According to the 2017 Cars.com American Made Index, 25 percent of people surveyed want to buy an American car. That’s almost double the number of people who said so in 2016, and it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to figure out why. President Trump has clearly made Americans aware again.
Whether you agree or disagree with the man and his policies, it certainly doesn’t hurt this country’s economic fortunes to deliberately choose a vehicle that is designed, engineered, and built in America using American ingenuity, parts and labor. The question, of course, is this: What the hell is an American car in the first place?
Some people follow the profits. Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Tesla are the only car companies currently headquartered in the United States (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is incorporated in the Netherlands with an HQ in London). But does that make a Buick Envision built in China an American car?
Some people consider the brand. Fiat Chrysler is a now single company serving as an umbrella for multiple legacy brands. Is an Italian-made Alfa Romeo Stelvio as American as a Detroit-built Jeep Grand Cherokee? Is an Italian-built Jeep Renegade as American as a Michigan-made Ram 1500?
Some people consider where a car is actually assembled. The Toyota Camry is built in Kentucky. The Ford Fusion is hecho en Mexico. Which one is American? Both? Neither?
With the help of American University’s Made in America Index, Speedy Daddy aims to define an “American” car.