Amid trade tensions and tariff threats, the spotlight shines on the origins of consumer products large and small, and the most scrutinized are no farther than your driveway. A recent Cars.com survey shows a clear majority of Americans want to purchase a car that contributes substantially to the U.S. economy, but gauging such contributions is no small task. Cars.com has tried to do so since 2006 with the American-Made Index, an annual study that looks at various factors to determine just how homegrown a given car might be.
We’ve long wondered if the trade landscape would alter the AMI, but what might be surprising about the 2019 index is how little things have changed. Tensions have reached fever pitch as new duties aim at specific countries or materials, yet the number of models automakers build in the U.S. — and the percentage of cars Americans buy that are domestically built — remain similar today to what they were a year ago. So, too, do the top vehicles on the AMI. Six of the top 10 from the 2018 ranking return for 2019, including the top three in the same order: