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20 of the Most American Made Cars by Kogod School of Business

Recently, we’ve brought you the list of only eight cars officially deserving of the “Made in America” label. And, boy, did that article ruffle some feathers! At least it’s eye-opening, if not pleasant. Well, things aren’t actually that grim, although they aren’t far from it. American University’s Kogod School of Business publishes their own list every year as well. Their criteria is slightly more comprehensive and doesn’t strictly follow the guidelines imposed by the American Automobile Labeling Act (AALA).

Although AALA strictly states that a car needs to have 75% of mandatory parts made in the US or Canada in order to be considered a domestic product, manufacturers do find a way to avoid such rules to some extent. Although only 8 cars actually comply to that score, manufacturers are allowed to pass the 70% American made components and above as 100% domestic products. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this doesn’t tell us the whole picture.

Kogod School of Business, on the other hand, uses more factors when establishing the criteria that tells us which of the cars also deserve the “Made in America” label. They start with the AALA list and gradually expand it by adding other factors which gauge vehicle’s impact on the US economy. There are factors like the profit margin and labor which emphasize on where the company’s global headquarters are located and where the vehicle is assembled respectively. Then there are the location of the assembly where the engine and transmission are made, research and development factor, and the location of production of the body, interior, chassis, electrical, and other components.

When all those factors get mashed up in Kogod’s complex scheme, we end up with more than 8 American made cars. Moreover, only four of the eight cars labeled as American made by the AALA have found their way to the top 20. In fact Honda Pilot, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Toyota Camry end up between the 28th and 31st spot respectively. The list of 20 of the most American made cars according to Kogod School of Business is below. You can also check out the complete list on their page.

20. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Total domestic content: 80.5%

While Wrangler Rubicon and regular models only feature 73% of total domestic content, long wheelbase Wrangler Unlimited makes the list. It has 73% American made parts according to the AALA alone and 36.5% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts made in the US.

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19. Chevrolet Colorado

Total domestic content: 80.5%

Mid-size pickup has only 61% domestic parts according to the AALA, but that doesn’t hinder it in helping the US economy in its own way.

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18. Chevrolet Cruze Limited

Total domestic content: 80.5%

Top of the line Chevy Cruze scores the same as the Colorado. It too has 30.5% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts made in America.

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17. GMC Canyon

Total domestic content: 80.5%

Second of the Canyonado twins, GMC Canyon boasts the same exact numbers as the Colorado across every single given category.

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16. Buick Verano

Total domestic content: 80.5%

Buick Verano follows the very similar pattern as the Canyonado twins and Chevy Cruze Limited. It too has 61% of domestic content according to the AALA, and 30.5% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts made in America.

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15. Ford Taurus

Total domestic content: 80.5%

Ford Taurus is the last one with the figures we’ve seen with previous four models. It’s a true Ameican car with large impact on domestic economy although AALA percentages suggest otherwise.

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14. Honda Accord

Total domestic content: 81%

Honda Accord is one of the eight models topping the AALA list of American made cars. Here, it takes the 14th spot which is more than respectable for one Japanese manufacturer. 80% of domestic content according to the AALA and 40% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other domestic parts aren’t enough since Honda scores 0 in the profit margin category due to its global headquarters location.

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13. Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban

Total domestic content: 82.5%

It’s nice to see that Suburban is still worthy of the American made badge after 80 years of production. Along with its shorter sibling the Tahoe, Suburban only earns 65% of domestic parts score according to the AALA, though.

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12. Buick LaCrosse

Total domestic content: 82.5%

Full-size luxury sedan also earns only 65% of domestic parts score, but it gets 32.5% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts, on the other hand.

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11. Cadillac Escalade

Total domestic content: 82.5%

Cadillac’s largest vehicle earns pretty much the same score as the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet’s full-size SUVs. There’s the 6% score for the profit margin, research and development, and labor, together with 7% for transmission. It also earns 14% toward the American made maximum thanks to its domestic engine.

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10. GMC Yukon, Yukon XL

Total domestic content: 82.5%

GMC Yukon and extended wheelbase Yukon are largely similar to, and are practically rebadged Chevy Tahoes, so there’s no surprise they earn the same score as their Bow Tie counterpart.

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9. Chevrolet Malibu

Total domestic content: 82.5%

The Malibu earns the same score as previous four of the GM’s models. It earns all the maximum scores apart from in the AALA scoring and body, interior, chassis, electrical, etc. where it earns 32.5%.

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8. Chevrolet Malibu E2 Platform

Total domestic content: 82.5%

The very same Malibu we’ve just described has moved on to the new E2 platform for the 2017 model year (still assembled in 2016). Apart from the obvious changes and benefits that come with it (longer wheelbase and 300 pounds lighter frame), everything else has remained the same. The score, most importantly, hasn’t changed.

7. Chevrolet Impala

Total domestic content: 82.5%

Chevrolet Impala goes along with most of the GM’s models on this list. It shares the score with the previous seven nameplates in all of the given categories, thus ending up with the very same overall score as well.

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6. Chevrolet Equinox

Total domestic content: 82.5%

Mid-size crossover Equinox doesn’t differ as well. It gets 65% score for American made components according to the AALA and 32.5% score for body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts.

5. Chevrolet Corvette

Total domestic content: 83%

The Corvette has that one percent more American made parts according to the AALA, and half a percent more in body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts than the previous group of GM vehicles.

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4. Ford F-150

Total domestic content: 85%

The best sold American vehicle is also one of the most American made vehicles according to Kogod School of Business, even though AALA doesn’t include it in that selective group. It lacks 5% of domestic pars according to them, but Blue Oval still hold their global headquarters and assembly lines within the country. Not to mention the impact F-150 has on the American economy.

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3. GMC Acadia

Total domestic content: 90%

GMC Acadia found its way to the near top of both AALA and Kogod School of Business’ lists of domestic made cars. It’s one of the cars with the biggest contribution to the American economy.

2. Chevrolet Traverse

Total domestic content: 90%

Chevy Traverse also found its way to both lists thanks to the 80% of domestic parts according to the AALA and maximum percentages in most categories according to the Kogod School of Business.

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1. Buick Enclave

Total domestic content: 90%

Finally, the Buick Enclave rounds up the top trio of American made cars with some of the biggest impacts on domestic economy. It boasts the same 80% of domestic parts according to the AALA and 40% of body, interior, chassis, electrical and other parts. Needless to say, it also rates as high as possible in engine, transmission, profit margin, labor, research and development, and inventory, capital and other expenses.

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Categories: Gear Grinding

Nikola Potrebić

About Nikola Potrebić

Although driving a piece of junk, Nikola is a true car enthusiast. Very few things move him as muscle cars do - especially those from the golden era. Which makes him wonder: why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been able to enjoy the likes of Pontiak Aztek, Fiat Multipla, and the likes this way - right?