specific vehicle manufacturer that deals in making excellent sports cars, Lotus vehicles are made with small, although powerful engines and portable body structures, which gives them a distinct look from other tech and super heavy sports vehicles.

Lotus found its way into the U.S. market for the first time in 2005, although its presence in the market has been fluctuating due to production and management changes.

6. McLaren

If AMG and Aston Martin produce supercars, McLaren produces something more than these brands. McLaren vehicles are grouped among our elite vehicles in the auto industry, as their production run is very expensive and limited.

Currently, McLaren’s models also include McLaren Artura (a hybrid focused on high performance) and McLaren 720S. The brand’s first set of supercars was offered in America in 2011.

7. Mini

Like Jaguar, Mini vehicles are also of British origins, and their unique British designs make them a popular choice in the automobile market.

The U.S. has seen Mini models like the new mini in its market since 2002 and is relevant to the market to date. Mini made its first contact with the American market in 1960.

8. Rolls-Royce

Regarded as one of the most luxurious vehicles ever created, Rolls-Royce is a beauty to behold and a widely appreciated brand. Rolls-Royce is known for its extreme comfort, luxury, and dominant status.

Rolls-Royce found its way into the American market in 1906 and was among the first producers to offer its products in America. Also, Rolls-Royce of America came into existence in 1921.

Foreign Car Brands – Italian Car Brands

Passion is a word that has been used several times in describing Italian vehicles, and it later turned into a joke. However, on a truthful note, it remains the biggest attribute of Italian vehicles.

The emotion of Italian manufacturers is driven by the nation’s unique culture, which manufacturers consider when making timeless and classic sporty cars, even with the fact that they meet the standards of production.

In the United States, Italian vehicles are rated as premium and high-quality products, excluding the Alfa Romeo, which is rated somewhere in the mid-class.

1. Alfa Romeo

Under Fiat (which is controlled by the Stellantis Group), the Alfa Romeo brand found a way back into the American market, when it sold the Alfa Romeo 4C model in 2015. The high-performance Stelvio and Giulia sports cars are among their known brands.

2. Ferrari

No one needs to introduce the Ferrari brand. Enzo Ferrari is quite an influential figure in the vehicle production industry, alongside Karl Benz, Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porsche, and Gottlieb Daimler. Ferrari’s first dealership in America was established in 1964.

3. Lamborghini

Originally, they started production with farming tractors; Lamborghini created a fierce rivalry with Enzo Ferrari with vehicles capable of healthy competition. Recently, the brand is known for its Urus and Huracan crossover SUV models, which focus on high performance.

Due to the exclusive nature of these vehicles, there is no specific date when they arrived in the United States; however, rich Americans likely began importing Lamborghini, immediately after they were manufactured in Italy.

4. Maserati

Maserati is also an Italian brand capable of competing with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. This luxury brand currently makes the Ghibli, Quattroporte sedan, MC20 Sports car, and the Levante SUV.

Maserati came on and off the American market on several occasions, due to financial struggles faced by the brands. However, its most recent comeback was 20 years ago in 2002, and the U.S. became this brand’s biggest market in no time.

Foreign Car Brands – Swedish Car Brands

Sweden is not mentioned as much as it should when there is a conversation about car-producing nations with global influence. Saab and Volvo are of significant influence in the auto industry, especially when it comes to safety.

Although, Swedish vehicles are not well detailed and have the low build quality, which is a major cause for both brands’ influence rescinding in the industry, as they could no longer stand toe to toe with other manufacturers.

1. Saab

Saab, in times past, used to make aircraft, and it is for this reason that their vehicles are sometimes called “airplanes on wheels”. Unfortunately, Saab’s production facilities closed down in 2011, due to the company’s inability to make any profit, and because these vehicles were good, it is quite unfortunate this happened.

2. Volvo

The next line of thought when Volvo comes to mind is practicality and safety. The Swedish brand, in some kind of way, dodged a fate similar to Saabs’ after it was sold to a corporation in China (Zhejiang Geely Holding Group). Volvo has not stopped production, and several SUVs and family sedans are associated with this brand, with its first exports coming into America in 1955.

Five Volvo models were added to the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus list, which raised its paid parental leave, and boosted sales in the three months of 2022. Undoubtedly, Volvo is gradually becoming a brand capable of pulling crowds, and conversations around it. This is because Volvo intends to raise its market shares in the E.V. sector, and wants to increase its labor force and retention rates, by laying down several new exciting regulations.

This summary is that Volvo aims to become an all-E.V. producer by 2030, based on a statement from the company’s CEO. The brand also has a stake in the exotic vehicle market, by adding electric power with Scandinavian minimalism. This broadens the scope when talking about luxury vehicles’ environmental safety, and friendliness.

Foreign Car Brands – Chinese Car Brands

China usually brings in vehicles from foreign brands, while its own vehicle companies remain in the domestic market. However, Polestar has penetrated the U.S. market and remains the only exception to this rule.

1. Polestar

Polestar used to be another arm of Volvo, which a Chinese company now controls. Polestar is under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. They currently produce the Polestar 2, a 4-door, battery-powered fastback.

Also Read: Engine Rebuild Cost

Frequently Asked Questions – Foreign Car Brands

What car is called a foreign?

A foreign vehicle is any vehicle, whose parts are produced and coupled outside the shores of a particular country. Several foreign vehicles cost more than American-made vehicles. To Ship in an assembled vehicle usually cost more than shipping ordinary parts, and having them coupled locally.

Which is the No 1 car brand in the world?

Mercedes- Benz. From 1886 till date, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t stopped working wonders with its technological innovations, and huge output among the remaining automobile brands. Mercedes-Benz placed the bar high for other brands, due to its consistency in vehicle production and sales.

Is Audi considered a foreign car?

Audi, alongside other German juggernauts, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, is placed in the same category of the best-selling exotic vehicles globally.

What is the top foreign car brand in the USA?

In 2021, BMW got the nod as America’s most common exotic vehicle brand, just ahead of Mercedez-Benz, while Audi sits in third place. Globally, Toyota remains the top foreign vehicle brand, with Lexus, Mazda, Honda, and the rest of the Japanese brands coming behind.
Good quality and pocket-friendly prices are a major reason why Japanese vehicles are very popular over their expensive and exotic German counterparts.

What are the American car brands?

The most popular vehicles made in America are Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, Lincoln, Jeep, Chrysler, Buick, Tesla, GMC, and Cadillac.

What are the cheap foreign car brands?

The least expensive foreign vehicles are made in Japan. Although, because Honda, Toyota, and a few others make their vehicles in the U.S., there is no clear-cut line between domestic and foreign in this very instance.
Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are affordable vehicles and do not cost a fortune to maintain.

In what country are cars the cheapest?

Considering the average cost and salary of a vehicle owner, Australia ranks as the country where cars are very cheap. An Australian can buy and maintain a vehicle with about 49.48% of their average salary per annum. America takes the second spot in this rating with 54.87%, then Denmark and Canada follow with 60.34% and 64.40%, respectively.

Are cars cheap in the USA?

Purchasing a vehicle in America is much cheaper than in any other place on Earth. So although the cost of insurance is pretty expensive, it is an unavoidable expense.

Is Honda a foreign car?

Honda is an international vehicle as the brand’s headquarters remain in Japan. Nonetheless, the vehicles in dealerships may be made in the U.S. because Honda has a lot of production plants in America.

Is Toyota a foreign car?

Toyota, like Honda, also has its headquarters in Japan, but it has production facilities scattered all over the world, with America, not an exception.

How many car brands are there?

More than 60 major vehicle brands exist globally; however, Just 14 corporations can lay ownership rights over these brands. Due to the big risks faced in the vehicle production industry, including regular insolvency and bankruptcy, brands merge to absolve themselves of these increasing problems.

How many different car brands are there in the U.S.?

Depending on the counting preference, nothing less than 42 brands exist in America, including major foreign and domestic brands, E.V. brands, and supercar manufacturers.

What car is the most American-made?

Although Tesla is usually said to be the most American-made vehicle we have, the vehicle’s batteries (which is the core of the Tesla brand) are gotten from China.
Due to complicated logistic lines, the precise source of these parts is unclear; however, Jeep Cherokee, Ford Mustang, and, interestingly, Nissan Titan have most of their vehicle parts built in the U.S.

Where is Toyota made?

Toyota has production facilities in the U.S.; hence, their vehicles are produced in different parts of America, including Mississippi, Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas. Therefore, most Toyota vehicles in the USA market are produced in the plants, in these states.

Is Tesla made in America?

This answer to this goes both ways. While it is assembled in California (Fremont plant), the vehicle’s batteries and probably some other parts are gotten from China, although China is not their only source.
If what gives life to an internal-combustion vehicle is its engine, then the life of an E.V. can be said to be its batteries. So, it is quite contentious that Tesla remains the most popular vehicle made in America.

Where are Ford cars made?

A large process of Ford vehicle production still occurs in the U.S.; however, a significant process occurs in Mexico, and some vehicles are also made in Canada.

What car brand is most used in the USA?

The most common vehicle brand in America is Toyota, beating Ford to the spot. This is not a surprise taking into consideration, how affordable it is to buy and maintain vehicles of this brand, as well as the quality and fuel economy of the brand.

Is Kia a foreign car?

Although Kia’s initial focus was only on the auto market, it eventually expanded and became a global brand. Currently, Kia Motors Corporation ranks second on the list of largest vehicle producers in South Korea, only behind Hyundai, which also own minor shares in Kia motors.

What car is Japanese?

Several popular vehicles like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Lexus, Mazda, Suzuki, Infiniti, Hino, Acura, Subaru, Daihatsu, Datsun, and Isuzu have their origins in Japan.

Is Ford a foreign car?

America manufactures several vehicles, which are not only American brands. Detroit’s Big Three vehicle manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) manufacture vehicles all over the lower 48.

Is Mazda foreign?

Originally, Mazda is made in Japan. However, it is produced globally, having 3 production facilities globally, including the North American continent. Japanese production plants can be found in Hofu and Hiroshima, Japan.

Conclusion – Foreign Car Brands

Several foreign vehicle brands have their roots in Japan, the U.K., and Germany, while many of these vehicles are generally made by Japanese manufacturers. Remember, this article only talks about foreign vehicle brands, not imported ones.

A large percentage of Japanese producers have their production plants in America, which means some of these vehicles are produced on the shores of America. At the same time, German brands (excluding the SUV line of Mercedes-Benz) are brought into the U.S. straight from Germany.

To know the origin and root of certain vehicles and vehicle part brands, check through our articles, as several topics have been discussed so far to cover even more topics.

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