‘Most American Cars’ Rethought by New Index

‘Most American Cars’ Rethought by New Index

There’s a new measuring stick for what constitues and “American” car this year and it gives the crown back to U.S. makers.

Last year, a ranking sheet released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that the most “American” car was actually the Toyota Matrix.

The information was part of NHTSA’s annual AALA report, which was enacted in 1992 and specifies the percentage of U.S. and Canadian content in a vehicle. But Frank DuBois, a professor at American University has a new ranking system making its maiden examination this year.

DuBois’ new index takes more factors into account than the AALA numbers and include labor for assembly, research and development, location of assembly and production, and several others.

The AALA numbers don’t actually rank vehicles, but instead offer a percentage. This year, the Matrix slipped from being 95 percent American to only 65 percent. Four vehicles tied for first place with 80 percent: the Chevrolet Express, GMC Savanna, Toyota Avalon and  Ford Expedition. To be fair, the Savanna and Express should relaly only count as one.

On the other hand, the new index puts GM’s Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia (pictured) and Chevrolet Traverse trio at the top. The Dodge Avenger and Ford F-Series trucks came next and tied for second place while the Chrysler 200 took third.