Jeep dominates top 'American-Made' list

The 2016 Jeep Wrangler. The Ohio-built model sits at the top of Cars.com latest American-Made list. Photo credit: HUANG Zheng/Shutterstock.
CHICAGO - 

The Cars.com annual ranking of the "most-American" vehicles has not only been revamped this year, but for the first time, the Jeep Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited tops the company's list, followed by the Jeep Cherokee in second place.

All engines and roughly all transmissions for the Ohio-built SUVs from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles originate from the U.S., according to Cars.com.

The models’ domestic-parts content percentage is among the highest Cars.com has reported this year.

The Wrangler received a score of 74 percent; the Wrangler Unlimited 75 percent and the Cherokee 70 percent.

"Over the American-Made Index's 11-year history, the number of models meeting our original criteria has fallen due to the globalization of automobile manufacturing – from more than 60 vehicles in the index's inaugural year to eight last year," Cars.com's executive editor Joe Wiesenfelder said in a news release. "By the original requirements, only three 2017 models would have qualified this year. With that, we've revamped the AMI to account for the changing landscape and to reinforce factors representing the domestic economic impact when a buyer purchases one model versus another. Cars.com analyzed more than 100 light-duty passenger vehicles built in the U.S. to arrive at the top 10."

The revamped index now bases its ranking on the following five key criteria:

  1. Assembly location: The location in which the vehicle's assembly plant is located
  2. Domestic parts content: Percentage of parts content originating in the U.S. and Canada as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act
  3. Country of engine origin
  4. Country of transmission origin
  5. U.S. factory employment: Automaker's direct U.S. factory employment relative to its sales footprint

U.S. map shows where the top American-made vehicles are manufactured. Photo courtesy of Cars.com.

Car shoppers’ preference for American drives has increased in recent years according to Cars.com.

In a recent survey, the company said it found that compared to 13 percent in 2016, 25 percent of respondents would consider buying solely from an American manufacturer.

More than 50 percent of respondents revealed that supporting the local economy and brand loyalty are their primary reasons for buying American.

"In an era of build-American sentiment, a sizable portion of shoppers still care where their car comes from," Wiesenfelder added. "That said, it is important for shoppers to remember that the logo on the vehicle doesn't necessarily tell the full story. The cars on this year's list of the 'most-American' hail from automakers headquartered in Europe and Asia as well as North America. Conversely, some vehicles with distinctively American brand names rank low by AMI standards."

Additionally, Cars.com said almost three-quarters of survey respondents named the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford F-150, Ford Expedition and Ford Taurus when asked which cars they considered to be the most American. The Chicago-built Taurus earned the index’s third-place spot this year.

For additional information about models named on the 2017 American-Made Index and its methodology, visit www.cars.com/news.

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