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Throughout The Car Industry

Some Made in America cars are almost All-American

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On: Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 4:11PM | By: Arnold Knox

Some Made in America cars are almost All-American

These days, with cries of America First, Made in America, and Buy American heard from all parts of the country, there are those who insist on American-made automobiles. That’s MADE in America, not just assembled. The point was that things made in the U.S. help the economy here, and provide jobs and wages and opportunities to actually be able to afford the products we produce. Lots of people laughed at that idea; globalization and free trade were taking jobs and money out of the country, and that finding a car that was really made in America or could be called an American car was no longer possible. Well, that is true; however, there are cars that are almost all-American, and that should count for something.

Let’s take a look at the 2016 Kogod Made in America Auto Index. It’s a listing of the 338 automobiles made in the U.S.; it’s a creation of Associate Professor Frank DuBois at the American University Kogod School of Business. Professor DuBois is a global supply chain management expert. His findings are fascinating and illuminating. They go beyond the American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA) that requires the sticker on a new car to provide information on the country of origin of U.S. and Canadian parts and where it was assembled.

The rankings were based on the following criteria:

Profit Margin: Where the automaker's global headquarters is located

Labor: Where the car is assembled

Research and Development: The location of a car’s R&D activities

Inventory, Capital, and Other Expenses: Location of assembly

Engine and Transmission: Location of production

Body, Interior, Chassis, Electrical, and Other: Location of production

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration AALA "Domestic Content" Score

Note that some highly similar vehicle models that varied on the basis of trim lines or engine and transmission options were aggregated together for ease of comparison.

The overall conclusion drawn from the index is that when the corporate headquarters is located in the U.S., the better the chances of the car having U.S. parts. That’s simple enough on the face of it; the devil, as they say, is in the details. While three GM vehicles led the pack with 90% U.S. components—the Buick Enclave, the Chevrolet Traverse, and the GMC Acadia were tied for first place, and GM dominated the first 25 positions—companies based outside the U.S., but with plants in the U.S., such as Honda, Toyota, and FCA (yes, they do have a U.S. headquarters, but FCA Group is in The Netherlands & England) take over most of the next 25 positions. Fascinating and illuminating.

Check it out; if Made in America is a driving force in your choice of your automobile, this is the best place to start your research.


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