A lot of domestic auto brands like to advertise themselves as “American Made.” And while those models are certainly assembled in the United States, it’s not really that simple. The globalization of the auto industry means that many pieces of your American Made car are actually from other countries. Those parts get shipped stateside and assembled.
According to The Detroit News, some American made cars are actually more American than others. Using a “total domestic index” developed by the Kogod School of Business, the Ford Ranger came out on top. The index evaluates the source of physical parts, but also takes into account things like research and development. When everything was calculated, the Ranger was declared “85% Made in America.”
The Ranger beat out last year’s editions of the Corvette and Volt to claim first place in 2020.
The top-ten was dominated by U.S.-based manufacturers, as you would probably expect. The Chevy Camaro finished second, with 83% domestic content. Chevrolet continued to rule the top of the charts, with the Corvette and Colorado tying the GMC Canyon for third place at 82%.
Jeep nudged themselves in at fourth place with the Latitude and Trailhawk, both coming in at 78.5% domestic.
The rest of the top ten, from The Detroit News:
- Tied for fifth with 77.5% domestic content: Three-liter Ford Explorer, Cadillac CT4 and CT5, and Tesla Model S and Y
- Sixth with 77% domestic content: Cadillac XT4
- Tied for seventh with 76% domestic content: Chevrolet Camaro with manual transmission, Caddilac XT5 and XT6, and GMC Acadia
- Tied for eighth with 75.5% domestic content: Ford Expedition and Mustang with a 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine and 5.0-liter engine with automatic transmission
- Tied for ninth with 75% domestic content: Five-liter Ford F-150, Lincoln Aviator, long-range Tesla Model 3, and Tesla Model X
- Tenth with 74.5% domestic content: Jeep Cherokee
As you can see, it’s getting a bit harder to merely “buy American.” Not only are American cars relying on foreign parts, but more and more foreign automakers are building cars right here in the U.S. now. The likes of BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, and Volkswagen all build cars in American-based plants these days. Buying one of those models still helps support American workers, even if the profits end up in Europe or Asia.