By on September 18, 2020

Image: Ford

Hot on the heels of our post about Ford touting the F-150 as one of the most valuable consumer goods built by an American company comes more patriotic news involving the Blue Oval.

Ford’s other truck, the smaller Ranger, tops vehicles such as the redesigned Chevrolet Corvette C8, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Dodge Grand Caravan for tops in the American-made index put out by American University’s Kogod School of Business.

The study is published each year, and it takes a variety of factors into account. Those factors include the percentage of American and Canadian parts used, the location of a company’s HQ, and where the profits go.

Each vehicle gets a score based on those factors.

The Ranger scored 85, thanks to the fact that 70 percent of its parts content comes from the U.S. and Canada. Dodge’s Grand Caravan actually has 4 percent more of its parts content sourced from America and Canada, but its score is only 64, since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is headquartered in Amsterdam and the financial center for the company is in London. Dodge, of course, is still based in southeast Michigan – Auburn Hills, to be precise.

An automatic-trans Camaro scores 83, but cars with clutches drop to 76 points, since the manual transmission is sourced from overseas. The Kentucky-built Corvette ties with corporate teammates the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon for third with scores of 82. The ‘Vette sources 64 percent of its parts from the U.S. or Canada. A quick note on the trucks – the diesel versions score lower.

That F-150? Ninth, if you have the 5.0-liter V8. So maybe today’s earlier news needs to be rethought, hmmm? Another Ford icon (or “Icon”, as the company calls certain vehicles now) is the Mustang, and either cylinder count places it eighth.

Another vehicle synonymous with America is Jeep’s Wrangler, but its scoring varies widely based on engine and transmission combo. The EcoDiesel isn’t scored.

Last-place finishers, all with a score of 1, include the Audi A3, Jaguar F-Type, Porsche 911, and Subaru WRX STI.

When it comes to total domestic content, or TDC, across lineups, the Detroit Three do well, with GM at 70.6 percent, Ford at 67.6 percent, and FCA at 64.1 percent.

[Image: Ford]

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20 Comments on “Ford Shows Its American Pride, Part II...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    NEVER would have guessed GM would be the highest. With all that chineseum and China sourced parts and cars. And big sellers – equinox, blazer, Sierra and Silverado made in Mexico

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Is content based upon relative weight or part count? I.e., do a bunch of US-sourced fasteners count more than an engine block?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @SCE to AUX – I looked at the Kogod criteria and the have 7 criteria with a lengthy caveat.

      “Unraveling the true DNA of a car sold in the US is complicated. This process, at best, provides an educated guess in terms of the total domestic content. The 70 percent rule, for example, allows manufacturers to “round up” to 100 a part or component that has 70 percent US/Canadian content. Mixing Canadian with US parts content could result in an inaccurate AALA calculation in the case of most of the parts being sourced in Canada. Other complicating issues are a) the degree of accuracy in the AALA numbers reported by the manufacturers, b) the degree of accuracy in the domestic content of parts, and c) the inability to distinguish between US-owned and non-US-owned parts and component suppliers. A transmission manufacturer, for example, might be US-based but foreign owned. ZF, a German company, has a subsidiary located in South Carolina that provides transmissions for BMW, Daimler, and Land Rover, as well as Ford, FCA, and GM. In addition, their factory in China provides manual transmissions for the Ford Mustang. There is no way to determine what percentage of the hundreds of parts in these transmissions are US-sourced without a complete teardown and source analysis. The same holds for electronics, braking systems, and other key components that are sourced from non-domestic global manufacturers. Further complicating the calculation is the use of the same US/Canadian value across a manufacturer’s car lines. A car line is defined as a car which shares the same characteristics across different option and trim levels. Four-door Honda Civics, for example, all have the same value of 65 percent for US/Canadian content, yet depending on the trim level and options, it could be assembled in the US, Canada, or even the United Kingdom. As such, it’s important for consumers to learn to decipher the VIN codes on cars as these codes contain a wealth of useful information about each specific car.”

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Tesla Model Y window rubber (final manufacture in Alabama by WKW Erbsloeh) comes in a box with VW Group markings.

        The Tesla P/N sticker says they’re German.

        The seals are marked China.

        Teslas are hot garbage.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    This study isn’t sales weighted so it favors brands with low volume vehicles with high US/Canada content. Except it’s silly to chart where the profits go when there may not be much or any, as in the halo, loss leader Corvette.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    As an engineer I wonder if where the car is designed is part of the equation.

    Also, why is US/Canada lumped together? I thought Canadians were very sensitive about being recognized as a separate sovereign nation.

    • 0 avatar
      pveezy

      I think because that is how the actual automakers report parts content. They don’t separate US and Canadian parts content because, I think, that has been a clause in NAFTA that lumps them together (and also USMCA). The reasoning being that Canadian and American workers usually have wage parity so Canadian factories aren’t undercutting US workers in the same way Mexican or other third world plants are. Also it is not uncommon for parts to cross the border multiple times in the manufacturing process. I.e. components built in Canada exported to the US to be built into an engine, then that engine exported back to Canada to be put in a car, then that car exported back to the US to be sold. Not to say that is right or wrong but I think that is the reasoning.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Interesting that the truck that was literally sold everywhere but this country for almost a decade is the most “American”

  • avatar

    So American made means both USA and Canada? If yes why Mexico is not included? It is also in Northern America. What makes Canada American and Mexico not?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The economic world doesn’t consider Mexico part of the North American market. They lump Mexico in with “Central America” which isn’t an actual thing.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Most likely it’s the English language being the predominant language in the US and Canada. Mexico is Spanish speaking (with a considerable amount of Spanglish mixed in).
      The US and Canada have had very interdependent economies for quite a few decades, developed alongside each other, and get along quite peaceably. The differences were more a border line and government than anything else.
      It’s not really a race issue, as the US and Canada have historically welcomed immigrants from all over the globe, current inflammatory political talking points being more the exception than the rule.
      Having a common language has allowed the two countries to prosper in a mutual manner. Wages are also similar in both countries, so neither one has really undercut the other in that respect.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        I agree with all that RHD has posted. And, in addition to the cultural points, vehicles produced in U.S. and Canada have officially been considered products of the “domestic” auto industry ever since 1965. That’s when the two countries signed a treaty granting auto manufacturing that status – meaning completely free trade – long before NAFTA or anything else. That’s also when most Canadian-specific vehicle brands and model names began to disappear. Think Acadia (Chevy II and Nova), Ford Frontenac (Falcon and Mercury Comet) and Mercury trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      pveezy

      It is probably because Canadian/American auto workers are paid close to the same level of wages and the two countries have had integrated manufacturing since before NAFTA. Canadian workers don’t undercut American workers in the same way Mexican factories do.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @Inside Looking Out:
      “So American made means both USA and Canada? If yes why Mexico is not included?”

      Likely the same reason you can’t own a Canadian:
      https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/areasontosmile/2011/11/dear-dr-laura-why-cant-i-own-a-canadian.html

  • avatar
    deanst

    Sadly, it seems like junk science. Corollas made in Japan have the same domestic content as ones made in North America. Lexus vehicles made in North America have 0% domestic content. Junk in, junk out.

    • 0 avatar
      pveezy

      How is that junk science? How do you know that they aren’t building Corollas in Japan using the exact same supplier chains as the ones built in the US? In fact, that seems like it would be logical. It is also possible to assemble a Lexus here using mainly imported content.

  • avatar
    watersketch

    Stupid measurement when the Windsor, Ontario built Grand Caravan can be one of the highest rated American vehicles.

    I used to run a vanpool in Detroit and we were in serious trouble for a while when the only American built vans were the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna. That would have been a bad look for the vanpool in Detroit.

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