Cars aren’t just transportation, they’re also symbols of national pride. That’s particularly true in the post-2008 United States, where the auto industry bailout has turned the Big Three into political set pieces. Consequently, the annual “Made in America” Automotive Index produced by American University’s Kogod School of Business can either be a feather in the cap or a black mark for automakers.
General Motors Company has plenty to celebrate this year, though, because the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was at the top of this list for cars with the most American-made content. Meanwhile, the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia triplets tied for second place.
However, there was also a tie for first. The F-150 pickup truck from Ford Motor Company had an identical score to the Corvette. For once, reality lives up to expectations: it’s hard to think of two more American vehicles than the Corvette and F-150.
The index is compiled by American University professor Frank DuBois using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DuBois ranks 318 new-car models based on location of a manufacturer’s headquarters, design, research, and manufacturing facilities, and where the profits go once the cars are sold.
For the record, under the American Automotive Labeling Act, if 75 percent of a vehicle’s parts are manufactured in the U.S. or Canada, it is considered a domestic product. Perhaps not surprisingly, around 80 percent of Americans would prefer to buy a domestic car, according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey.