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Red, white and blue: States most loyal to the Big 3 Automakers

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While Americans celebrate their nation's birthday this Fourth of July, some states are more patriotic than others when it comes to buying cars and trucks from domestic automakers.

Not surprisingly, the strongest sales for the Big 3—General Motors, Ford or Chrysler—come in the Midwest where American-made models have long dominated the road.

"Even as the line defining what is or isn't domestic has blurred, perception, attitudes and buying habits are more resistant to change, particularly in the heartland," said Jesse Toprak, senior editor with TrueCar.com.


Top 10 States for Big 3

There are 18 states where more than half of the new cars and trucks sold this year have been domestic brands.

(Read More: Ford Reclaims 'Most American' Title)

Leading the way is Michigan, the birthplace of the American auto industry and where the Big 3 still have a huge presence. More than three-quarters of the new vehicles bought in Michigan carry a domestic badge.

Here's how the rankings from TrueCar.com stack-up, ranked by the percentage of cars made by U.S. manufacturers that were sold in each state:

  1. Michigan 79.2%
  2. North Dakota 68.1%
  3. South Dakota 65.6%
  4. Iowa 63.2%
  5. Wyoming 62.6%
  6. Montana 61.1%
  7. Nebraska 59.7%
  8. Oklahoma 59.0%
  9. Arkansas 55.7%
  10. Indiana 54.5%

America's Smile for Foreign Auto Brands

For years, foreign automakers have smiled and talked about the "smile" of America when discussing where their sales are strongest. Look at a map of the U.S., draw a smile connecting states on both coasts and through the Gulf Coast and you'll see those states where foreign brands dominate the roads. That's still the case this year, according to TrueCar.com's analysis of vehicle registrations.

(Read More: Are the Glory Days Back for Automakers?)

Why are foreign brands so successful in these states?

For starters, both coasts are the areas Japanese and Korean automakers targeted when they first started selling cars in the U.S. So in a sense, it's where many foreign brands have been most at home in the U.S. Also, the states along the coasts are more car-oriented and America's automakers have struggled for years to compete in cars.

10 States Least Likely to Buy the Big 3

50. Hawaii 19.4%
49. California 22.9%
48. Connecticut 25.8%
48. Massachusetts 25.8%
47. New Jersey 26.7%
46. Rhode Island 28.7%
45. Florida 29.8%
44. Maryland 30.3%
43. Washington 30.6%

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.

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