Consumers See Buying American as Way to Support Economy

 

The Jeep Cherokee ranks as the most American-made vehicle of 2019, according to Cars.com.

The rankings show the difficulty in declaring a vehicle a domestic or an import.

The Illinois-built SUV comes from Jeep, a brand owned by Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Nine other vehicles came from Honda or Toyota, both Japan-based automakers. Honda has seven models that made the index, including two from its Acura division.

Among the top 10 vehicles, the Honda Passport, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Acura RDX are new to the American-Made Index or return after an absence.

“Despite a lot of talk around new tariffs and the looming U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, few of the automakers in the top 15 indicated major manufacturing changes as a result,” said Kelsey Mays, senior editor at Cars.com. “Even if they had, manufacturing can't change overnight. A single vehicle has tens of thousands of parts from third-party suppliers across the globe.”

Automakers still assemble around 120 models in the U.S. for the 2019 model year, with U.S.-built sales accounting for just over half of all new vehicles bought by consumers. Neither amount has changed significantly since the 2018 American-Made Index.

The AMI, an annual study produced since 2006, was supplemented by a 2019 Cars.com survey that probed attitudes about buying American.

The survey found that 66 percent of all respondents want to buy a car that contributes substantially to the U.S. economy. However, younger generations are also least likely (14 percent) to think it's unpatriotic to buy non-American, compared to 27 percent of respondents 55 and older.

“Just as the very definition of ‘American made’ is evolving in the face of consolidation among manufacturers and throughout the entire supply chain, so are attitudes about how important buying American is to car-shopping consumers,” said Mays. “Younger generations aren’t any less patriotic than past generations, but they likely don’t prioritize buying American to the same extent as their parents and grandparents because they grew up with imported brands and digital access to goods from all over the world their entire lives.”

Determining a vehicle’s homegrown credentials is no easy task, but trade tensions and new tariffs mean such credentials could impact the cost of that vehicle. Cars.com’s survey revealed that half of all respondents are concerned about the possibility of tariffs on automotive imports.

Still, 80 percent of respondents agree that buying American-made cars will create more jobs in the U.S.
Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranks cars based on five factors: assembly location, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, U.S. factory employment relative to sales, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. The company analyzed more than 100 U.S.-built vehicles to arrive at the top 15 American-made models on the market.

 

 

 

 

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Last modified on Thursday, 04 July 2019 12:39

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