If you bleed red, white and blue, you probably eat a ton of American pie, you watch Baseball, buy lemonade from the kids down the street and, by golly, you drive an American car. You want to support America in anyway you can and that’s a great thing. But how American is that supposed American car you bought in today’s global economy? Is it possible to drive a Toyota that’s actually made up of more American parts and labor than lets say a Chevrolet? We all assume if it’s an American company we’re safe but let’s not forget the “Imported from Detroit” slogan Chrysler used when some of the most popular models were made in Canada. They got away with this because for some reason they report anything made in America or Canada as American.
By now, it’s common for an auto maker to have manufacturing plants all around the world depending on where there is the most demand for their product, labor prices and export/import considerations. Because of all this, the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washigtion, DC does a survey every year and comes up with a list of the top car models that contribute to the overall well being of the U.S. economy. More simply put, these are the most American cars.
Before we get to the top 10 list lets take a look at the seven criteria that’s taken into consideration and how each is scored.
1. Profit margin- This is solely based on location of the auto makers headquarters, and is ranked with either a 6 if the headquarters is in the U.S or a 0 if not. The idea is that about 6% of a vehicles value is profit margin, so having the headquarters here keeps that profit in the states.
2.-Labor- Another 6% of the vehicles value was determined by Kogod as labor. A 6 is given if the car is assembled here and alternatively 0 is given if assembled outside of the U.S.
3. Research and Development- This category gives a 6 if the R&D is performed in America, a 3 if R&D is performed elsewhere but assembly is done here and a 1 if its a foreign import.
4. Inventory, Capital and other expenses- This general category simply awards 11 points if assembly occurs here and 0 if outside of America.
5.Engine- When an engine is produced locally 14 points is given to that model, if not it receives 0.
6.Transmission- 7 points if made here, 0 if not.
7.Body, Chassis, and electrical Components- The way this score is determined is based directly on its score from the American Automobile Labeling Act. The score here is divided in two. If the car received a 70% from this institution then 35 points would be awarded.
Ok, so let’s get to the good stuff: The list. Some of these 2017 vehicle’s scores were a tie so in some cases multiple vehicles are listed for the same rank.
Chevrolet Corvette with an automatic transmission-82
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Unlimited Big Bear 4×4 and Limited Sport 4×4-81.5
Jeep Wrangler Sport 4×4-81
Cadillac ATS Sedan AWD-80
Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD-80
Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Cab-80
Honda CR-V 5DR AWD LX-78.5
Acura RDX AWD/2WD-78.5
Kia Optima 2.0-78.5
This year for the most part the top 10 vehicles are from American companies but keep in mind this list changes every year. In 2015 the Toyota Tundra and Ford F150 were tied as the most American pickup trucks.
The lesson here is buy what fits you the best and if buying mostly American is what you want, just check the complete list from Kogod.