Domestic brands have the most American-made content in the U.S. according to a new index released by American University’s Kogod School of Business. Professor Frank DuBois, a global supply chain management expert, led the analysis, which considered not only where each vehicle’s parts were produced, but also the location of the manufacturer’s headquarters and other details, all in an effort to help consumers buy American.
“If you break down a single ‘American-made’ transmission, you’ll find many smaller parts, each stamped with its own country of origin. You may well find 80% of the parts inside that transmission didn’t come from the U.S.,” said Dubois.
To narrow down the options, DuBois’ team collected data from several sources, including recent American Automobile Labeling Act reports. The AALA was enacted in 1992 to inform consumers about the percentage of American content which comprises each car. AALA data specifies the percentage of U.S./Canadian parts content for each vehicle, including where the engine and transmissions were built.
DuBois’ index used these details as well as each vehicle’s overall AALA score, but also factored in: where the manufacturer’s headquarters is located; where most research and development occurs and where assembly occurs.
Some highly similar vehicle models that varied on the basis of trim lines or engine and transmission options were aggregated together for ease of comparison, resulting in 253 total vehicles indexed. As there were multiple tie scores, there are a total of 72 ranked positions.
Even the most homegrown manufacturers are now global corporations. In an article on Kogodnow.com, DuBois noted that of Ford’s 56 research centers, 45 are in the U.S.—which means 11 are elsewhere. On the other hand, four out of every 10 Ford Motor Co. workers are based in the US, while Toyota has just one out of 10.
Here are 13 vehicles that made the top-five most American-made 2013 models from DuBois’ index. Several vehicles ended up with tied scores, resulting in multiple winners for each position.
1. GMC Acadia (3-way tie)
1. Buick Enclave (3-way tie)
1. Chevrolet Traverse (3-way tie)
2. Dodge Avenger (2-way tie)
2. Ford F-series pickup (2-way tie)
3. Chrysler 200
4. Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Wrangler
5. Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain (4-way tie)