American-Made Index: Odds and Ends

US_map
Compiling the American-Made Index always brings its share of interesting tidbits, and this year had no shortage. Here are a few:

  • For 2012, the highest domestic parts content for a single vehicle comes in the Toyota Matrix hatchback. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Matrix hits 95% DPC — a percentage not seen since 2007. But here's the catch: The Matrix isn't even built in the U.S. Toyota assembles the car in Canada. For a variety of reasons, the American Automobile Labeling Act includes Canada as a "domestic" supply source. (That's one reason the AMI uses assembly location as a key determining factor.) Matt Blunt, president of the Detroit Three’s lobbying group, the American Automotive Policy Council, explains: "Canada was included because at the time that AALA went into effect, it would've been very difficult to disentangle what's one of the most integrated bi-national production operations in the world."
  • Seven cars this year with domestic parts content of 75% or higher are built in Canadian assembly plants. Even Blunt concedes the system's imperfections, saying, "Clearly you need a more accurate system, and it probably doesn't make sense to have different [domestic content] reporting metrics" through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the government's corporate average fuel economy program. Cars.com uses the AALA to calculate the AMI because it's what every new-car shopper can find on a new car. The other two programs, by contrast, are much murkier.
  • The best-selling car assembled exclusively in the U.S. is the Ford F-Series pickup. The best-selling car built in Mexico is the Ford Fusion sedan, though that will change as Ford transitions Fusion production to Michigan. The best-selling car from Canada is the Chevrolet Equinox SUV. The best-selling import? The Toyota Prius hybrid.
  • We reported on total U.S. employment by the Detroit Three versus foreign-owned automakers, but we also tallied every auto plant — assembly, powertrain, stamping, casting and the like — across America that's involved with light-duty vehicle production. GM, Ford, Chrysler and two U.S. startups — Tesla and taxicab-maker MV-1 — operate 75.5 plants. (The fraction comes from Flat Rock, Mich., where Ford and Mazda have a joint stake.) In comparison, BMW, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen run 29.5 plants. But each foreign-owned plant employs more workers. Excluding the Ford/Mazda plant, U.S.-based automakers average 1,382 employees per facility. By contrast, foreign-owned facilities average 2,315 workers per plant.
  • Of U.S.-built nameplates with 75% or higher domestic content, GM leads for the 2012 model year with seven. Toyota comes in second with five, but the automaker also has the most cars that have zero percent domestic parts. Twenty nameplates from Toyota, including every Scion and all but one Lexus, have no domestic content whatsoever, according to NHTSA.
  • The Chevrolet Volt has stirred up plenty of political controversy, but President Barack Obama may want to temper his enthusiasm for it: GM's plug-in hatchback has just 46% domestic parts.
  • Related
    Cars.com American-Made Index
    American-Made Index: Which Automakers Affect the Most Workers?
    More Automotive News

    Comments 

    Ben

    Toyota Camry is just sticking it to the Chevy Malibu. Better quality, better selling, and more US content. Wow.

    hoosier219

    Try again, Ben. You managed to get one out of three. For MY 2012, Camry and Malibu have the same level of domestic content based on AALA (75%) and the Malibu has a higher quality rating in J.D. Power's 2012 IQS. Overall sales is where the Camry wins.

    jay yost

    Of the top ten in the listing, where does any profit from the sale of each vehicle go? Japan, the US or elsewhere?

    Brian

    No Hossier219 the North American content is not higher for the Malibu. And neither of them are at the top of the list. In fact another Toyota, the Toyota Matrix leads the list at 95% North American content, with the Toyota Avalon being next at 85%.
    Source Autoweek/ NHTSA

    Post a Comment 

    Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

    • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
    • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
    • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
    • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
    view posting rules

    If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

    Search Results

    KickingTires Search Results for

    Search Kicking Tires

    KickingTires iPhone App
    Ask.cars.com