In today’s global marketplace, it is increasingly difficult to determine exactly how ‘American’ any given vehicle is. Many autos assembled in the U.S. use parts that were manufactured and imported from overseas.
In a new American-Made Index study which ranks vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States, the Toyota Camry leads the list. Factors considered in the study include such things as the percentage of domestic sales for a particular model, where the vehicles are assembled and the domestic-parts content.
According to the study, Toyota took four of the top ten positions. The Toyota Camry, assembled in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana ranked #1 with the Toyota Sienna, assembled in Princeton, Indiana and the Toyota Tundra, assembled in San Antonio raking sixth and seventh, respectively. Rounding out the top ten was the Toyota Venza which is assembled at the company’s Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing facilities.
Only five ‘domestic’ automakers made the top ten list. Deposed from the top position in last year’s study, the Ford F-150 which is assembled in Dearborn, Michigan moved to second place. Remaining in third position for the second year in a row was the Chevy Malibu which is assembled at GM’s Kansas City, Kansas plant. In eighth and ninth places were the GMC Sierra 1500 and Ford Taurus. The Sierra is assembled in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the Taurus rolls off the line at Ford’s facilities located in Chicago.
Aside from Toyota, Honda was the only other ‘foreign’ automaker included in the top ten list. Assembled at their Lincoln, Alabama production facilities, the Honda Odyssey ranked in the number four position.
Reasons for the poor showing by Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ include the fact that the survey factors overall sales in the final tabulations. The difficult sales environment of the past year factored heavily in the Camry’s eclipse of the Ford F-150. Sales of the F-150 have slumped nearly 40% year-to-date, and the model has seen a steady downturn in the use of U.S.-made parts in recent years. Although Camry sales have also fallen, the drop in sales has not been nearly as significant, and the percentage of domestically-manufactured parts has increased.
In a similar study put out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ fared better, taking six of the top-ten positions. The NHTSA study, which considered domestic-parts content, assembly location and the projected future status (whether or not a particular model was scheduled for cancellation) listed the Ford Taurus, with a domestic-parts content of 90% at the top of the list. Other Detroit offerings included the Lincoln MKS, with an 85% domestic-parts content rating, in second place. The GMC Savana 1500 passenger van, Chevrolet Express 1500 cargo van, Buick Lucerne and Chevy Malibu all ranked in the top six with domestic-parts content ratings of 80% or higher.