When it comes to buying a car, many consumers say they want to buy American to support the local economy, but today's globalization means it can be difficult to determine how American a particular model actually is.
Related: Cars.com's 2017 American-Made Index
Now in its 12th year, Cars.com's American-Made Index analyzes the economic impact a model has on the U.S. economy by digging into the details of more than 100 U.S.-built passenger vehicles. The index uses domestic-parts content information for each car, which is available through the American Automotive Labeling Act, as well as the country of origin for the car's engine and transmission, its assembly location, and the factory workforce behind each automaker to determine which cars are the most American.
The American-Made Index tackles the notion that only American automakers make cars that benefit the U.S. economy. A consumer's first impulse when thinking about buying American might be to go with Ford, GM or a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand such as Jeep or Ram, but plenty of foreign-based automakers have assembly plants in the U.S. that build cars sold at local dealerships. Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Subaru and Volkswagen are just some of those brands.
Jobs matter — even after the unemployment rate dropped to just 3.8 percent in May 2018. While unemployment is low, the labor-force participation rate is 62.7 percent; that rate remains behind pre-recession levels.
Jobs provided by the auto industry go beyond the assembly plant. Consider all jobs that support those plants: facilities that conduct design, research and development; plants run by automakers and third-party suppliers that built parts for those cars; and tens of thousands of dealerships that sell the finished product.
Find out the cars which have the greatest impact on the U.S. economy in the 2018 American-Made Index Thursday.
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