Trying to buy a car, truck or SUV that’s American made isn’t as easy as it once was.
Consider, the Buick Envision; it’s made in China, while the Honda Pilot is built in Alabama. General Motors is headquartered in Detroit. Stellantis, parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram hangs its hat in Hoofddorp, Netherlands.
Globalization is now a fact of life in the auto industry, but since the Pandemic, consumers are increasingly looking for American-made vehicles. According to automotive marketplace Cars.com, 40% of car shoppers say that buying a car built in America is now more important to them, up 22% from 2021.
This makes Cars.com’s annual American Made Index particularly instructive. Of the 379 vehicles sold in the United States, 95 – or 25% – made the index, with most manufactured in Michigan (15%), Ohio (12%), Indiana (12%), Alabama (12%) and Tennessee (11%). The index does not include vehicles that weigh more than 8,500 pounds, nor those which have production runs of less than 1,000 units. The ranking also doesn’t include vehicles sold only to fleets, or those scheduled to be discontinued after the current model year without a U.S.-built successor.
Which cars are most American?
For the second consecutive year, Austin, Texas-based Tesla builds the most American-made car, the Model Y. The Tesla Model 3 ranks second. Overall, Honda and Tesla take four spots each in the top 10 alongside Jeep and Lincoln.
“Tesla is the only major automaker to claim 100% domestic production for all cars it sells in the U.S., well above the industry’s roughly 52% average. An all-American workforce producing cars with major components sourced stateside is what helped earn Tesla the top spots,” said Jenni Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief.
“The composition of this year’s much-anticipated American-Made Index is particularly interesting in the context of our current marketplace, where high gas prices and scarce inventory meet peak consumer interest in electric vehicles and a heightened demand for American-made products.”
Tesla’s made in America philosophy differs from other American-based OEMs.
“We produce our stamping, our casting plastic, everything in-house — everything means here on this property,” said Hrushikesh Sagar, head of Vehicle Operations at Tesla’s Fremont factory. “With the recent global supply chain challenges … we want to make sure we build cars here and we produce all the parts [here], and I think that’s a very important thing.”
While Tesla owns the top spots, General Motors builds more models on the list than any other manufacturer at 19%, followed by Honda at 14%, Toyota and Ford at 12%, Stellantis and Nissan at 9%, BMW at 5%, Tesla, Subaru and Hyundai at 4%, Kia at 3%, recedes-Benz at 2% and Volvo and Volkswagen at 1%.
The Feds don’t agree
If you’re concerned about the amount of foreign-made content in your next vehicle, check the window sticker. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compels automakers to list where the vehicle’s parts are manufactured, where the car is assembled, and where its engine and transmission are built. But it’s not as helpful as you may think.
Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, content made in Canada and Mexico is considered North American, so finding out how much is actually made in the United States is impossible.
Still, while Americans are becoming more concerned about where their car comes from, affordability remains their top concern, increasing 15% from 2021 as the most important attribute for car shoppers, while those considering an electric or hybrid vehicle jumped, up 21%.
Cars.com’s Top 20 American Made Cars
|Rank, Make, Model||U.S. Assembly Location|
|1. Tesla Model Y||Fremont, Calif.
|2. Tesla Model 3||Fremont, Calif.|
|3. Lincoln Corsair||Louisville, Ky.|
|4. Honda Passport||Lincoln, Ala.|
|5. Tesla Model X||Fremont, Calif.|
|6. Tesla Model S||Fremont, Calif.|
|7. Jeep Cherokee||Belvidere, Ill.|
|8. Honda Ridgeline||Lincoln, Ala.|
|9. Honda Odyssey||Lincoln, Ala.|
|10. Honda Pilot||Lincoln, Ala.|
|11. Chevrolet Corvette||Bowling Green, Ky.|
|12. GMC Canyon||Wentzville, Mo.|
|13. Chevrolet Colorado||Acura MDX|
|14. Acura MDX||East Liberty, Ohio|
|15. Acura RDX||East Liberty, Ohio
|16. Acura TLX||Marysville, Ohio|
|17. Ford Ranger||Wayne, MI.|
|18. Ford Bronco||Wayne, Mi.|
|19. Dodge Durango||Detroit, Mi.|
|20. Ford Expedition,