The new Buick Envision is made in China and some Hondas are made in America.
The landscape of today’s automotive manufacturing world is far different than it was two decades ago. In fact, there’s not a single mass-produced vehicle that was designed and built in America with all American-made parts.
Automakers based in the U.S. routinely build vehicles in Mexico and acquire parts from Latin America and China. The global sourcing of parts and assembly helps cut costs and keeps prices of new cars affordable.
Consumers who want to know just how “American” a car is can check out the fourth annual Kogod Made in America Auto Index, which was released earlier this week. In this new global automotive economy, though, does it really matter?
The Kogod index builds off of the American Automobile Labeling Act in 1994, which required automakers to provide information on the window sticker including U.S. and Canadian parts content, country of assembly and country of origin for the engine and transmission.
However, with AALA data, U.S. and Canadian content are combined into one number. Automakers are allowed to round up a part that is potentially only 70 percent U.S./Canadian to 100 percent U.S./Canadian.
The Index said Kogod’s method provides consumers “with a more accurate view of their vehicle’s composition.”
The Kogod scale factors these criteria into its calculations:
- Where the automaker is headquartered
- Country of assembly
- Where the engine was built
- Where the transmission was built
- Research and development location
- Source country of body, chassis, and electrical components
Each category is assigned a numerical score, which contributes to the overall score. This year’s index ranked 338 vehicles, with the “least American” automobiles coming from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Mazda.
These numbers do matter for people who care about purchasing a vehicle that contributes to the American economy and keeps profits and jobs on American soil.
The Chinese-made Buick Envision isn’t on this year’s list, so we’ll have wait another year to find out just how American the newest Buick really is.
Will the Kogod index affect what car you decide to buy next?