General Motors and Ford Motor Co. finished first and second in a study that takes a look at a vehicle’s American makeup.
GM’s crossover trio of the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia had the high score of 90 in the 2016 Kogod Made in America Auto Index.
Ford’s F-150 pickup was second with a score of 85.
American University’s Kogod School of Business produced the index with Associate Professor of International Business Frank DuBois leading it. This is the fourth year the study has been completed.
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.”
GM crossovers and Ford F-150s
2016 Ford F-150 Limited SuperCrew 4×4 with 3.5L EcoBoost engine in White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat. Photo by Ford
For a vehicle’s total score, the index takes seven criteria into account. This includes:
— Profit margin: If an automaker’s global headquarters is in the U.S., the vehicle receives 6 points. If not U.S. based, the model receives 0 points.
— Labor: If a model is assembled in the U.S., it receives 6 points. It receives 0 points if not.
— Research and development: If the vehicle is a product of a U.S. company, it receives 6 points. If the vehicle is the product of a foreign company but is assembled in the U.S., the score bumps down to 3 points. An import receives 1 point.
— Inventory, capital and other expenses: A vehicle receives 11 points if assembled in the U.S. If not, it receives 0 points.
— Engine: If the engine is produced in the U.S., the vehicle gets 14 points. If not, it receives zero points.
— Transmission: A U.S. produced transmission equals 7 points. If not, the vehicle receives 0 points.
— Body, chassis and electrical components: 50 percent of a vehicle’s score is assigned to this category. The vehicle’s AALA percentage is divided into two to derive this score.
The highest score for a foreign automaker’s vehicle was the Honda Accord with a score of 81, good for fifth place.
There were 338 vehicles in the index. 56 vehicles tied for last, 75th place, with a score of 1.
GM took the top spot in 2015’s index with the Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS coupe, Chevrolet Corvette automatic, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali each scoring 87.5 points. Components of the index are based on research conducted by the Center for Automotive Research, which looked into the economic value of different components of auto manufacturing.
“The index finds that foreign companies were more likely to use fewer U.S. produced parts, even if they utilize American manufacturing locations,” the index said. “U.S. economic impact is lower, as the vehicle’s home country receives much of its profits. While the data contained in the AALA is important, a true index of “localness” must recognize other things such as company’s country of origin, as well as the location of its research and development activities.”