Tesla Owns Top Four Spots as Most American-Made Cars in Annual Report

Tesla once again places highest in Cars.com’s American-Made Index, but Honda takes nine of the top 20 spots.

byRob Stumpf|
Tesla Model Y Hero
via Tesla

Each year, Cars.com compiles the data of a study on auto manufacturing in the United States and publishes its in-depth results. More specifically, which cars are the most American-made, and how much they contribute to the overall U.S. economy?

The study compared 388 cars for the 2023 iteration of the American-Made Index (AMI). Despite the large sample size, only 100 made the cut as the most American vehicles, championed highest on the chart by Tesla and a significant number of foreign automakers.

Top 20 Most American Vehicles

  • Tesla Model Y
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model X
  • Tesla Model S
  • Honda Passport
  • Volkswagen ID.4
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Acura MDX
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Acura RDX
  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Acura Integra
  • Acura TLX
  • Honda Pilot
  • Lincoln Corsair
  • Kia K5
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Nissan Pathfinder

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a total of 61% of the top 100 vehicles are classified as either a crossover or SUV, speaking to America's insatiable appetite for these want-to-be wagons. Cars.com says that its consumer research indicates that nearly half of all Americans shopping for a vehicle are looking to purchase an SUV.

Next up are sedans which make up a fraction of the list at just 19%. Pickup trucks weigh in at 16%, and once again no full-size American trucks made it to the top 10. The only pickup to actually break into the 10%, in fact, is the Honda Ridgeline—which is closely followed by the Toyota Tundra a few spots below.

Bringing up the rear at 2% each are sports cars, namely the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang. And, lastly, two minivans: the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Top Manufacturers

Despite the study being called the American-Made Index, its list of manufacturers stems from all over the globe. Around a quarter of consumers have relayed that in order for a manufacturer to "substantially [contribute] to the U.S. economy," it must be headquartered in the U.S.—

Texas-based electric automaker Tesla has appeared at the top of the AMI rankings in the past (more than once), but while Tesla may have claimed the first four spots, Toyota claimed the overall top rank when taking the total number of appearances on the list into consideration. The Japanese automaker had 11 of its cars, trucks, and SUVs on the top 100 list, besting Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Nissan, and more.

Interestingly, Volkswagen made its first-ever appearance on the AMI with not one, but two different vehicles: the ID.4, as well as the Atlas and its Cross Sport variant. The Volkswagen ID.4 also ranked very highly, coming in at 6th place just below Tesla's entire lineup and the Honda Passport.

Now, don't get it twisted, just because a vehicle is made in America doesn't mean that it will make the AMI. This study doesn't just take final assembly location as gospel but instead takes parts sourcing and manufacturing into consideration alongside total employment impact. In fact, a separate consumer study shows that about half of all car shoppers will pay more for a vehicle that creates more domestic jobs.

By The Numbers: Fuel Types

Collectively, 22% of the vehicles on the AMI's top-100 are electrified

One significant statistic to call out is the number of vehicles that appear on the list which feature some form of electrification. More than a fifth of all vehicles on the list feature either a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully battery-electric powertrain. Traditional combustion motors still make up the majority of the study's findings, but 22% is pretty considerable. And in a separate consumer study, Cars.com found that 39% of new car buyers are considering purchasing an EV, with another 26% saying that they are maybe considering it. But for those that aren't considering it, a major deciding factor is simply the overall vehicle cost.

The full list of vehicles on the AMI list can be found here.

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