Used vehicles offer more ‘patriotic’ choices than new models


Used-car buyers can be patriotic, too.

And it actually should be a little easier than for new-car buyers.

Earlier this week we took a look at data from a government report that listed vehicles available in the United States along with the percentage of American-made parts.

That allowed us to highlight models that mostly were made in America, which seemed appropriate as we approach the Fourth of July – Independence Day – the most American of all holidays.

Toyota Highlanders, built with 60-70 percent of American-made parts in recent years, roll off an assembly line in Princeton, IN.
Toyota Highlanders, built with 60-70 percent of American-made parts in recent years, roll off an assembly line in Princeton, IN.

We found that 83 vehicle models – about 22 percent – of nearly 400 from 25 brands identified in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2016 American Automobile Labeling Act report are built at least 50 percent of parts made in America (United States and Canada).

But the NHTSA also provides reports going back to 2007 – nine years’ worth of information for shoppers in the market for mostly American-made used cars.

That’s how we determined that several FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands – Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler and Ram – probably would have boosted the 2016 list to 98 models with at least 50 percent American-made parts, ranking FCA brands among the most reliant on those parts.

Among the five models that met the highest bar for those in a patriotic frame of mind – at least 80 percent American-made parts – are three from General Motors (Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia) and two Honda Accords, according to the NHTSA 2016 report. Four more models sold here – two each from Japanese automakers Honda (Pilot and Odyssey minivan) and Toyota (Camry and Sienna minivan) – comprise 75 percent American-made parts

But let’s say you’re shopping for an older-model vehicle while still preferring mostly American made. Using the 75 percent bar, here’s what we found for the last five years:

2015 MODELS

The 2015 Toyota Sienna was one of nine vehicles atop the American-made list.
The 2015 Toyota Sienna was one of nine vehicles atop the American-made list.

This year is dominated by General Motors products with five models, including the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, which also made the 2016 list, plus the Cadillac CTS coupe and Chevrolet Corvette. Others reaching this bar are the Toyota Camry and Sienna and Honda Odyssey, all named above, plus the Dodge Grand Caravan, which might have made the 2016 list if FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands were available on the latest report.

The Honda Accord, which appears on the 2016 list, reportedly was built from just 70 percent of American-made parts a year earlier. Another dozen vehicles from FCA (Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep), Honda, Toyota and Chevrolet were produced from 70 percent American-made parts. Specific models from this and other ranges are available at the NHTSA website.

A total of 82 models comprised at least 50 percent American-made parts, according to this report.

2014 MODELS

Ford, America’s truck leader, adds the 2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew® and STX Sport Package to its lineup, offering entry-level and value-oriented truck customers capable, roomy and stylish new options.
Ford, America’s truck leader, adds the 2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew® and STX Sport Package to its lineup, offering entry-level and value-oriented truck customers capable, roomy and stylish new options.

Two General Motors products – the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana – achieved 80 percent American-made parts, the Dodge Grand Caravan 78 percent and the Dodge Avenger Sedan 76 percent. Others that reached the 75 percent bar were FCA’s Chrysler Town & Country and SRT Viper; Ford’s F-150 pickup; Chevrolet’s Corvette and Impala; Honda’s Odyssey minivan, Crosstour and Ridgeline pickup; Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna minivan and Tundra pickup, and the Volkswagen Routan.

Another 25 vehicles from FCA (Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep), GM (Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac), Ford (Ford and Lincoln) and Honda (Honda and Acura) were produced from 70 percent American-made parts. Specific models from this and other ranges are available at the NHTSA website.

A total of 92 models comprised at least 50 percent American parts, according to this report.

2013 MODELS

The Chrysler Town & Country was built with 77 percent American-made parts.
The Chrysler Town & Country was built with 77 percent American-made parts.

Five models – Chevrolet Express, Dodge Grand Caravan, Ford Expedition, GMC Savana and Toyota Avalon – were built of 80 percent American-made parts; Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, Chrysler Town & Country and GMC Acadia at 77 percent; Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Avenger, Ford F-150 (four variations), Honda Crosstour and Odyssey minivan, and Toyota Camry, Sienna and Tundra at 75 percent.

Another 23 vehicles from FCA (Chrysler and Jeep), Ford (seven Mustang models), General Motors (Chevrolet and GMC) and Toyota were produced from 70 percent American parts. Specific models from this and other ranges are available at the NHTSA website.

A total of 103 models comprised at least 50 percent American, according to this report.

2012 MODELS

The top 10 American-made models included the Honda Accord.
The top 10 American-made models included the Honda Accord.

Ten models comprised 80 percent or more American-made parts: Toyota Matrix (95 percent), Toyota Avalon (85 percent), Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana (82 percent), and Honda Accord and Crosstour, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Sienna (80 percent).

Another 18 models were built from 75-79 percent American parts, based on the report, and 22 comprised 70-74 percent U.S. parts. These included models from 14 different brands. Specific models from these and other ranges are available at the NHTSA website.

A total of 103 models comprised at least 50 percent American, according to this report.

2011 MODELS

The Dodge Nitro was an 80-percenter in the NHTSA report.
The Dodge Nitro was an 80-percenter in the NHTSA report.

Ford Explorers led the way with 85 percent American-made parts, followed by Dodge Dakota (84 percent), Dodge Avenger (83 percent), Dodge Grand Caravan and Volkswagen Routan (82 percent), Chrysler 200 (81 percent), and Toyota Avalon, Camry and Sequoia, Honda Accord, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Nitro, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana and Toyota Tundra (80 percent).

Another 23 models were built from 75-79 percent American parts, based on the report, and 16 comprised 70-74 percent U.S. parts. These included models from 15 different brands. Specific models from these and other ranges are available at the NHTSA website.

A total of 122 models comprised at least 50 percent American, according to this report.

BEST OF THE REST

Besides the Toyota Matrix (yes, that’s right), you would have to go back to 2010 to find models with 90 percent or more American-made parts, with Ford being by far the most prolific producer.

The company manufactured six Ford models, two Mercury products, a Lincoln Town Car and even a Mazda (Tribute) at 90 percent or more in 2010; two Fords and a Mercury in 2009; a Crown Victoria in 2008; and seven Fords, two Mercury vehicles and a Lincoln in 2007. Ford was the only automaker to claim that level in three of those four years, according to the NHTSA reports.

Ford actually reported three vehicles with 95 percent American-made parts in 2007 – the Edge, Expedition and Lincoln MKX – the only year any other automaker claimed at least a 90 percent figure. General Motors reported a Buick, three Chevrolets, a GMC and a Pontiac at that percentage.

ALL TOGETHER NOW

The number of choices has declined since 2011 to 83 from 122 – and even more since 2007, when automakers reported about 140 vehicles with at least 50 percent American parts.

But all that doesn’t matter as much to a used-car shopper unless you have a specific model year in mind.

Going back just five years, there are more than 500 used-car models with at least 50 percent and as high as 95 percent American-made parts, according to the NHTSA’s reports.

That seems like plenty to get your patriotic groove on for the July Fourth holiday.

Or any other time of the year.