Based on a new methodology without a minimum domestic-parts content, the 2017 index kicks previous-winner Toyota out of the top 10.
The Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited have received top honors in Cars.com's 2017 American-Made Index.
Cars.com was forced to introduce a completely revised methodology for 2017. Certain restrictions in prior years, including a minimum 75-percent domestic parts content, gradually disqualified nearly every vehicle now produced in the US.
"Over the AMI's 11-year history, the number of models meeting our original criteria has fallen due to the globalization of automobile manufacturing — from more than 60 vehicles in the AMI's inaugural year to eight last year," the authors note. "By the original requirements, only three 2017 models would have qualified this year."
The revamped rankings de-emphasize overall sales, instead focusing on the economic impact of a single buyer purchasing one model versus another. Scores still reflect high domestic-parts content, predominant US sourcing for engines and transmissions, and high US manufacturing jobs supported per vehicle.
Last year's most 'American Made' vehicle, the Toyota Camry, is nowhere to be found on the latest list. The Jeep Cherokee and Ford Taurus now hold the second and third positions. The best scores from Japanese automakers can be found in the fourth and fifth spots, occupied by the Honda Ridgeline and Acura RDX.
"As the AMI continues to demonstrate, the badge on the hood doesn't always tell the whole story," the report says. "The cars on this year's list hail from automakers headquartered in Europe and Asia as well as North America."