Stars, Stripes, and Steel: The 15 ‘Most American’ Autos of 2014

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At the Kogod School of Business at Washington, D.C.’s American University, researchers have concocted perhaps the most complete system to determine just how “American” a car really is. On top of the reporting used for the American Automotive Labeling Act (AALA), the Kogod team weights each vehicle score based on where it is assembled, to what country profits go, and even where the research behind each vehicle was conducted.

The result is the Kogod Made in America Auto Index released annually by these American University researchers. In all, there are seven criteria that factor into the score: site of body, chassis, and electrical parts manufacturing (50 percent); site of engine production (14 percent); site of inventory and capital expense allocation (11 percent); site of transmission production (7 percent); site of assembly labor (6 percent); site of research and development (6 percent); and finally, where the profits in each aspect of the transaction go (6 percent).

Add it all up and you have a perfect score of 100. No automaker can claim a single vehicle that is 100 percent American according to the Kogod Index, but some came close to 90. In fact, the top twenty-one automobiles on the index come from the Detroit Two that are U.S. shareholder-owned corporations. Here are fifteen automobiles that topped the 2014 Kogod most American list.

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1. Ford F-150 (tie)

With over 763,000 trucks sold in the United States in 2013, Ford’s F-Series pickups won the sales race by a landslide. Chevy Silverado, the second place finisher, trailed the F-150 by 283,000 trucks. In third place, the Toyota Camry trailed Ford’s F-Series by over 350,000 vehicles.

American auto consumers happened to be buying the most American vehicle on sale today. In a tie atop the Kogod index, the Ford F-Series scored 87.5, with every point docked coming 25 percent foreign-made components in the body, chassis, and electrical fixtures. It scored 37.5 out of possible 50. Otherwise, the F-150 is entirely American.