Domestic manufacturers are buying more and more from overseas and traditionally foreign manufacturers. Even Ford and General Motors have looked outside our country for less expensive parts and even for the assembly. Our domestic automakers are less and less American in their parts composition and are often put together overseas too. On the flip side some of the foreign automakers have increased their investment in US manufacturing facilities and parts. So, what does that mean for the value conscious, but committed to America vehicle purchaser? It is flat out hard to distinguish how American Made your new vehicle might be.
The three main things to consider if buying an American Made vehicle is important to you are:
1. Where is the assembly plant?
Assembly plants located right here in the good ol’ USA create thousands of jobs and huge amounts of money to be invested locally.
2. What percentage of parts are made in the United States?
Parts production creates jobs and the monetary investment is substantial.
3. Where does the profit go, not just what country the parent manufacturer is located, but also where do they invest the profit?
This can be the hardest factor to figure out. You cannot assume that all the profit from a foreign company leaves the United States as some of the foreign brands aggressively reinvest profit right here in the United States.
Sounds daunting, huh? Whether it’s a traditionally domestic or foreign brand they are all mixed up these days and there have been big changes over the last two years. Half of the vehicles in last year’s American Made Index did not make it back onto this year’s list. Even the Ford F150 fell off the list as its domestic parts content dropped to a meager 55 percent. General Motors
So, how do you figure it all out? Labeling through the AALA American Automobile Labeling Act can help a little as you navigate this maze and there are some secrets in your vehicle identification number that can help too. You can also check out the American Made Index list of the most American Made vehicles for this year.
Leading the list is the Toyota Camry made in Kentucky and Indiana. Keep in mind that manufacturers sometimes make the same vehicle at different locations, so if is an important factor for you check on the specific vehicle you are buying.
1. Toyota Camry – Georgetown, Ky.; Lafayette, Ind.
2. Honda Accord – Marysville, Ohio; Lincoln, Ala.
3. Chevrolet Malibu – Kansas City, Kan.
4.Ford Explorer – Chicago
5.Honda Odyssey – Lincoln, Ala.
6. Toyota Sienna – Princeton, Ind.
7. Jeep Wrangler – Toledo, Ohio
8. Chevrolet Traverse – Lansing, Mich.
9. Toyota Tundra – San Antonio
10. GMC Arcadia – Lansing, Mich.