• Jan 2nd 2008 at 11:04AM
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The definition of what makes a car "Made in America" is always up for debate. Nevertheless, Cars.com takes a stab at determining the Top 10 vehicles made in America every six months with its American-Made Index. Vehicles that make the list are judged on three criteria: sales numbers, domestic parts content (DPC) and the location of their assembly. Only vehicles built inside our borders with a domestic parts content above 75% are eligible, and the more domestic parts the better.
You would expect vehicles like the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado to rank high on the list, and they do grabbing the No. 1 and 3 spots, respectively. The Dodge Ram, however, was not eligible because its domestic parts content is less than 75%. The Toyota Tundra, meanwhile, improved from 10th place to 4th place thanks to higher sales and a DPC that increased to 80% for the 2008 model.

What's more interesting, however, are the models that fell off the list, which include the Toyota Camry and Ford Focus. In the past, the Camry often occupied the No. 2 position on the AMI. The two-door Camry Solara, however, sales for which are grouped together with the sedan, saw its DPC drop to 65% for the 2008 model, thus making the Camry itself ineligible. The new 2008 Focus, meanwhile, carries a DPC rating now of 65%, again below the threshold of eligibility.

When representatives from both Toyota and Ford were asked by Cars.com about the parts content of these vehicles and why it changed, neither could give a definitive answer, but we can say what they can't. The fact is that automakers have to buy components from suppliers that meet their needs, which includes a good price. They're free to shop around the world for those components, not just in the Stars and Stripes section of the store. So while interesting, this list shouldn't be regarded as casting judgment on any particular vehicle for its DPC unless you believe that every vehicle sold in the U.S. should be built in the U.S. using components from the U.S. Now that's not very realistic, is it?

[Source: Cars.com, Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty]

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