What is a truly American car? Is it a vehicle that has been a best seller for decades like the Ford F-150 pick-up? Is it an iconic car like the Chevy Corvette? Is it a car that is used as a pace car at the Indianapolis 500? Or, is it a car that has the most parts that are made in America?
Cars.com released “American-Made Index.” Those vehicles at the top of the list are the leaders based on five yardsticks–“assembly location, parts content, engine origins, transmission origins and U.S. manufacturing workforce.” Cars.com evaluated 90 vehicles to find the finalists.
The winner was the Tesla Model 3, the low-priced model made by America’s leading electric car manufacture. Founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla has the largest market share among electric vehicles sold in the U.S. The publicly traded company also has the highest market capitalization among manufacturers at $647 billion. Ford’s comparable figure is $61 billion, even though its revenue is several times bigger. Investors view Tesla as the car company of the future. Ford, by the same logic, is a car company of the past because it makes so many gas-powered cars. Ford management has set out to change that with electric models of several cars which include its top-selling F-150.
Looking at the balance of the top vehicles on the list, Cars.com experts commented:
Tesla has the No. 1 spot for the first time in the index’s 16-year history. The California electric vehicle maker’s compact sedan, the Model 3, topped the No. 2 Ford Mustang to lead the index for 2021; the Tesla Model Y, Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Corvette rounded out the top five models.
Interestingly, no car from a foreign-based manufacturer made the top five list. The top vehicle from these manufacturers was the Honda Ridgeline, the Japanese manufacturer’s pick-up which ranked sixth.
If Americans what to “buy American” when they purchase a car, they need to look at more than which company makes it.