American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C. has devised a comprehensive system for determining which vehicles are the most “American.” Researchers there use the reporting for the American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA) as well as a scoring system based on location of assembly, where the profits end up, and where the research for vehicle development was done.
They call it the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, and it is conducted annually by university researchers. Fifty percent of the scoring is based on site of body, chassis and electrical manufacturing. Also factored in are the following, listed here in descending order of importance: engine production site, site of inventory and capital expense allocation, site of transmission production, site of assembly labor, site of research and development, and lastly, where the profits for each aspect of the transaction go.
There are a few vehicles that achieve a score of 90 percent, but no vehicle currently made scores a perfect 100 percent. The top twenty-one vehicles belong to the Detroit Two companies that are owned by U.S. shareholders. The following is a list of the vehicles that took first, second and third place.
In a tie for top score were the Chevy Corvette and the Ford F-150, both with 87.5 percent and both being docked 12.5 percent for some body, chassis and electrical parts that are manufactured outside of the United States. Other than that, both are true “All-American” vehicles. The F-150 was the truck sales leader in 2013, with a total of 763,000 units sold. The Corvette Stingray took home the 2014 North American Car of the Year award at the January Detroit auto show.
General Motors produced eighteen out of the twenty one top vehicles on the Kogod Index, and Ford produced the other three. In another tie with 86 percent, the second place scorers were the Buick Enclave, the Chevy Travers, the GMC Acadia and the high-end Denali model. The four were docked for some body, chassis and electrical components made outside the U.S.
In third place with scores of 85 percent were the 2014 Cadillac CTS, Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain, all GM vehicles which, like the others, lost points for some foreign-made parts in the body, chassis or electrical system.