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Want To Buy The Most U.S.-built Cars? This Survey May Help

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A survey has shown that while a majority of Americans want to buy a car that contributes substantially to the U.S. economy amid rising trade tensions, most of the "American-made" cars are actually produced by foreign automakers.

According to Cars.com's 2019 American-Made Index, the most 'American-made' vehicle in 2019 is the Jeep Cherokee. Owned by Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler, the Jeep Cherokee SUV is built in Belvidere, Illinois.

The American-Made Index analyses several factors to determine which new cars and trucks contribute more to the U.S. economy, regardless of where the manufacturer's brand is headquartered. The index tracks vehicles with the most domestically-sourced major parts and labor.

It 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.

However, globalization in the auto industry has blurred the lines of what is exactly American made.

The Honda Odyssey minivan, which is assembled in Lincoln, Alabama, ranks second on the American-made list. The Honda Odyssey is followed in third place by Honda Ridgeline pickup, also assembled in Lincoln, Alabama.

Of the top fifteen American-made cars on the Index, nine are manufactured by Japan-based automakers, Honda or Toyota. Honda has seven models that made the index, including two from its Acura division.

Ford's F-150 pickup truck is ranked thirteenth on the list and is the only vehicle from the automaker to feature among the top fifteen vehicles.

Among the top ten vehicles, the Honda Passport, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Acura RDX are new to the American-Made Index or have returned in 2019 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. Even if they had, manufacturing can't change overnight," said Kelsey Mays, senior editor at Cars.com.

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. According to Cars.com data, neither amount has changed significantly since the 2018 American-Made Index.

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