Just How "American-Made" is Your Car?

09 July 2015 Dashboard Insights Blog

We think that we know where our car is made. Turns out, we might not be so right. The more globalized the automotive industry becomes with each passing day, the harder it is to identify an “American-Made” car.

Cars.com has tried with its 2015 American-Made Index. Cars.com considers a vehicle American-Made if it has at least 75 percent domestic content. For the most recent index, there are only seven such cars – seven! Care to guess who is tops before clicking the link to the Index? Wrong! The Toyota Camry is #1. Second, the Toyota Sienna. Fourth, the Honda Odyssey.  The other four vehicles are the Chevrolet Traverse (3), GMC Acadia (5), Buick Enclave (6) and Chevrolet Corvette (7).

So, this means that the US no longer makes cars, right? Again, wrong! Domestic auto production is going to approach 12 million vehicles, up from about 8 million in 2010. Ironically, Cars.com shows that as the number of American-Made cars (per its index) plummets, domestic production has gone up. Then, consider that exports of domestically made cars hit a record 2.1 million cars in 2014 and you know that domestic automotive production is thriving, not drying up.

Want more proof that domestic production is thriving? The 75 percent domestic content is an arbitrary cut off. Cars.com noted that if they drop that number to 60 percent, suddenly 57 vehicles qualify and 65% (37 of 57) of those are made by the big three in Detroit, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Further, foreign OEMs import dozens of vehicles with zero percent domestic content whereas Detroit OEMs have just two vehicles below 5 percent.

So, what really matters is the fact that almost 12 million vehicles will be assembled, produced, etc. in the United States. This drives employment and investment.  Take just Japan. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) proclaimed that in 2014 Japanese OEMs “cumulative investment in the U.S. reached nearly $43 billion in 2014.” JAMA further asserted that their “member companies’ direct employment topped 91,000” in the U.S.

Is your car “American-Made?” What does it mean? Does it even matter?

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services