Globalization in every field imaginable and lower production costs. These are the reasons more and more automakers are dislocating their production facilities to countries where much higher production savings are possible. If that means “Hecho en Mexico” instead of “Made in America,” for instance, then so be it. At least that’s big American companies’ narrative on the matter. But globalization trend in auto industry isn’t a new thing. Congress passed the American Automobile Labeling Act back in October 1992. AALA mandates content information on U.S. made vehicle labels. In short, American cars require at least 70% domestic (U.S. and Canadian) content in order to be considered home made.
During those 25 years, number of American-made cars shrunk into single digits. That said, customers shopping for American-made cars by only looking at the badge often end up being deceived. It’s not uncommon for Japanese companies to use more domestic content than fully fledged Detroit-based American automakers. This is why we’ve already listed 10 of the best-sold American cars actually assembled abroad. This time, we’re listing those assembled overseas, and with lowest percentage of domestic content. In other words, 2017 year models that never deserved to be called American in the first place.
Note: we’ve excluded badge engineered vehicles (e.g. Chevrolet SS, Buick Cascada), specialty vehicles like Chevrolet Caprice, and models soon to be discontinued.
Let us start with vehicles sporting the most American and Canadian content. At least among the lowest ranked such models anyway. Chrysler Pacifica has 62% domestic content but its final assembly is conducted in Canada. In Windsor, Ontario plant, to be more precise. Although not among the top 5 best-selling FCA vehicles, Pacifica still plays an important role in keeping Chrysler above the waterline.
Just like Chrysler Pacifica, GMC Terrain too boasts as much as 62% domestic content. Its final assembly is also in Canada. Unlike Pacifica, however, Terrain is being built in Ingersoll, Ontario assembly plant. Since Terrain is scheduled to shrink in size and become a compact crossover (currently still mid-size), it’s expected it’ll start playing more important role for GMC. At least in terms of total sales.