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2017 Made in America Index and Number of American Cars Will Shock You

There are only… wait for it… THREE!

With 4th of July festivities behind us, it’s time to take a look at this year’s American made cars index. Reason for publishing this list after the holiday is simple. We didn’t want to spoil it for you. Good people down at Cars.com have been publishing their American made index for 11 straight years now. Due to globalization trends in automobile manufacturing, these lists shrunk with each passing year. What started as a list of more than 60 American cars over a decade ago, shrunk to just eight models for 2016.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, number of official “Made in America” cars hit the record low for 2017. According to American Automobile Labeling Act, only 3 (three) 2017 model year vehicles meet the necessary requirements for “Made in America” label. In other words, only three cars sport more than 75% domestic (American and Canadian) content. At the same time, 7 models have at least 75% domestic parts.

Graphic taken from Cars.com

Things became so bad in fact, that Cars.com finally changed their methodology in order to cover more models. You’ll agree that a list comprised of three vehicles is hardly a list at all. So, this time, we’ll emphasize on 10 vehicles with the biggest impact on American economy. Similar to what Kogod School of Business does.

There are a total of five criteria taken into account:

  • domestic-parts content
  • assembly location
  • engine origin
  • transmission origin, and
  • U.S. factory employment adjusted by sales (to reflect how many employees each sale supports)

As before, domestic-parts content are taken from AALA database. You can find the figure for your own car on its window sticker. Assembly location, and engine and transmission origin are rather self explanatory. Finally, labor too, plays an important role in Cars.com methodology. It’s something AALA simply can’t evaluate due to its intangible nature. To put things simply, this American made index factors employment force behind each model and measures its impact on American economy.

10. Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot is being assembled in Japanese automaker’s Lincoln, Alabama plant. Strict AALA regulations don’t exactly go in favor of the compact crossover as Pilot only sports 70% total American content. Still, both the Pilot’s transmission and engine are assembled in the US which, together with already mentioned domestic final assembly, ranks it among the top 10 American made cars for 2017.

9. Honda Odyssey

I know it’s actually Japanese, but Honda Odyssey boasts more American parts than many cars that are supposed to be genuinely American. Only they aren’t. Like the Pilot, Odyssey too comes from Honda’s Alabama plant. Again, like the Pilot, Odyssey too sports 70% domestic parts with transmissions and engines also being assembled in the US.

8. GMC Acadia

Apart from being assembled at home, GMC Acadia plays an important role for American economy. Produced in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Cadillac XT5’s platform sharing buddy gets 65% overall domestic content and some Mexican transmission components. With new generation’s arrival this upcoming fall, GMC Acadia promises to be even better looking than it currently is.

7. Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition has found its home at Louisville, Kentucky Assembly back in 2009. Right now, full-size SUV is in between generations, but production will continue in the same place. SUV gets 62% worth of domestic content but that Blue Oval badge that’s donning its front propels it among 10 true American made vehicles.

6. Ford F-150

Most popular American vehicle of all time wouldn’t have found its way on Cars.com made in America index list hadn’t the methodology been revamped this year. Full-size pickup has only 70% American made parts and large percentage of Mexican components. Still, Ford badge and two domestic assembly plants (Claycomo, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan) do enough to squeeze it onto this year’s list.

5. Acura RDX

What may look like a surprise entry, is actually well justified. As you’ve probably already noticed, Honda is playing an important role for American Auto industry’s well being. Their luxury division too, has a model among American cars with highest domestic content. A feat no other Japanese automaker has managed to accomplish. Unlike conventional Hondas, this Acura actually classifies as American made vehicle by default. Courtesy of 75% domestic content. East Liberty, Ohio plant only helps along the way.

4. Honda Ridgeline

Surprise, surprise – yet another Honda among hard core American made vehicles. One of their latest additions to the US market is actually a revival from model year 2014. New Ridgeline already boasts better sales figures than its predecessor, and deservedly so. Apart from being much better executed overall, it comes out of the same Alabama plant as Pilot and Odyssey, and sports no less than 75% American and Canadian components.

3. Ford Taurus

Taurus might not be the first vehicle that comes to mind upon mentioning Ford, but it scores better than any other FoMoCo model when it comes to home made cars. It’s produced in Chicago, Illinois, packs 61% domestic components, and has less Mexican parts than comparable F-150.

2. Jeep Cherokee

FCA’s mid-size crossover offering has a major impact on American economy. Produced in Toledo, Ohio and Belvidere, Illinois, Cherokee ties a hefty number of employees to itself. Although it sports a number of parts from Mexico and Italy, it still manages to offer up to 70% American and Canadian content. Maybe Fiat Chrysler’s headquartered in London, but American market Jeeps are still overly American.

1. Jeep Wrangler

The most American vehicle of them all, according to Cars.com and their methodology, is none other than beloved Jeep Wrangler. Just so there’s no confusion, both 2-door Wrangler and 4-door Wrangler Unlimited models qualify. Former having 74% domestic components, and latter sporting 75% home made parts. One of the most popular American cars is being assembled in Toledo, Ohio plant whose workers can be justly proud of themselves.

Categories: List Articles

Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Although driving a piece of junk, Nikola is a true car enthusiast. Precious few things move him as muscle cars do - especially those from the bygone 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 their "lovely" coevals this way - right? (sigh)