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FCA US, Ford and GM Autos Undisputed Industry Leaders Of 2019 Kogod Made in America Auto Index

Made in America (select to view enlarged photo)
Made in America

Editor's Note: Even with these most exacting Made In The USA Ratings a concerned vehicle buyer would have to look at the exact vehicle's identification number (VIN) of their considered for purchase vehicle, its model and options to learn if it is really Made In America.

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 29, 2019; Governor Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, issued the following statement on American University’s 2019 Kogod Made In America Auto Index:

“FCA US, Ford, and General Motors are once again dominating the Kogod Made in America Auto Index. The 2019 analysis shows FCA US, Ford and General Motors captured all of the Top 10 vehicles, all but one of the Top 20, and 28 of the Top 30 vehicles. It also shows the three U.S. automakers account for 90 percent of the top sedans, SUVs and pickups made in America. This is further evidence that American automakers and their employees are committed to driving new jobs and increased manufacturing activity in the US.

“The Kogod Made in America Index shows FCA US, Ford, and General Motors are assembling more of their vehicles here and using more domestic parts. This is good news for the families who rely on a robust U.S. auto industry.”

The Complete 2019 Kogod Made in American Index can be found here:

Are there any surprises in the Kogod auto index?

You might be surprised to find that a BMW SUV assembled in South Carolina actually has less US content than a Chevy Cruz Hatchback or a Chevy Blazer assembled in Mexico; or that the Ford Mustang is assembled in the US but could have a US, Mexican or Chinese transmission depending on the options chosen.

One also finds that some brands, although they have a strong domestic presence with a few models, import a lot of the cars that they sell here. VW/Audi makes only two of its popular models here in the US (the Passat and Atlas) with the rest imported from Mexico or Germany.

Another aspect of the Kogod index is that although the AALA label on the car may imply a very high level of US content, in reality, because of AALA rules a specific car may actually have very little because of the options and features on the vehicle. There are a number of situations where the label on the car states that the car (actually “cars in this carline”) have over 60-70 percent US/Canadian content but when you look at the details the car was assembled outside of America, and the engine and transmission are both sourced outside the US yet the automaker can imply the car has more US/Canadian content than it really does. A consumer would have to look at the vehicle identification number (VIN) to tell where the car is actually assembled.

Who might be concerned by the index? Can it be viewed as controversial?

Yes, non-US manufacturers might be because compared to the information provided by the AALA they are not going to rank as highly because many of the costs associated with building a vehicle in the US are incurred outside of this country. Things like research and development, profit repatriation back to the home country, labor costs associated with non-US sourced parts, and equipment are incurred outside of America.

You may have a lot of local sourcing here in the US and that’s great, but just looking at location of assembly, parts sourcing, and where the engine and transmission came from really doesn’t provide an accurate picture in terms of where wealth and jobs are being created.

Same with a GM or Ford that is manufactured in Europe, a lot of the costs associated with the production of that car are incurred in the US (although probably not as much as say a Japanese of Korean car since they have been in Europe for much longer).

The American Automotive Policy Council, (AAPC) is a Washington, D.C. association that represents the common public policy interests of its member companies FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.