Chevrolet Corvette rated ‘Most American’ car in university study

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Chevrolet Corvette declared the 'Most American' automobile in university study | Chevrolet photo

For decades, the Chevrolet Corvette has been called “America’s Sports Car.” Now, it also is the “Most American” of automobiles, according to the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, the National Corvette Museum says in a news release.

“With a top score of 83.5 points, Corvette earned bragging rights by racking up the points within seven criteria including profit margin; labor; research and development; inventory, capital and other expenses; engine; transmission; and body, chassis and electrical components,” the museum noted in reporting research by the Center for Automotive Research to determine “total domestic content.”

The index ranked 544 vehicles and was started in 2013 by Frank DuBois, associate professor of international business at the Kogod school at American University in Washington, D.C.

“It is likely that no vehicle has been truly 100 percent American since the Model T,” DuBois was quoted in the news release. “and you could argue that some of those parts were mined or manufactured out of the country.”

The Chevrolet Volt finished second with 83 points. Sharing third place at 82.5 points were the Ford F150 4X2 5.0-liter and Ford F-150 4×4 2.7- and 5.0-liter pickup trucks, along with the Lincoln Continental.

Corvette assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky | National Corvette Museum photo

Criteria used by the school to determine index scores included:

Profit margin – This was measured based on the location of an automaker’s headquarters. If an automaker’s global headquarters is located in the U.S., the model received a 6. If it is not, it received a 0. The assumption here was that (on average), 6 percent of a vehicle’s value is profit margin, so if it is a U.S. automaker, the profits remain in the country.

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Labor – This category considers where the car is assembled. If a model is assembled in the U.S., it receives a 6. If not, the model receives a 0. The index assumed aboout 6 percent of the vehicle’s value is labor content.

Research and development – This category looked at the location of a car’s R&D activities. If the model was a product of a U.S. company, it received a 6. If it was the product of a foreign company but was assembled in the U.S. it received a 3; if it is a foreign import, it received a 1.

Inventory, capital and other expenses – If assembly occurred in the U.S., the model received an 11; if not, it received a 0.

Engine – If the engine was produced in the U.S., the model received a 14; if not it received a 0.

Transmission – If the transmission was produced in the U.S., the model received a 7; if not, it received a 0.

Body, chassis, and electrical components – Fifty percent of a vehicle’s score was assigned to this category. The AALA percentage is divided into two to derive this score.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

5 COMMENTS

  1. My Dad was a Pacific War WW2 veteran. He would only own American cars. He had five different Corvettes in two different eras of his life; six if you count the Cadillac XLR. When I lost him, I took over the Corvette "franchise"; I’ve had three in the last 12 years. They’re great cars, great fun to own and drive, and I personally prefer to drive an American car as my "A" car. Just my preference as a former GM Assembly Division empolyee.

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