How American are U.S. Vehicles?

The three most popular vehicles in the U.S. are pickup trucks made by Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. “America first,” you might think. But these three models are on average only 55 percent American. That is, 55 percent of what the manufacturers call their “added value” comes from the U.S. – and the rest from abroad. All three models are assembled in the U.S., but many parts that require elaborate production (including the engine) are often imported from other countries. In GM’s case, for example, parts come from Mexico; in Chrysler’s case, from Italy. Chrysler also gets its transmissions from Italy. That U.S. car maker has belonged to Fiat since 2014. The wiring assemblies for all three models are also manufactured outside the U.S. For each truck, kilometers of cables are processed by hand. Work like that is only done in low-wage countries. And Germany also provides components for the pickups. America’s best-selling model, the Ford F-150, has a ladder frame made of steel, manufactured by a German company. Otherwise, the body of the F-150 is made of aluminum, high-tech aluminum, which Ford developed in collaboration with German research labs. And the mechanism for the F-150’s front seat comes from a French supplier that manufactures in Mexico and China. The proportion of American added value is falling, as the three pickups made in the U.S.A. averaged 69 percent just five years ago, but nowadays American carmakers are outsourcing more and more production to suppliers all over the world.

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Source: Deutsche Welle –