Many cars in the U.S. automobile market are actually from foreign brands (brands that didn’t originate from the United States). However, these foreign brands produce those car models specially for the American market; hence, the car comes with some special features you may not see in other versions designed for non-American markets.
This article provides a complete list of foreign car brands in the USA, and where the brands originated from. Of course, Asian brands have a higher number; there are many Asian brands selling different vehicle models in the United States.
More so, foreign brands offer lower prices than native U.S. brands. Sounds interesting? Let’s get down to the details.
List Of Foreign Car Brands In The USA
1. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) / Rolls-Royce
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, commonly shortened as BMW, is a non-American auto brand that operates in the U.S. BMW is remarkable for producing luxury SUV.s, sedans, and different other car types. The BMW brand is actually from Germany, founded in 1916 and headquartered in Munich, Bavaria.
Initially, the company produced aircraft engines until 1945. BMW models sold in the U.S. are the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. These models are produced in the brand’s South Carolina plant. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG also produces luxury vehicles under its own auto brands.
Popular called Benz, or just Mercedes, the Mercedes-Benz group is a multinational automobile manufacturer based out of Stuttgart, Germany. Emil Jellinek and Paul Daimler founded the corporation in June 1926.
Initially, the company’s names were Daimler-Benz, DaimlerChrysler, and Daimler AG, before officially being changed to Mercedes-Benz in February 2022.
Mercedes-Benz produces performance and luxury vehicles, and it’s fully operational in the U.S. The Mercedes-Benz company has a strong reputation for quality and durability worldwide. Benz models are often compared with models from other luxury brands like Land Rover, Audi, and BMW.
Founded on July 16, 1909, in Zwickau, Germany, Audi AG Aktiengesellschaft, simply Audi, is a German multinational automotive manufacturer of luxury vehicles.
Although Audi functions as a standalone automotive company, it is actually owned as a subsidiary under the Volkswagen Group and manufactures automobiles in about nine production facilities worldwide.
The Audi brand was founded by August Horch and had its current headquarters located in Ingolstadt, Germany.
You’ve got to respect the Volkswagen Group; it is practically the bigger automotive manufacturer globally, owning 10+ notable “Luxury” car brands, including Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.
Abbreviated as V.W., Volkswagen operates out of Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany; the company has a strong presence in different countries globally.
V.W. was founded by the German Labour Front in 1937 and became famous for its Beetle vehicle. Volkswagen is the largest automotive manufacturer worldwide, and while the company’s biggest market is in China, it also records a whopping number of sales in the U.S.
Maybach was formerly a standalone luxury brand when it got founded in 1909; however, it is not part of the Mercedes family and has remained a luxury vehicle brand.
All Maybach vehicles have stayed in the high six-figure range. The original company, Maybach, was founded by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl Maybach.
When you talk of the best luxury car manufacturers in the world, surely, Porsche will be in the top position on the list. The Porsche AG automotive company is a German automobile manufacturer that focuses on producing high-end, high-performance vehicles.
Porsche is headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and is currently owned by Volkswagen.
7. Ferrari S.p.A.
Ferrari S.p.A., commonly referred to as Ferrari, is an Italian luxury sports car operating from Maranello, Italy. The company was founded by the infamous Enzo Ferrari from the Alfa Romeo racing division.
The first Ferrari car was launched in 1940, and an official model was launched in 1947. However, the Ferrari brand is currently owned by Audi AG (a subsidiary of Volkswagen).
Lamborghini S.p.A., commonly called Lamborghini, is an Italian automobile manufacturer of luxury vehicles headquartered in Sant’Agata Bolognese.
The first company was founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini but is currently owned by Audi (a subsidiary of Volkswagen). The Lamborghini brand produces high-end performance vehicles.
FIAT is one of the oldest and most famous Italian automobile manufacturer with a strong presence in the U.S. The FIAT brand is actually owned as a subsidiary of Stellantis Italy; however, it has its own subsidiary – it has major shares in many auto brands.
The brand was formerly part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles before it got acquired by Stellantis.
Several FIAT models are sold in the U.S., but at some point, the company stopped making so many sales in America, but they haven’t left the market anyway.
Fiat 500 and other small car models are the most popular models of the brand sold in the U.S. Interestingly; FIAT owns the following famous auto brands, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Chrysler, and Maserati.
Here’s another top Italian brand operating in the U.S. Maserati S.p.A., shortened as Maserati, is an Italian luxury automobile manufacturer established in December 1914 in Bologna, Italy.
The brand’s headquarters have, however, moved to Modena. Stellantis acquired Maserati in 2021 under its FAIT subsidiary.
11. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., simply Alfa Romeo, is an Italian automobile manufacturer focusing on producing luxury vehicles.
The company was founded in 1910 in Milan, Italy – the brand name “Alfa” is curled from “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili.” Currently, Stellantis has owned Alfa Romeo as one of its subsidiaries since 2021.
12. Toyota / Lexus
Toyota Motor Corporation, simply Toyota, is a global famous automobile manufacturing company from Japan. The Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer entered the U.S. market in 1951 with its Crown model series.
It’s over 60 years since Toyota started selling in the U.S., and the company has had good success in the country.
Founded by Kiichiro Toyoda on August 28, 1937, the Toyota brand is headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. It is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. Toyota produces over 9 million vehicles annually. The company owns other auto brands, including its luxury line, Lexus.
Lexus is the premium, luxury line of Toyota Corporation. The Lexus brand has some of the finest affordable luxury cars you can buy in the U.S.
The Lexus brand produces vehicles for the United States market in its manufacturing plant in Lexington, Kentucky. Popular Lexus models in the U.S. include the E.S., R.X., and R.X. Hybrid models.
13. Honda / Acura
Honda Motor Co., Ltd., simply Honda, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate manufacturer of automobiles.
The company was founded on September 24, 1948, in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan; however, the current headquarters is at Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Honda produces different types of vehicles under its multiple brands, including its luxury line, Acura.
Many Honda vehicles are sold in the U.S.; this includes Accord, CR-V, Civic, Odyssey, HR-V, Passport, Pilot, and Ridgeline.
Honda’s luxury line, Acura, produced the MDX and Z.D.X. models for the U.S. market. Both Honda and Acura vehicles are very much reliable and come with cutting-edge features you’d love to see in a modern car.
14. Nissan / Infiniti
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., is yet another popular foreign brand in the U.S.A. It is a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer that owns quite many popular sub-brands, including Infiniti and Datsun. The company is headquartered in Nishi-Ku, Yokohama, Japan.
Nissan was founded in 1933, but its luxury line, Infiniti, was birthed in 1989 in North America. Asides from being popular in the US, Nissan, and Infiniti vehicles are driven in many other countries.
Quite many people are puzzled about whether Ford owns Mazda. But, the truth is that Mazda brand is an automobile brand owned by the Mazda Motor Corporation, a Japanese automobile manufacturer. The company was founded by Jujiro Matsuda, and its headquartered in Fuchu, Hiroshima, Japan.
Actually, Ford Motor Company bought shares in Mazda and owned up to 33% of the corporation between 1979 and 1995, then later sold all the shares in 2015.
Mazda owns a joint manufacturing plant with Toyota in the U.S.A. The plant is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and is called Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. (MTMUS).
Founded in 1970 in Tokyo, Japan, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is the sixth-largest Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer and the nineteenth-largest in the world, headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Mitsubishi cars are remarkable for their strong build and powerful engines.
Well, most people don’t know that Mitsubishi is a Japanese auto brand. The company made its name in the industry many years ago but seemed to have fallen in the ranks recently. Mitsubishi produces hatchbacks, S.U.V.s, and Sedans for the North American market.
The Subaru brand was launched in July 1953 under Subaru Corporation. It is a Japanese automobile brand with a strong presence in the U.S. Subaru produces classy cars, crossovers & S.U.V.s, Outback, Ascent, and pretty many other good rides with decent specs.
The Subaru brand is headquartered in Ebisu, Shibuya, Japan.
Subaru Corporation is a Japanese transportation conglomerate, and it ranks number twenty-first (in 2017) among the largest automakers worldwide ranking.
The brand typically uses a boxer engine layout for most of its car models. Compared with other Japanese brands, Subaru cars are relatively cheap in the U.S.
Suzuki Motor Corporation owns the Suzuki auto brand and operates in the U.S. as “Suzuki.” The company was founded in 1909 by Michio Suzuki in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. The Suzuki brand is one of the reputable Japanese brands with a long history of reliability – just like Toyota.
In 2019, Suzuki announced that it’d buy 0.2% of Toyota as Toyota aims to buy 4.9% of Suzuki. Toyota and Suzuki are not subsidiaries of the same company; they are different companies and run differently.
Asides from cars and S.U.V.s, Suzuki also manufactures motorcycles, wheelchairs, and outboard marine engines for the U.S. market.
South Korean Brands
19. Hyundai / Kia
Not many people know that Kia is a brand under Hyundai Motor Company. The Hyundai Motors Company, simply Hyundai, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer founded in 1967 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.
Hyundai is notable for producing high-specced affordable cars under its name, Hyundai, and its other brand, Kia.
Kia Corporation, simply Kia, is the second largest South Korean automobile manufacturer after its parent company, Hyundai. The brand reportedly sold over 2.8 million vehicles globally in 2019. Kia vehicles are sold in the U.S. and are quite affordable while not compromising looks and features.
Genesis Motor, L.L.C., commonly called Genesis, is a brand under Hyundai and focuses on producing luxury vehicles.
Notwithstanding, Genesis was announced as an independent marque in 2015, and the brand went on to launch a standalone model, the Genesis G90. Genesis Motos are built in Rüsselsheim (Germany), Irvine (United States), and Namyang (South Korea).
21. Land Rover
Land Rover is a world-famous luxury S.U.V. manufacturer. It is a British brand that focuses on producing four-wheel drive, off-road capable vehicles. The brand, Land Rover, is actually owned by Jaguar Land Rover since 2008.
Jaguar Land Rover (J.R.L.) is a subsidiary of Tata Motors (India) and builds its vehicles in China, Brazil, Slovakia, India, and the United Kingdom.
Land Rover also produces high-end luxury S.U.V.s under its Range Rover brand. The Land Rover brand was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951 and received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2001. J.R.L. sells Land Rover and Range Rover S.U.V.s in the U.S., where the company has a solid presence and reputation.
Bentley Motors Limited, simply Bentley, is a British automobile manufacturer of luxury cars and S.U.V.s. The brand was founded by W. O. Bentley in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London. It became world-famous after winning 24 Hours of Le Mans in multiple years, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930.
However, Bentley has become a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, a merger that happened in 1998 and consolidated under Audi in 2022. Bentley is currently headquartered in Crewe, England, and has continued to manufacture luxury vehicles that compete with other top brands in the industry.
Founded in 1948 in Hethel, the United Kingdom, Lotus Cars Ltd., commonly referred to as Lotus, is an English auto brand owned by Proton Holdings, Geely, and Lotus Group International Ltd. Lotus produces cars that are sold in different countries worldwide.
However, the brand’s cars are major used as sports and racing cars due to their lightweight and acceptable handling characteristics.
The McLaren brand was founded in 2010 in Woking, United Kingdom, by Ron Dennis. It is quite a new auto brand.
McLaren is a British automotive manufacturer focused on manufacturing luxury vehicles. Majorly, McLaren produces supercars in its in-house facilities and functions as a subsidiary of the McLaren Group.
25. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is a well-renowned luxury brand. The company manufactures some of the finest luxury vehicles in the U.S. market.
Rolls-Royce vehicles are produced in West Sussex, England, the United Kingdom, since 2003. Over the years, Rolls-Royce has become a famous brand, insomuch that only Coca-Cola was more widely known than Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a BMW AG subsidiary, but BMW didn’t have a direct relationship with Rolls-Royce-branded vehicles before 2003.
However, after 2003, BMW started producing cars under the Rolls-Royce brand. The brand now produces a wide variety of vehicle types for the United States market.
26. Aston Martin
Continuing with this list, Aston Martin is yet another U.K. brand with a solid presence and reputation in the U.S. automotive markets.
Initially founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in London in 1913, but Aston Martin cars are now being produced by the parent company, Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings P.L.C. Basically, Aston Martin cars are built as luxury sports cars and grand tourers.
Owned by Jaguar Land Rover, the Jaguar brand produces luxury vehicles based out of Whitley, Coventry, England.
Initially, Jaguar Cars functioned as an independent manufacturer of Jaguar-branded cars until it merged with another top luxury vehicle manufacturer, Land Rover, to form Jaguar Land Rover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nissan A Foreign Car
In the U.S., Nissan cars are foreign cars because they are owned and produced by Nissan Motor Corporation, which is a Japanese automotive company. Also, the Nissan luxury line, Infiniti, is sold in the U.S. too.
Is Toyota A Foreign Car
As popular as Toyota is, it is a foreign brand in the U.S.A. The parent company is Toyota Motor Corporation, and it is headquartered in Toyota City, Japan. Toyota is a Japanese brand and also the owner of Lexus luxury rides.
Is Kia A Foreign Car
Kia S.U.V.s look sporty, feature-rich, classy, and affordable. They are desirable and deliver optimal performance. Well, Kia is not an American brand, so Kia cars are foreign cars. The parent company is Hyundai, a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer.
Is Mazda A Foreign Car
Mazda isn’t an American auto brand, so Mazda cars are foreign cars. Yeah, the brand, Mazda, operates from Fuchu, Hiroshima, Japan. It is owned by Mazda Motor Corporation, and it’s one of the best Japanese cars to buy in the U.S.
Is Chevy A Foreign Car
Chevy, which is the shortened form of Chevrolet, is an American-native brand of classy, sporty-like automobiles. It is actually a motor division of General Motors Company (GMC), founded in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan, United States.
Is BMW A Foreign Car
Yeah. BMW AG, simply called BMW, is a German auto brand. The company is notable for producing some of the classiest luxury sedans and S.U.V.s. Notwithstanding, BMW makes other types of vehicles, including Limousines.
Is Ford A Foreign Car
No. Ford is not a foreign car if you live in the United States. Ford is an American automotive manufacturer founded in 1903 by Henry Ford. The company also owns a luxury car line called Lincoln.
These are the foreign car brands operating in the U.S. Actually, Volvo is also a foreign brand operating in the U.S. – it is the only Swedish auto brand selling in the United States.
Saab was a Swedish automaker selling in the U.S. but went defunct years ago. American native brands include Ford, General Motors, and Chevrolet.