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Tesla Model 3 Tops Chart as Most American-Made Car

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【Summary】The compact Tesla Model 3 may lead the pack, but General Motors has the most models to make it on the list.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 26, 2021 7:30 AM PT
Tesla Model 3 Tops Chart as Most American-Made Car

Buying American is a huge point of contention for American shoppers. Most people want to purchase a vehicle that's made in America, but American-made vehicles tend to be a myth. In simpler terms, buying an "American-made" car is trickier than it sounds.

Tesla Tops The Chart

To help consumers pick a vehicle that's actually made in America, Cars.com came out with its annual list of American-made cars with its "American-Made Index." Now in its 16th year, the index houses some surprising vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 sits at the top of the list, becoming the first all-electric vehicle to rank at the top of the charts. The electric sedan, which is assembled in Fremont, California, beat the Ford Mustang and Tesla Model Y for the top spot.

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 moves up three spots from last year, when it ranked in fourth place. The Mustang moves an incredible 32 spots up to sit in second place for 2021. The third-place Model Y was unranked last year. Tesla deserves quite a lot of recognition for having an electric vehicle at the number one spot.

Further down the list, the Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Corvette round out the top five. Despite a recent push from automakers to introduce more electric vehicles, Tesla's the only automaker that has an EV to make the top 20. The Chevrolet Corvette, Honda Ridgeline, Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, Honda Passport, and Toyota Tundra make it to the top 10.

Hybrids Are Further Down

Quite a few hybrids made the list, but they're further down the pack. The Ford F-150 Hybrid (43), Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe (49), Toyota Camry Hybrid (60), Ford Escape Hybrid (61), Lexus ES Hybrid (63), Toyota Highlander Hybrid (65), Honda Accord Hybrid (67), Honda CR-V Hybrid (73), and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (85) made the top 90. The only other full electric vehicle to make the list was the Nissan Leaf, sitting down in 79th place.

Cars.com's American-Made Index isn't the end-all-be-all for American-built cars. Instead, it's better off being used as a loose guide. To rank the most American-made cars, the outlet looks at five major factors: location of final assembly, percentage of U.S. (and Canadian) parts, countries of origin for all available engines, countries of origin for all available transmissions, and U.S. manufacturing workforce.

In addition to revealing the most American-made cars, the index also disclosed that 72 percent of shoppers "consider a car's U.S. economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase." That number is 2 percent higher than last year's index. The outlet reports that 29 percent of shoppers told Cars.com that it was "unpatriotic" to purchase vehicles built outside of the U.S.

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