The discussion of what constitutes an “American” car, truck or sport-ute can end up in a rather heated chat given today’s climate; however, there is a standard and using it, the “most American” vehicle for 2019 is the Jeep Cherokee — again.
The Cherokee took the top spot last year and was second in 2017. However, perhaps more impressive is the largest number of “American-made” vehicles are produced by Honda. American Honda took six of the top 10 spots on Cars.com’s annual American-Made Index. General Motors took the final three spots.
The American Honda vehicles making the list are the 2019 Honda Odyssey minivan (2nd), Ridgeline pickup (3rd), Pilot (4th) and Passport SUVs (6th), and the 2019 Acura MDX (7th) and RDX luxury SUVs (10th).
The Honda Odyssey, Ridgeline, Pilot and Passport are produced exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama, while the Acura MDX and RDX are produced at the Honda of America Mfg. East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio.
“In a year in which Honda is marking our 40th year of building products in America, we’re proud to have six Honda and Acura vehicles among the top 10 in the Cars.com Made in America Index,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America Inc.
“Honda is committed to building products close to our customers and this recognition really puts the spotlight on the more than 31,000 associates and over 600 suppliers in America who make that happen every day.”
The Chevrolet Corvette (5th), Chevrolet Colorado (8th) and GMC Canyon (9th) are built at the company’s plants in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Wentzville, Missouri, respectively.
Cars.com’s American-Made Index shows that an automaker’s home country doesn’t necessarily dictate the impact a specific model can have on the U.S. economy and labor force.
To build the American-Made Index, Cars.com analyzes five factors: where a car is assembled, its domestic-parts content, where its engines and transmissions come from, and how many U.S. factory workers its parent automaker directly employs relative to vehicle sales.
And the “least American” cars? Here they are:
- The Subaru Outback is built in Lafayette, Indiana, but the wagon has just 45% U.S. and Canadian content, with an engine and transmission from Japan.
- The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV — at its Arlington (Texas) Assembly plant, with U.S. engines and transmissions. But the whole group has just 41% U.S. and Canadian content.
- The new Ford Ranger pickup truck is built near Detroit, but its engine hails from Mexico. U.S. and Canadian parts content is only 35%.
- The Volvo S60 hails from Ridgeville, South Carolina, but its engines come from Sweden and transmissions come from Japan. U.S. and Canadian content for the luxury sedan is 20%.
- The Chevrolet Bolt EV is built in Lake Orion, Michigan, but with a drivetrain from South Korea, U.S. and Canadian content is 18%.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not so much) several vehicles sold in the U.S. didn’t make the index, including Ford’s Fusion sedan and Fiesta subcompact built in Mexico, while the Jeep Renegade SUV hails from Italy. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD and GMC Sierra 1500 Limited, both carryover models from the prior generations, come from Canada.