There are a lot of cars on the market, and advertising a vehicle as “Made in America” can be a powerful marketing tool for some manufacturers. However, that label may be a little misleading.
To be considered American-made, only 55% of the total value of the car’s parts have to be made in America, even if the manufacturer isn’t based in the US. Additionally, because of how the legislation governing this label is written, parts from both Canada and the US count towards the required 55%.
When thinking about how few parts this can actually mean, consider the relative cost of different components. Suppose a manufacturer uses expensive parts, like computers and high-end electronics, that are made in America. In that case, they can reach 55% of the total cost with relatively few parts, meaning the majority by actual number may be made in other parts of the world and simply put together in the US.
This ultimately means that a surprising number of domestic cars are made with foreign parts. Here are some of the vehicles that fall into that category, as well as where some of their components actually come from.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Although Chevrolet is a classically American manufacturer, their first electric vehicle actually has fewer American parts than some cars from foreign manufacturers. Specifically, the drivetrain and battery are made in Korea, though all the parts are assembled in Detroit.
While the iconic Jeep Wrangler is still made using primarily American parts, other vehicles from this manufacturer may not be able to say the same. One example of this is the Jeep Renegade, which only has 38% American-made parts. Additionally, though an American-based company makes this vehicle, Jeep may actually assemble this particular model in manufacturing plants in Italy, Brazil, or China.
Founded in 1925, Chrysler has been headquartered in the United States for over 90 years. However, it has moved away from its previous all-American manufacturing. The Chrysler Pacifica is a perfect example, with just 44% of its parts being made in America. It’s manufactured just north of the border in Canada.
Another of America’s “Big Three” car manufacturers, Ford has begun incorporating more foreign parts and utilizing foreign plants for manufacturing. The Ford Fusion showcases this shift with just 48.5% American parts, which is fewer American parts than comparable foreign cars such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Kia Optima. In addition to the lack of American components, the Fusion is also manufactured in Mexico.
Rounding out our list is the GMC Terrain, which has less than 50% American-made parts. Like the Ford Fusion, this car is surpassed by foreign competitors such as the Nissan Rogue and Acura ILX. This model is also currently being produced in Mexico.
Whether you have a domestic car or drive around in a foreign model, a warranty can be an invaluable way of reducing the expense of repairs for sudden breakdowns. You should be familiar with your car’s warranty, so you know which parts are covered and for how long.