Tesla Makes History on American-Made Index

An electric vehicle topped the list for the first time.

Cars.com recently unveiled its 2021 American-Made Index, which ranks new vehicles on how they contribute to the U.S. economy.

The five criteria utilized to construct the rankings are assembly location, parts sourcing, U.S. factory employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. 

For the first time in the AMI’s 16-year history, an electric vehicle topped the list, and it’s none other than Tesla’s Model 3. Another Tesla, the Model Y SUV, came in third in the rankings.

According to Cars.com research, 72% of those responding to their survey consider a car's U.S. economic impact “a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase,” and one-third said COVID-19 has made them more likely to buy an American-built vehicle. Furthermore, 29% said it would be “unpatriotic" to purchase a non-American-made vehicle.

Interestingly enough, while Tesla is joined by the Ford Mustang at no. 2, the Jeep Cherokee at no. 4 and the Chevy Corvette at no. 5, numbers six through nine are Hondas, with the Toyota Tundra rounding out the top 10. 

All of the vehicles in the top 10 are assembled in either California, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama or Texas.

Kelsey Mays, Cars.com assistant managing editor and the AMI's lead researcher said, "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." 

Also worth noting is that only 90 out of the automotive sector’s 344 models qualified for the AMI. GM led the way with 19 vehicles on the index, followed by Honda’s 13, Toyota’s dozen and Ford’s 11.

Half of the vehicles were SUVs, 28% were sedans or hatchbacks, and 17% were pickups. 

More information on the rankings are available at Cars.com/ami.

More in Video