Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, and Model X broke into Cars.com’s “Top 10 American-Made Index” list, taking three out of ten places in the motoring resource’s rankings. This was quite a debut for Tesla, as this year marks the first year that the Silicon Valley-based automaker made its first appearance in Cars.com’s rankings.
The annual survey ranks new vehicles that “contribute most to the U.S. economy” through U.S.-based factory jobs, manufacturing plants, and parts sourcing. Frequently, American automakers like Ford and Chevrolet dominate the list due to their mass-market pickups. Other popular manufacturers, like Honda, for example, have become listed more frequently in the last few years of the rankings.
Tesla, with its growing popularity and expanding fleet of mass-market vehicles, cracked the Top 10 for the first time. However, it was not just the ultra-popular Model 3 that appeared. The flagship Tesla Model S and Model X made the list as well, tying Honda for the most number of vehicles in the 2020 Top 10 rankings, USA Today reports.
The Tesla Model S, Model 3, and Model X finished third, fourth, and ninth, respectively, in the rankings. The Ford Ranger, a product of Wayne, Michigan, and the Jeep Cherokee, made in Belvidere, Illinois, edged out Tesla’s flagship sedan, which is built in Fremont, California.
According to Cars.com’s senior consumer affairs and vehicle evaluations editor Kelsey Mays, Tesla made the list this year because it was the first time the automaker supplied the appropriate information to qualify its vehicles for the rankings.
Mays added, “Tesla is the only automaker on the list to built 100% of the cars in America that it sells here.”
Cars.com told Teslarati that Tesla’s identification with Americans has grown considerably since last year. According to a survey that the automotive resource conducted, only 10% of American car buyers recognized Tesla as a “California-made” vehicle in 2019. About 18% of respondents now identify Tesla as a California-based company. However, only half of the survey’s total respondents knew that Tesla was American, and only a third of those who participated thought the Model S was built within the United States.
Mays indicated that where a car is produced is becoming a more important factor to consumers, and Cars.com created the list to highlight what vehicles are manufactured within the United States. The impact of COVID-19 on the American economy has contributed to that, and American car buyers are more focused on buying locally to support the automotive sector, which employs 9.9 million people, according to AutoAlliance.org.
“We live in a global economy, but Cars.com’s research found 70% of American shoppers consider a car’s U.S. economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase,” Mays said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing Americans’ desire to buy local, with 37% reporting they are more likely to buy an American-made vehicle in light of the economic disruption of COVID-19.”
Tesla’s Fremont facility employs 12,000 people, providing a sizable number of manufacturing jobs for Northern Californians. It is currently the only facility in the U.S. where Tesla builds its vehicles, but the company is looking to open a second facility in the Central United States soon.
Tesla had already reopened its Giga Shanghai production facility in mid-February by implementing a series of new health codes that would preserve the safety of its workforce. The same strategies are being used in Fremont, where Tesla is focusing on ramping up the production rates of its Model 3 and Model Y while maintaining steady build rates for the Model S and Model X.
Cars.com’s Top 10 American-Made Index list is below.
Cars.com 2020 American-Made Index top 10
- Ford Ranger (Wayne, Michigan)
- Jeep Cherokee (Belvidere, Illinois)
- Tesla Model S (Fremont, California)
- Tesla Model 3 (Fremont, California)
- Honda Odyssey (Lincoln, Alabama)
- Honda Ridgeline (Lincoln, Alabama)
- Honda Passport (Lincoln, Alabama)
- Chevrolet Corvette (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
- Tesla Model X (Fremont, California)
- Chevrolet Colorado (Wentzville, Missouri)