Detroit Three, Honda, Toyota Also Top 2021 Index, With GM Claiming the Most Spots
CHICAGO – Leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider Cars.com today released its 2021 American-Made Index (AMI), an independent, annual list that ranks the new vehicles that contribute most to the U.S. economy based on criteria ranging from U.S. factory jobs and manufacturing plants to parts sourcing. The No. 1 most American-made vehicle for 2021 is the Tesla Model 3. This is the first time Tesla has topped the list, and also the first time an all-electric vehicle has come in at No. 1.
“Tesla has now cemented itself firmly on Cars.com’s American Made-Index, with the Model 3 and the Model Y taking the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively,” says Kelsey Mays, Cars.com assistant managing editor and the AMI’s lead researcher. “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. For those interested in making the biggest impact here, the index gives shoppers a way to purchase the most American-made vehicle.”
Tesla tops the list in just its second year of participation; in 2020, three of the automaker’s models made the AMI top 10. Marking its first AMI top 10 appearance is the Michigan-built Ford Mustang, and Stellantis’ Jeep Cherokee, assembled in northern Illinois, is in the top five once again. Additionally, four Honda nameplates are in the top 10, all built in Alabama. The Chevrolet Corvette and Toyota Tundra also hold top spots on the index this year.
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Out of 344 models on the market for 2021, a total of 90 models qualified for this year’s AMI. GM led the way with 19 cars on the index, followed by Honda (13), Toyota (12), and Ford (11). As it relates to body style, nearly 50% of the vehicles are SUVs, followed by sedans and/or hatchbacks models (28%) and pickup trucks (17%).
Increased Importance on Buying American Made
According to new research from Cars.com, 72% of shoppers consider a car’s U.S. economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase, up from 70% who indicated the same in 2020.¹ Even as the pandemic threat begins to wane, a third of respondents in 2021 still say COVID-19 has made them more likely to buy an American-built vehicle. Up from just a quarter of respondents in 2020, 29% this year say that it’s “unpatriotic” to purchase a non-American-made vehicle.¹
Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranks cars 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.