Jun 21, 2023 - Economy

Tesla EVs are the most made-in-America vehicles, Cars.com reports

Tesla Model Y vehicles sit on the lot for sale at a Tesla store on May 31 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Tesla snagged the top four spots on Cars.com's 2023 list of the top 10 most made-in-America vehicles.

Why it matters: Automotive production is a major source of American jobs — and the origin of vehicles and their parts has significant political ramifications.

  • 39% of consumers say they "devote significant time to researching where a large purchase" like a car is "manufactured or headquartered," according to a Cars.com survey in May.

Driving the news: Cars.com released its 18th annual American-Made Index on Wednesday:

  1. Tesla Model Y
  2. Tesla Model 3
  3. Tesla Model X
  4. Tesla Model S
  5. Honda Passport
  6. Volkswagen ID.4
  7. Honda Odyssey
  8. Acura MDX
  9. Honda Ridgeline
  10. Acura RDX

How it works: To qualify for potential inclusion, vehicles first had to be assembled in the U.S.

  • Beyond that, Cars.com ranked cars based on the origin of their components, such as where their engines and transmissions were manufactured, and examined the impact of the entirety of the workforces that made the vehicles — from engineers to line workers — on the U.S. economy.
  • Vehicles also needed to meet a certain sales threshold, which Cars.com does not disclose.

State of play: That Tesla took the top four spots is a reflection of its comprehensive U.S. manufacturing footprint, including factories in California, Nevada and Texas.

  • "Basically 100% of the vehicles they sell here are made here," Cars.com Detroit bureau chief Aaron Bragman tells Axios. "It's an unusual situation for any automaker."

Worth noting: Despite being headquartered in Japan, Honda placed three of its namesake vehicles and two of its luxury Acura brand models in the top 10 — which illustrates the automaker's heavy physical presence in the U.S.

  • General Motors had the most vehicles in the top 100, followed by Ford and Toyota tied for second, Bragman said.

Yes, but: There's no 2023 model-year vehicle in the world that's made entirely in the U.S., according to a American Automobile Labeling Act report compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • "Everything has something that’s not made in the United States," Bragman says.

What we're watching: How the Inflation Reduction Act affects the origin of vehicle assembly.

  • The law contains credits for electric vehicles that are assembled in the U.S. and obtain battery components from American factories — a standard that some automakers have said will be difficult to achieve.
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