American auto companies continued the trend of manufacturing the bulk of their vehicles in the country with General Motors leading the pack, according to the 2019 Kogod Made in America Auto Index, released by American University.
The automatic transmission-equipped Chevy Corvette and the Chevy Volt tied for the top spot for 2019. Versions of Fiat Chrysler’s Wrangler Jeep took the second and third slots. Ford’s Lincoln Continental came in fourth, while the Cadillac ATS and CTS versions were tied with the Automatic Transmission equipped Camaro to round out this year’s top-five.
Frank DuBois, an associate professor and global supply chain expert in the university’s Kogod School of Business, created the index in 2013 as a tool for consumers interested in knowing where their automobiles truly come from. “In many cases a product that you might think is American may in fact be something else—the same holds true in the case of foreign products in the U.S.,” DuBois said.
The index ranks more than 500 vehicles, going beyond other auto rankings by taking into account the location of primary research and development activities. Full rankings are calculated using: profit margin; labor; inventory, capital and other expenses; engine; transmission and; body, chassis and electrical components.
DuBois intends for the index to be a conversation starter for consumers, policy makers, and business leaders alike.
“I want to start a conversation about what it means to buy an American product,” he adds. “I want to shed some light on what is behind a label. I find it fascinating to investigate the sourcing strategies of global manufacturers and the interdependence of the global supply chain.”
The sourcing and assembly, DuBois says, often tell more of a story than simply reading a manufacturers label.
“There are a number of situations where the label on the car states that vehicle has sixty or seventy percent US or 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 U.S., yet the automaker can imply the car has more US or Canadian content than it really does.”