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The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Take the 1st and 2nd Place Spots in the Annual Cars.com ‘American-Made Index'

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【Summary】The Tesla Model Y electric SUV, which is built in both California and Texas, was named the most American-made vehicle in the annual Cars.com American-Made Index (AMI). The Model 3 sedan took the second place spot in this year's AMI. Each year, Cars.com tallies a list of vehicles creating the greatest impact on the U.S. economy through factory jobs, manufacturing plants and parts sourcing.

Eric Walz    Jun 21, 2022 1:00 PM PT
The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Take the 1st and 2nd Place Spots in the Annual Cars.com ‘American-Made Index'
The Tesla Model Y took the first place spot in the "American-Made Index" complied each year by Cars.com.

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV, which is built in both California and Texas, was named the most American-made vehicle in the annual Cars.com American-Made Index (AMI). The Model 3 sedan took the second place spot in this year's AMI.

Each year, online car shopping marketplace Cars.com tallies a list of vehicles makes and models creating the greatest impact on the U.S. economy through factory jobs, manufacturing plants and parts sourcing.

Sources for the AMI include data obtained from automakers, as well as the company's own analysis of hundreds of thousands of vehicles in Cars.com inventory and in-person dealership audits on hundreds of new models.

Cars.com's AMI ranks the vehicles based on five factors: assembly location, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, U.S. factory employment relative to vehicle production, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. 

The American Automobile Labeling Act lists the U.S./Canadian content (by value) of the parts used to assemble passenger motor vehicles. It's compiled by the NHTSA based on information received from vehicle manufacturers. This information is required to appear on the window sticker, or a separate sticker nearby, for nearly every new vehicle sold in the U.S.

Of the 379 vehicles available in the U.S. market, 95 vehicles made the Cars.com 2022 AMI. Of these, 15% were assembled in Michigan, which has been the traditional home of the U.S. industry. Following Michigan comes Ohio, with 12% of the vehicles assembled that made the AMI, Indiana with 12%, Alabama 12% and Tennessee 11%. 

Although Tesla holds 4 of the top ten spots on the list, automakers General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Ford dominate further down on the list, representing 19%, 14%, 12% and 12% of all included models, respectively, according to Cars.com.

As a U.S.-based auto manufacturer, Tesla also took the top spot last year with its Model 3 sedan, which placed second in the 2022 rankings. Tesla now holds the top two spots. Further down the list, Tesla's Model X was ranked fifth, while the flagship Model S placed sixth.

The Model Y is built in Austin, TX and Fremont, CA, while the Model 3 is built in California for the U.S. market. 

"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," says Jenni Newman, Editor-in-Chief, Cars.com. "An all-American workforce producing cars with major components sourced stateside is what helped earn Tesla the top spots on Cars.com's 2022 American-Made Index. 

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The second automaker after Tesla in the top ten spots on the AMI was Japan's Honda, which builds most vehicle's sold in North America at its U.S. plants. The popular Honda Passport SUV placed fourth, and the Ridgeline pickup, Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV took the eight, ninth and tenth spots respectively. The three Honda vehicles are built at the automaker's factory in Lincoln, Alabama.

Ford Motor Co's Lincoln Corsair SUV from its luxury brand Lincoln, which is built in Kentucky, took the at No. 3 spot, which jumped more than 60 places from last year's Cars.com AMI rankings. 

Jeep's parent company Stellantis also made the list with the Cherokee SUV,  which took the No. 7 spot in the top ten. The Cherokee is assembled at Jeep's factory in Belvidere, Illinois.

With all of Tesla's vehicles in the top ten of the 2022 Cars.com AMI, it indicates that consumers are embracing EVs, especially with record high gas prices in the U.S. Cars.com said the number of shoppers searching for EVs jumped by 200% in 2022.

"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," said Jenni Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief. "That Tesla — an American-made all-electric make — appears frequently and high up on the list may indicate a coming alignment of market forces that could really explode once we break through microchip supply chain issues, especially if gas prices remain historically high. It also bodes well for other OEMs, including Honda, Ford and GM, working to diversify product lines with more EV and hybrid options."

Cars.com is a leading automotive marketplace platform in the U.S. that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998, the company provides shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions when shopping for a new or used vehicle. The platform also connects customers with automotive retailers, giving dealers a bigger reach in the car buying market, which mostly starts for shoppers online now.

A recent Cars.com consumer survey found that affordability is the most important attribute for car shoppers. The company also found that consumers considering an electric or hybrid vehicle also saw a double-digit bump to up 21% from 2021, which is likely due to soaring fuel prices. 

But buying an American-made vehicle is still important to many car buyers in the U.S. According to Cars.com, 40% of car shoppers say that buying a U.S.-built vehicle is more important to them this year, which is a 22% increase from 2021. 

Tesla recently raised prices last week for the Model Y and Model 3 in the U.S. due to inflation and the rising costs of raw materials. The price of the Tesla Model Y SUV increased by $3,000 on June 16 from $62,990 to $65,990. The Model Y now costs 25% more than it did in Jan 2021.

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