Have you ever asked yourself which new vehicle on the market has the most North American DNA? Cars.com provides the answer in its American-Made Index. This time around, for the second consecutive year, the honour goes to the Jeep Cherokee.
The annual study conducted by the website looks at a host of different elements to determine the American character of a production in terms of its conception, design and construction. These factors include everything from the origin of the components, the engine and the transmission to where models are built, as well as the number of workers employed at plants located in the U.S. or in Canada.
After all the factors were considered and all the numbers crunched, the Jeep entry came out on top. While those who fight the “Made in America” fight will take delight from this performance, their joy will be tempered by the reality the rest of the list reveals. The list of the most “American” manufacturers is dominated by foreign brands.
Honda is the brand that most often calls on American and Canadian workers to develop and build the models it sells in North America. In all, seven of the 15 most “American” models carry the Honda badge. Toyota is the only other foreign manufacturer to feature two models on Cars.com’s ranking, the Avalon an the Tundra.
Among American automakers, GM does the best in this metric, with four models in the top 15. While its Jeep model outranks everyone else, FCA has just that one model to be found in the ranking. Ford does no better, placing only the F-150 in the top 15.
And the “least” American?
At the other extreme, American manufacturers are actually much more present. The Chevrolet Bolt beats all others, as its homegrown elements add up to only 18% of the total. Next is the Volvo S60, with 20% domestic elements.
The new Ford Ranger doesn’t do much better, sitting at 35%. As for the big SUVs under the GM banner, the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade, 41% of their DNA is authentically North American.
This kind of list can be food for thought for many would-be buyers, certainly, but it also shows once again how global in nature automotive production has become.