While the “Buy American” campaign isn’t quite as omnipresent as it once was, new vehicle buyers wanting the “most” American car they can buy are going to be shopping for General Motors’ products.
American University’s 2015 Kogod Made in America Auto Index revealed that GM produces vehicles with the highest levels of U.S. content at 87.5%. Those vehicles included the Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS coupe, Chevrolet Corvette, GMC Acadia and GMC Acadia Denali.
The new index reflects a significant change at the top of the list from last year when the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Corvette were tied at the top of the list with 87.5% of their content from the U.S.
The company also had the next most at 83% was the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Express, GMC Canyon crew cab, GMC Canyon and GMC Savannah. In fact, U.S. makers accounted for all of the top third of the list.
“We’re proud to see the top 33 automobiles in this study are produced by American automakers,” said Matt Blunt, president, American Automotive Policy Council. “Our auto manufacturers are well known for the quality of their products and for the millions of jobs they support across the country. They understand the significance of ‘American-made’ and execute most of their research and development right here at home.”
Ford’s full-sized pick up trucks, Expedition, Explorer and Taurus captured the next few spots with content levels of 82%. Fiat Chrysler’s top vehicles on the list are the Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Limited at 79.5% followed by the Wrangler at 79%.
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“FCA US, Ford, and GM continue to spur critical economic growth and innovation for America as they compete in today’s global economy,” Blunt said. “On behalf of our members, AAPC is grateful for the recognition of their work and commitment to ‘Made in America’ vehicles.”
The top “American” foreign vehicles came from Honda and Toyota. The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna XLE and Sienna all had 78% of their content from the U.S. The Odyssey is built at the maker’s plant in Lincoln, Alabama, while the Camry is built in Georgetown, Kentucky, and the Sienna in Princeton, Indiana.
The Kogod index differs from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s American Automobile Labeling Act. It takes other factors into account, such as where the profits for each vehicle go.
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NHTSA’s list shows the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan, Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS coupe, Chevy Corvette, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Camry and Toyota Sienna all tied at the top with 75% U.S. content. Kogod used the following criterion to determine the level of U.S. content:
- Profit of an automaker’s headquarters. Profits from the sale of a vehicle return to shareholders in the automaker’s home country. If an automaker’s global headquarters is located in the U.S., the model receives a 6. If it is not, the model receives a 0 in this category.
- The Labor category considers where the car is assembled. Profits from the sale of each model support its local labor force. If a model is assembled in the U.S., it receives a 6. If not, the model receives a 0 in this category.
- The location of a car’s Research & Development (R&D) activities. If the model is the product of a U.S. company, it receives a 6. If the model is the product of a foreign company but is assembled in the U.S. it receives a 3; and if it is a foreign import it receives a 1 in this category.
- The location of assembly helps to determine where Inventory, Capital, and Other Expenses should be allocated. If assembly occurs in the U.S., the model receives an 11; if not, the car receives a 0 in this category.
- Where a model’s Engine is produced. If it is produced in the U.S., the model receives a 14. If not it receives a 0.
- Finally, if a car’s Transmission is produced in the U.S., the model receives a 7. If not, it receives a 0.
- Kogod assigns 50% of a vehicle’s score to the Body, Chassis, and Electrical Components category. NHTSA’s American Automobile Labeling Act percentage is taken and divided by two to derive the score.
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The index reveals that vehicles produced by automakers whose headquarters are located in the U.S. rated higher in overall domestic content because the profit derived from the sale of these vehicles was more likely to return or remain in the U.S. This is also due to the fact that a majority of the R&D activities of companies headquartered in the U.S. take place here.