Categories News

The Most “Made In America” Cars Might Surprise You

Ever wonder where your car is made? Many consumers want to know but it is hard to decipher what is made where.

However, there are global supply chain experts like Frank DuBois who can help provide answers. Dubois is an associate professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business and is the data magician behind the latest Kogod Made in America Auto Index.

The Kogod Made in America Auto Index evaluates and ranks more than 500 cars based on their country of origin and information on new car labels. 

The American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA) does require certain date be listed on new car labels. The four critical data points include:

  • Where the car was assembled
  • Where the engine came from
  • Where the transmission came from
  • Percentage of US and Canadian parts being used

The last item makes it even more complicated to really assess what is truly American-made. While these four points can give you some idea of whether a car is American-made, it is not a full picture.

For the sake of this ranking index, there are seven data points assessed, not four.

  1. Profit Margin – The location of the automaker’s headquarters will factor into the profit calculations. If an automaker’s global headquarters is located in the US, the model receives a six. If it is not, the model receives a zero. The assumption here is that (on average) six percent of a vehicle’s value is profit margin, so if it is a US automaker, the profits remain in the country.
  2. Labor – This category considers where the car is assembled. If a model is assembled in the US, it receives a six. If not, the model receives a zero. We assume that approximately six percent of the vehicle’s value is labor content.
  3. Location of Research and Development (R&D) – This category looks at the location of a car’s R&D activities. If the model is a product of a company with US headquarters, it receives a six. If it is the product of a foreign company but is assembled in the US, it receives a three. If the vehicle is a foreign import, it receives a one.
  4. Inventory, Capital, and Other Expenses – If the location of assembly occurs in the US, the model receives an 11. If the assembly does not occur in the US, it receives a zero.
  5. Engine – If the engine is produced in the US, the model receives a 14; if not, it receives a zero.
  6. Transmission – If the transmission is produced in the US, the model receives a seven; if not, it receives a zero.
  7. Body, Chassis, and Electrical Components – Fifty percent of a vehicle’s score is assigned to this category. The American Automobile Leasing Association (AALA) percentage is divided into two to derive this score.

Kogod has also stated that they are sure some may find the auto index results controversial.

The results of this index may be surprising, with Tesla taking the top spots for the first time. There are several top spots that had ties among different car brands which are noted below. Each ranking also shows the total domestic content score that was assigned.

1. Tesla

tesla model 3 in red on highway

The Tesla Model 3 and Y Long Range tie for the top spot in the index.
Total domestic content score is 87.5%.

2. Tesla

tesla model y in white on highway

Another Tesla tie with the Model 3 Performance and Model Y options.
Total domestic content score is 85%.

3. Jeep

white jeep cherokee altitude in white on city street

Fiat Chrysler takes third most American-made with their Cherokee Altitude LUX model.
Total domestic content score is 81.5%.

4. Jeep and Tesla

blue tesla model s on highway

Spot four on the list is shared by theJeep Cherokee Latitude and Tesla Model S and Model X. All have equal amounts of American-made parts and production for their cars.
Total domestic content score is 80%.

5. Honda and Volkswagen

volkswagen id4 electric car in silver

The Honda Passport AWD, Passport Trailsport and Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S  RWD 82KWH LG Bat all take spot 5 on the list.
Total domestic content score is 78.5%.

6. Lincoln, Honda and Acura

lincoln corsair white on road

Spot six on the list is shared by Lincoln Corsair, Honda Odyssey and the Acura MDX AWD.
Total domestic content score is 76%.

7. Ford and Corvette

blue corvette stingray on highway

Seventh place features the Ford Mustang GT and Corvette Sting Ray.
Total domestic content score is 75%.

8. Chevrolet

chevrolet camaro orange

The Chevrolet Camaro 1LS Coupe Turbo makes it into the ranks at position eight.
Total domestic content score is 74.5%.

9. Honda, Acura and Toyota

honda ridgeline towing quds

Eight car models were tied for position nine in the list. For Toyota, their most American-made model was the Camry SE. Honda took the spot with their Ridgeline, Accord 1.5T and Accord 2.0T. Acura placed with the TLX, RDX, and Integra.
Total domestic content score is 73.5%.

10. Cadillac and Lucid

lucid air being charged
Lucid Motors

Rounding out the top 10 rankings is the Lucid Air and Cadillac Lyriq EV.
Total domestic content score is 73%.

You can view the full report and methodology at Kogod Made in America Auto Index.

Affordable New Cars That Have A Starting Price Under $30,000

hybrid toyota corolla 2024

Are you looking for an affordable car option? You might be surprised to know that there are more options than you think.

View cars starting under $30,000

Gas Isn’t Cheap! Learn Strategies To Improve Fuel Efficiency

car being filled with gas
maxsaf / Depositphotos

You finally got that new affordable car and are ready to hit the road! But how do you save money on gas? These tips will help!

View gas-savings tips.

Leave a Comment