Study: The 2 Most “American” Vehicles Are the Chevy Corvette and Chevy Volt
The 2018 Kogod Made in America Index uses 7 criteria to assess the percentage of a vehicle's value that contributes to the U.S. economy
In today’s auto industry, it’s not always easy to identify how “American” a vehicle really is. American cars are sometimes manufactured overseas, while foreign cars are often assembled here in the U.S.
Every year since 2013, the Kogod Made in America Index has sought to clarify matters. This index uses seven criteria to assess the “domestic content” of vehicles available for purchase in the U.S. It was created by Frank DuBois, a professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business.
According to this year’s index, the most American vehicle is, well, that most American of vehicles, the Chevrolet Corvette, which received a score of 83.5. Right behind the Corvette is the Chevrolet Volt with a score of 83.0. (In other words, environmentally friendly electric vehicles are just as genuinely American as flashy sports cars or gas-guzzling pickup trucks. Hmmmm.)
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The Kogod index seeks to answer this question: “What percentage of your vehicle’s value contributes to the overall well-being of the U.S. economy?” Each criteria is assigned a weight based on the economic value of that aspect of auto manufacturing:
- Profit margin, 6 possible points: Vehicles score higher if the automaker’s headquarters are in the U.S., on the assumption that profits are more likely to stay in-country.
- Labor, 6 possible points: Vehicles made in the U.S. score higher.
- Research and development, 6 possible points: Vehicles developed and produced in the U.S. score higher; cars developed overseas but made in the U.S. score lower; imports score lowest.
- Inventory, capital, and other expenses, 11 possible points: U.S. assembly scores higher.
- Engine, 14 possible points: Vehicles with American-made engines score higher.
- Transmission, 7 possible points: Vehicles with American-made transmissions score higher.
- Body, chassis, and electrical components, 50 possible points: Vehicles with American-made components score higher.
If buying vehicles that are “made in America” is a priority for you, check this index the next time you’re shopping for a new car. It’s a helpful way to determine how much your desired vehicle actually contributes to the U.S. economy.
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News Source: American University
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