In the past, it was pretty simple for those who like to buy American-made cars to know where to shop: Ford, GM or Chrysler. But now, with foreign automakers assembling more and more of their vehicles here in the U.S., it’s not quite as clear any more as to what defines an “American-made” vehicle.
That’s why a few entities have stepped up to rank vehicles on just how American they are, factoring in things like where the vehicle is assembled, where the parts came from and how popular they are among American customers.
In the most recent American Made Index ranking from Cars.com, Ford’s F-150 returned to the top spot, knocking off the Toyota Camry to become the most American-made vehicle on the market. The Camry held the top spot for four years while the F-150 rose to the top from the no. 2 spot. The truck was ranked no. 1 from 2006 to 2008.
According to a Cars.com editor’s note on the rankings, the index “recognizes cars that are built here, have a high percentage of domestic parts and are bought in large numbers by American consumers.”
American car brands accounted for five spots in Cars.com’s top 10 including: the F-150, the no. 3 Dodge Avenger, no. 6 Chevrolet Traverse, no. 8 GMC Acadia and the no. 9 Buick Enclave.
Meanwhile, Motor Trend reminds potential car buyers who value these sorts of rankings that there is more than one list. The “most American-made” car really depends on your definition.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s American Automobile Labeling Act survey, which doesn’t differentiate between parts that come from the U.S. from those that come from Canada, considers the Dodge Grand Caravan most American. And the Kogod index, which also factors in manufacturer headquarters location and R&D location into the mix, says the GMC Acadia is no. 1.