- The GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse top a new list of cars with the most American content.
- The Dodge Avenger and Ford F-Series pickup made the Top 5 on the list.
- The Kogod School of Business at American University released its Made in America Index, which evaluates 253 car models to determine those that can claim red-white-and-blue honors.
WASHINGTON — The GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse top a new list of the most "American Made" cars.
The Dodge Avenger and Ford F-Series pickup are in the top five, while the Toyota Yaris is at the bottom of the list. The complete list can be found online.
Since there are multiple ties, the list only includes 72 rankings.
The Kogod School of Business at American University compiled the list, which evaluates 253 car models based on a number of factors not addressed by the American Automobile Labeling Act (AALA) of 1994. The act requires manufacturers to label cars with the percentage of North American content.
But the AALA data is "critically flawed and easily manipulated," according to Kogod's Web site.
For a more accurate representation of country of origin, Kogod professor Frank DuBois, an expert on global supply chain management and an inveterate car buff, developed the new index. Starting with the AALA Domestic Content Score, DuBois took the analysis several steps further by evaluating such factors as the location of the automaker's global headquarters, where research and development takes place, the location of engine and transmission production, and the site of final assembly, as well as the country where profits and expenses are recorded.
Higher scores are logged in each category when manufacturing and other operations take place in the United States. So, for example, a car assembled domestically might receive a 6 if its R&D is also domestic, but only a 3 if R&D takes place elsewhere. If both R&D and manufacturing occur overseas, the car would get only a 1.
According the Kogod Index, a domestic car designed and sourced in the United States but assembled elsewhere scores higher than a vehicle assembled domestically with an imported engine and transmission.
Of course, in a global economy there's no simple answer to the question: 'Was this car made in America?' With automakers shopping around the world for the best deal on components, and foreign companies building cars in the United States, it's almost impossible for consumers to tell if they're "buying American." DuBois feels his index is the best tool available to help buyers make a more informed decision.
Edmunds says: The author of the list says he expects to take heat from manufacturers. His response: "Show me something better."