X

Tesla Model 3 is the most American-made car, new study says

Cars.com's annual American Made Index has Tesla topping the chart, though General Motors leads for most models overall.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance
Enlarge Image
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance

The Model 3 is very 'Murican.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

"Buy American" is something we all hear and see often, but given the global complexities of modern manufacturing, "American-made" can be a tricky thing to discern. That's partly why Cars.com started its annual American Made Index, and with the 2021 edition, it's Tesla that takes the top spot. Specifically, the Tesla Model 3.

Cars.com looks at a handful of factors to calculate just how American-made a particular model is, and the website reckons the Model 3 is practically bleeding red, white and blue. With a Bald Eagle on top. The electric sedan is ranked first as the most American-made car, taking into account assembly location, parts sourcing (logged through the American Automobile Labeling Act), US factory employment and more. It's the first time Tesla topped the list, and the first time an EV took the top spot. 

Tesla actually landed at the third spot on the list, too, with the Model Y electric SUV. In second place is the Ford Mustang, which marks its first showing on the AMI since Cars.com first started recording data. The Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Corvette round out the top five before Honda fills out the rest of the list with a slew of vehicles. Toyota claims the 10th and final spot with the Tundra pickup.

The cars listed are simply the most American-made models, however. The flip side to looking at this is by automaker, and in that regard, General Motors is on top. Of the 344 vehicle models on sale for 2021, GM's portfolio led the way as a whole with 19 models placing on the list. Honda followed in second with 13 models, then Toyota with 12 and Ford with 11 ranking on the AMI.

The study showed buying American continues to sway buyers in their vehicle purchasing decisions, too. According to Cars.com's research, 72% of shoppers "consider a car's US economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase." The figure's up 2% from the 2020 AMI research. Twenty-nine percent of shoppers told the website it's "unpatriotic" to buy a vehicle built outside of the US.

Top 10 Most American Made Cars

RankMake and modelUS assembly location
1 Tesla Model 3Fremont, California
2 Ford MustangFlat Rock, Michigan
3 Tesla Model YFremont, California
4 Jeep CherokeeBelvidere, Illinois
5 Chevrolet CorvetteBowling Green, Kentucky
6 Honda RidgelineLincoln, Alabama
7 Honda OdysseyLincoln, Alabama
8 Honda PilotLincoln, Alabama
9 Honda PassportLincoln, Alabama
10 Toyota TundraSan Antonio, Texas

Tesla Model 3 remains the gold standard for electric sedans

See all photos
sean-szymkowski-headshot
sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.

Updated June 23, 2021 7:21 a.m. PT

sean-szymkowski-headshot
Written by  Sean Szymkowski
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET
174175176177178179180+
Experts Interviewed
030405060708091011121314+
Companies Reviewed
108109110111112113+
Products Reviewed

We thoroughly evaluate each company and product we review and ensure our stories meet our high editorial standards. Read how we test products and services.