These 15 Foreign Cars Are Way More 'American' Than You Think

Toyota FT-1 concept detroit auto show 2014 design teamToyotaToyota’s FT-1 Concept is a product of Toyota’s California-based Calty Studios.

Car shoppers who want to support American manufacturing shouldn’t dismiss the idea of buying a Toyota or Honda.

According to new rankings from American University’s Kogod School of Business, some Japanese cars are more “made in America” than offerings from Ford and Chevy.

The rankings consider data including where an automaker is headquartered and where it assembles its vehicles, produces parts, and conducts research and development.

The Kogod rankings also evaluated the final destination of an automaker’s profits. The report argues “the true impact of these (design and manufacturing) activities (by foreign automakers) on the U.S economy is reduced by the repatriation of profits back to the automaker’s home country.” Everything that’s done in the U.S. earns points, scored out of 100.

The results may change how consumers think about the meaning of “made in America.”

It’s hardly shocking that Ford’s F-Series and Chevrolet’s Corvette finished at the top of the rankings as the most American cars you can buy, with a total domestic content score of 87.5 out of 100.

But not far behind are Honda’s Odyssey, Ridgeline and Crosstour, and Toyota’s Camry and Tundra, which all scored a 78.5. That makes them more “American” than cars like the SRT Viper (77.5), Tesla Model S (77.5), Ford Expedition (71), Chevrolet Silverado (70), Dodge Grand Caravan (69), and Chevrolet Camaro (68).

The presence of Honda and Toyota’s near the top of the domestic content rankings should not come as a too much of surprise. Both automakers have invested heavily in their US manufacturing, design and development facilities.

Toyota Corolla production blue springs mississippiToyotaWorkers at Toyota’s assembly plant in Blue Springs, Miss.

Honda hasinvested more than $US14 billion in U.S. manufacturingover the last couple of decades. In 2012, it produced 1.2 million cars at plants in Indiana, Ohio, and Alabama. It also operates a network of component production facilities along with multiple design centres.

Toyota’s U.S. design and manufacturing operations are extensive as well. It operates major assembly plants in Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and Indiana, and maintains a network of engine and transmission production facilities in Alabama, Indiana, and West Virginia. Its California-based design studio, Calty Design Research, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

According to Kogod, these are the 15 “most American” foreign branded cars on sale today: (Score out of 100)

  1. Honda Odyssey (78.5)
  2. Honda Ridgeline (78.5)
  3. Honda Crosstour (78.5)
  4. Toyota Camry (78.5)
  5. Toyota Tundra (78.5)
  6. Honda Pilot (76)
  7. Acura RDX 2WD (76)
  8. Honda Accord (76)
  9. Honda CR-V (76)
  10. Toyota Sequoia (73.5)
  11. Toyota Avalon (71.5)
  12. Toyota Sienna (71.5)
  13. Acura MDX (71)
  14. Acura RDX 4WD (69)
  15. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (67.5)

For some perspective, here are the top 25 most “American” cars on the market today:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.