Foreign Car Brands have become a popular choice for most Americans. Getting an elite and high-end car may be a challenging task in light of the numerous brands that are currently available in the market. While each may seem appealing, every manufacturer has its unique design and reputation.
It is even familiar for people to prefer foreign cars brands instead of American-based cars. Why is this the case? Many factors come into play. You have to look at the recall rate, the quality of the design and build of the vehicle, the car’s price, its style, and its efficiency.
To make your work easier, I carried out in-depth research and prepared a list of the most reputable foreign cars brands in existence that you might choose from. I
have also outlined some reasons as to why people opt to buy foreign and not domestic cars.
Foreign Luxury Car Brands
The Porsche AG Company was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, Adolf Rosenberger, and Anton Piech. With its headquarters in Stuttgart, it is a German-based car manufacturer.
Initially, the Company was established as a design engineering department. It is owned by Volkswagen AG, where most shares belong to Porsche Automobil Holding S.E.
The first car to be manufactured by the Company was Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche manufactures a wide array of luxury sports cars, sedans, and SUVs.
Their lineup include Taycan, Cayenne, 718 Boxster/Cayman, Panamera, 911 (992), and Macan. (Source)
The company was initially known as Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil. It was founded in 1910 by Nicola Romeo, Ugo Stella, and Alexandre Darracq in Milan. It has its headquarters in Turin, Italy.
Between 1932 and 1986, the company belonged to the ‘Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale’, a state holding company. It was during that time that it became part of the Fiat group.
In 2007, the then Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil was changed into Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. – Where Alfa represents the first letter of each word and Romeo is the founder’s name. It’s now a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy.
Established in 1902, Cadillac Automobile Company is the successor of the Henry Ford Company, whose initial founders were Henry Ford, Willian Murphy, and Lemuel Bowen. Cadillac is based in Detroit, Michigan. ‘Cadillac’ is derived from Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, Detroit, Michigan’s founder.
In 1905, a merger was made between the Cadillac Automobile Company and Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing. The Company was then renamed Cadillac Motor Company. In 1909, the American-based General Motors Company Purchased Cadillac, making one of its divisions.
The main markets of this car brand are found in the USA, Canada, and China. However, they are also available in over 34 markets across the globe.
Lexus is now a division of the Japanese Toyota Company. It was established in 1983 by Elji Toyoda and had its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan.
The brand was introduced into the market almost the same time as Nissan’s Infinity and Honda’s Acura, all Japanese-based and rivals. Other vital competitors include BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Audi.
Lexus is the largest-selling Japanese car brand and has been ranked in the top ten largest Japanese brands in market value. It has its market in more than 90 countries around the world. The USA is the leading market.
Today, the brand is also available in Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, among other regions.
Volvo is a Swedish-based luxury car manufacturer with its headquarters in Torslansa, Gothenburg. Its parent company was A.B. Volvo, which specialized in manufacturing heavy trucks, construction equipment, and buses.
In 1999, the Ford Motor Company bought Volvo’s Automobile division (Volvo Cars). Later in 2010, Ford Motors sold the division to Geely after running losses.
It was then listed on Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2021, though Geely still has the majority shares.
Volvo manufactures sedans, station wagons, and SUVs. The brand is expected to be fully electric by 2030.
The Company was initially called the Lincoln Motor Company. In Dearborn, Michigan, it was founded in 1917 by Henry M Leland and Wilfred Leland. The duo named the Company after Abraham Lincoln.
It focused on military production before it switched to general automotive manufacturing.
In 1922, the American Automobile manufacturer Ford Motor Company bought the brand and remained its parent company. However, Henry and Leland remained a part of the Company.
The brand’s lineup includes the Ford Model T, Ford Model B (1904), Ford Model F (1905), and Ford Model K (1906).
Jaguar started as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, with the masterminds being William Lyons and William Walmsley. It then became the S.S Cars Limited in 1934 after Lyons issued public shares following the exit of Walmsley.
The shareholders then changed the name to Jaguar Cars Limited in 1945. In 1966, there was a merger between Jaguar Cars and the British Motor Corporation, forming British Motor Holdings (BMH).
BMH later had a merger with Leyland Motor Corporation to form British Leyland. Ford Motor Company then bought both the Jaguar Cars and Jaguar Land Rover in 2000, then sold them to Tata Motors in 2006.
It has manufactured several sports cars that became popular, including the Jaguar XK120, Jaguar XK150, and Jaguar E-Type. X.J. is the latest brand.
BMW is the short form for Bayerische Motoren Werke. It is a German-based automobile company established in 1916 by Karl Rapp, Camillo Castiglioni, and Franz Josef Popp.
The Company is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
The Company specializes in the production of mini cars and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. It is among the top 3 sellers globally, with the competitors being Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
BMW has changed its logo for the sixth time since it was first introduced in 1917. It features a white and blue color to represent the flag of its home state, Bavaria.
It was founded in 1926 by Karl Benz, Wilhelm Maybach, and Gottlieb Daimler. Mercedes-Benz has its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The Company is owned by Daimler AG and is a leading producer of luxury cars, buses, Lorries, and coaches.
It has two divisions: the Mercedes-AMG (a majority-owned division in 1999) and the Mercedes-Maybach.
The first vehicle was introduced into the market in 1926.
The production has increased, and the Company is now a top 3 seller globally. In 2018, it was ranked as the largest seller globally after selling more than 2 million passenger cars.
Audi’s name is obtained from the founder’s surname, Horch, which means listen in German, and Audi in Latin.
Audi AG was founded by August Horch in 1909 and had its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. The German-based Company focuses on designing, engineering, production, marketing, and distribution of luxury vehicles.
It became a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group in 1966. Other subsidiaries of the Company include Lamborghini and the Audi Sport GmbH.
The Audi logo is represented by four ceiling rings that also represent the brand’s association, of the Audi, Horch, Wanderer, and DKW.
Acura is a luxury vehicle brand of the Japanese Honda company. It was founded in 1986 by Honda Motor Company and is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
Its first vehicle, the legend, was launched in the United States and Canada in 1986, after which it became a hit. Following the brand’s popularity, other automobile manufacturers were forced to respond with their luxury brands.
That saw the introduction of Lexus by Toyota and Infiniti by Nissan.
The brand features a unique logo that looks like a caliper. Ordinarily, this looks like both letters A and H simultaneously.
Foreign Super Luxury Sports Car Brands
The Ferrari one of the most popular foreign car brands is named after the founder, Enzo Ferrari. It was established in 1939 from the Alfa Romeo racing Division and has its headquarters in Maranello, Italy. The Company focuses on producing quality performance and top-notch racing cars, luxury sports cars, and supercars.
The first car to be released by the Company was in 1940. However, the first car to bear the Ferrari badge was produced in 1947. The Ferrari logo has a pouncing horse with a splash of yellow color in the background.
The prancing horse is associated with Francesco Barracca, a former Italian fighter.
The Automobil Lamborgini S.p.A. Company obtains its name from Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder. It was established in 1963, and its headquarters are found in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.
The Company specializes in producing luxury SUVs, sports cars, supercars (Based in Sant’Agata Bolognese), and tractors (based in Pieve di Cento, Italy).
It was bought by the Volkswagen Group, which owns it through its Audi Subsidiary. Its logo has a golden bull and a black background outlined in gold. The bull was chosen because of the founder’s love for bullfighting and represents his place of birth – Taurus.
The Aston Martin Lagonda Limited automobile Company was co-founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The headquarters are found in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom.
It is known for manufacturing luxury cars and grand tourers. It has been previously owned by David Brown and the Ford Motor Company till 2007. While it has had turbulent times, it has become among the most famous brands.
The cars it has released into the market include the DB5 and the DB11. Currently, its flagship model is the DBS Superleggera.
Aston Martin has risen to be among the most elite car brands.
McLaren is a relatively new brand in the market compared to the other car brands. It was founded in 1985 by Ron Dennis, McLaren Cars. This was later changed to McLaren Automotive in 2010.
The Company has its headquarters in McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, England, United Kingdom. In 2017, McLaren became wholly owned by the McLaren Group.
Its line of products focuses on supercars. The first car was released in 1992 under the name McLaren F1. Recent cars released include the McLaren P1, McLaren Senna, McLaren 765LT, McLaren 720S Spider, McLaren Artura, McLaren GT, McLaren Elva, and McLaren Speedtail.
The Company was first founded in 1914 by Alfred Maserati in Bologna, Italy. It now has its headquarters in Modena, Italy. The ownership of Maserati has changed since 1993. At one point, it was under the Italian-American Company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). FCA’s predecessor, Fiat S.p.A, has also owned it.
Currently, the Company is under the ownership of Stellantis which acquired it in 2021.
The Company has released various models of cars, the popular among them being the Maserati Quattroporte, Maserati Ghibli, Maserati Gran Turismo, and the Maserati Levante. It has a worldwide market.
Foreign Sports Car Brands
Mazda was established in 1920 by the founder, Jujiro Matsuda. It has its headquarters in Fuch, Aki, Hiroshima, Japan.
According to the company website, the name is derived from the name given to the god of light, intelligence, and wisdom in West Asia – Ahura Mazda. The name has also been derived from the founder, Matsuda.
The Company owners include the Japan Trustee Service Bank, the Master Trust Bank of Japan, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and the Ford Motor Company.
Mazda is among the biggest producers of cars worldwide and was ranked as the fifteenth biggest in 2011.
Subaru was founded in 1953 by Kenji Kita. It has its headquarters in Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan, and is a subsidiary of the Fuji Heavy Industries, which was ranked number 22 in 2012 among the largest producers worldwide.
In Japanese, Subaru means the Pleiades star cluster M45, also called the Seven Sisters – one is said to be invisible.
The Company’s logo features six stars that are organized inside a dark blue background. The biggest star among them represents their parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries. The other five smaller stars represent the subsidiaries, including the Subaru automotive division.
The Company is called Fiat Automobiles S. p. A. and is the leading producer of automobiles in Italy. The Company was established in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli. It has its headquarters in Turin, Italy.
Fiat Automobiles S. p .A is a subsidiary of FCA Italy S. p. A., which was founded in 2007 after the reorganization of business by Fiat. The latter is part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The Company’s logo is easily identifiable. It consists of the silver alphabetical letters’ F- I-A-T’ written in capital and inscribed in a red background with a silver outline. This logo was settled on in 2006.
The Nissan Motor Company Ltd was founded in 1933 by Masujiro Hashimoto and Yoshisuke Aikawa. It has its headquarters in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.
The name traces back to the 1930s when the Tokyo Stock Exchange was used as the short form for Nihon Sangyo.
The Nissan Motor Company sells its cars under the Datsun, Nissan, and Infiniti brands with its growing popularity.
The company logo is also outstanding and straightforward since it has ‘NISSAN’ inscribed in it. The Company looks forward to electrifying its cars in future.
Why Foreign Car Brands Are Better Than American Cars
The rate at which vehicles from a particular brand are recalled from the market largely determines whether a potential buyer will settle for that brand. Generally, American-made cars have shown a higher recall rate than their foreign car brands counterparts.
These recalls are usually made soon after the models have been released, meaning that the testing was not adequately done before release. Although such models are improved upon and rereleased into the market, they are likely to turn off a person seeking to invest millions of dollars.
Also, the seriousness of the recall is a significant determining factor.
Domestic vehicles seem to record more serious recall cases. An example is the Chevrolet Cruze which was recently recalled for fire-related reasons.
The quality and design of a given vehicle is also a crucial determinant as to whether people will buy that vehicle or not—the better the quality and design, the more clients the car attracts.
American vehicles have poor quality and design than most foreign vehicles. That is attributed to the competitive nature of the automobile industry. Manufacturers want to have an edge against their competitors.
Plus, the manufacturers tend to add new features that have not undergone sufficient testing to establish their suitability for consumers.
An example is the ‘My Ford Touch Technology’ introduced by the leading American Automobile company Ford.
While the technology is excellent and admirable, it has numerous usability issues and many bugs that most consumers find a problem with it.
The result is the need for multiple updates with various issues and bugs.
Thus, foreign car brands have beaten the domestic vehicles at their own game. Foreign vehicles are linked with outstanding quality and design.
One of the reasons is the strict international requirements that these vehicles must meet.
However, I am not suggesting that all domestic American cars have poor quality and design. Over the years, various manufacturers have tried to step up their game, and some are unparalleled.
However, the long-term tradition among international manufacturers makes people gravitate towards foreign cars.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.