Cars.com Kicks Off Annual "American Made" Debate: Ford Falling?
Every June cars.com trolls the protectionist elements of the car guy world by trotting out its “American Made Index,” which has been topped by the Toyota Camry for the third year running. So what’s cars.com’s criteria for the American Made Index? According to a presser
Cars.com’s annual American-Made Index ranks the most-American vehicles based on percentage of their parts that are made domestically, where they are assembled and how many are sold to U.S. buyers.
That last bit goes a long way towards explaining the Camry/Accord dominance: this is not just a measure of assembly and “domestic parts content” (which NHTSA strangely counts as parts made in the US or Canada), but popularity with Americans as well. If, on the other hand, you just look at the raw 2011 “domestic” parts content percentages… well, it tells a slightly different story.
This is the list of all the vehicles that NHTSA confirms are made with 75% or more “domestic” parts content [full list in PDF here]. Notice anything interesting? I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about how cars.com cooks these numbers to get to their AMI, but here’s a quick comparison that’s worth noting: last year, Ford had nine vehicles with 90% domestic parts content or more. This year, only the dying Sport Trac maintains any presence at all above the 89% threshold. As goes Ford, so goes the world of 90%+ “domestic” vehicles…
John Horner on Jun 28, 2011
Ancient treaties with Canada have the US counting Canadian work as "domestic", which is silly if you care about such things. If the NHTSA is going to publish this kind of data (and what does this have to do with Traffic Safety???), then they should publish it for NAFTA zone production and not include Canada whilst excluding Mexico. Pre-NAFTA, there was a certain kind of logic to the US-Canada grouping thanks to old treaties. But now, it makes no sense.
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