Tesla Model 3 Tops List of American-Made Cars

Cars.com has released the 2021 edition of its American Made Index with the Tesla Model 3 topping the list this year and the Model Y coming in third place. The American Made Index makes use of publicly available information that includes, though isn’t limited to, assembly location, part sourcing logs from the American Automobile Labeling Act, and US factory employment.

The Ford Mustang took second place, and the Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Corvette took fourth and fifth, respectively. Honda did respectably with its vehicles filling out most of the rest of the American Made Index’s list, and the Toyota Tundra took tenth place.

Tesla currently has factories in Nevada, New York, and California, with another one being built in Texas. The Model 3 and Model Y are manufactured at the Gigafactory in Fremont, California, with some parts being made at a former Chrysler factory in Lathrop that Tesla had taken over in 2014.

According to Cars.com’s research, the “Made in America” stamp is a major factor in the decision-making of 72% of car buyers, with 29% of those polled saying that they consider it “unpatriotic” to buy a foreign-made vehicle. These consumers “consider a car’s US economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase.”

The “Made in America” factor could sway these consumers toward a Tesla-made electric vehicle even if they don’t consider other factors like the rising price of gasoline or growing regulatory pressure to move away from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. California, for instance, plans to require that all new vehicles sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2035, which basically means electric vehicles at this point.

Tesla is certainly planning for it, starting with a planned Santa Monica charging station that will include 62 Superchargers and may include Elon Musk’s desired “old-school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant” in the not-so-distant future if Tesla’s recent trademark filing for a restaurant is any indication. Such a thing would be a great bit of nostalgic Americana for people who would strongly consider buying one of the cars that Cars.com says rank highly on its American Made Index.

This is part of Tesla’s growing push to address “range anxiety” that might cause people to hesitate to buy one of its electric vehicles. Those who are considering an electric vehicle purchase might worry about being stranded due to the lack of publicly available electric charging stations or the amount of time it would take to recharge their vehicles while they’re on the go. Some private companies like Fastned are attempting to solve this problem with a continent-wide network of charging stations. Some government officials like Germany’s Transport Minister are also currently talking to Tesla to make its Superchargers available for electric vehicles manufactured by other automakers.

Coincidently, the Tesla Model 3 still retained its “recommended” status on Consumer Reports’ Auto Reliability Survey last November even though the Model S and Model Y were downgraded. Model S and Model Y owners had reported manufacturing flaws affecting the air suspension, main computer, and touchscreen controls in the Model S, as well as body hardware and paint in the Model Y. The Model 3 seemed to have the fewest number of reported issues out of Tesla’s currently available offerings.