Tesla Inc. is known for a few things, such as being the best-selling EV maker in the world, the most valuable auto company in the world and it gets to add most American company in the world.
More precisely, Cars.com revealed the Tesla Model 3 is the No. 1 most American-made vehicle for 2021. It’s the first time the California-based EV maker’s placed a vehicle atop the annual American-Made Index, although it had three of its vehicles in the top 10 last year. The Model Y was No. 3 on the list.
“Tesla has now cemented itself firmly on Cars.com’s American Made-Index, with the Model 3 and the Model Y taking the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively,” said Kelsey Mays, assistant managing editor and AMI’s lead researcher.
“The 2021 AMI arrives against a backdrop of scarce inventory amid a microchip shortage and heightened consumer demand. Despite this, there remains a high consumer focus on buying American-made vehicles as the economy is still emerging from the effects of the pandemic. For those interested in making the biggest impact here, the index gives shoppers a way to purchase the most American-made vehicle.”
The rest of list
The Ford Mustang placed second on the list. Built in Flat Rock, Michigan, this year’s finish is the first time it’s been in the top 10, according to the website. The Jeep Cherokee was fourth followed by the Chevrolet Corvette.
Then in a bit of irony, the rest of the top 10 is occupied by four Hondas and a Toyota. The Hondas — Ridgeline, Odyssey, Pilot and Passport — are all produced at the company’s plant in Lincoln, Alabama while the Toyota Tundra is manufactured at its facility in San Antonio, Texas.
Out of 344 models on the market for 2021, a total of 90 models qualified for this year’s AMI. GM led the way with 19 cars on the index, followed by Honda (13), Toyota (12), and Ford (11). As it relates to body style, nearly 50% of the vehicles are SUVs, followed by sedans and/or hatchbacks models (28%) and pickup trucks (17%).
American buyers want American cars
While many folks lament how difficult it is to determine exactly what constitutes an “American” vehicle these days, research shows that more believe its unpatriotic to buy a non American-made vehicle this year than last year: 29% versus 25 percent.
According to the website, 72% of shoppers consider a car’s U.S. economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase, up from 70% who indicated the same in 2020. Although it seems the threat of the pandemic is in decline, a third of respondents in 2021 still say COVID-19 has made them more likely to buy an American-built vehicle.
EVs and Hybrid vehicles made up nearly 5% of this year’s vehicles, almost doubling the seven electric and hybrid vehicles featured on last year’s list. The site noted 68% of people said they would consider an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car.