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GM, Ford And Tesla Are At The Top

Ford Mustang Mach 1 Family
Photo via Ford.

A 2021 Ford Mustang GT with a manual transmission is the most American vehicle you can buy right now, according to the 2021 Auto Index from the American University Kogod Business School in Washington, DC. This is determined not only by US/Canadian parts content – which the Mustang is 77 percent comprised of – but also factors such as point of assembly, company global headquarters, location of R&D, point of engine and transmission manufacture, and overall chassis and electrical components. In second place on the index was the C8 Corvette Stingray, with the Tesla Model 3 coming third, with the new Ford Bronco rounding out the top four.

2020 2021 2022 Corvette C8 Stingray
Image Via GM.

The Kogod American Auto Index

The Kogod Auto Index, led by Frank DuBois Associate Professor Info Technology & Analytics at American University, attempts to dig a little deeper than other US-made automotive ranking systems, as others do not always take into account all of the factors that we include, such as the location of the headquarters of an automaker and where research and development (R&D) takes place. However, the Kogod School of Business does warn of the following caveat: there is no real way to determine what percentage of the hundreds of parts in these transmissions are US-sourced without a complete teardown and source analysis. Of course, that’s very expensive, and very time consuming. So we’re left with an honor system, and an aggregate to base the data on.

Without further delay, here are the top 10 cars in the 2021 Made in America Auto Index. Ironically, there are 20 of them, on account of tying:

1. Ford Mustang GT 5.0L w/ Manual Transmission: 88.5%
2. Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray: 86%
3. Tesla Model 3: 82.5%
4. Ford Bronco 2.7L: 80.5%
5. Ford Expedition: 80%
5. Chevrolet Colorado Gas: 80%
5. GMC Canyon Gas: 80%
5. Tesla Model S: 80%
5. Tesla Model Y: 80%
6: Jeep Cherokee: 79.5%
7. Chevrolet Camaro Automatic Transmission: 78.5%
8. Ford F-150: 77.5%
8. Tesla Model X: 77.5%
9. Honda Odyssey: 76%
9. Honda Passport: 76%
9. Honda Ridgeline: 76%
9. Honda Pilot: 76%
10. Ram 1500 Classic 3.6L: 75.5%
10. Ford Mustang 2.3L Ecoboost: 75.5%
10. Ford Mustang 5.0L Automatic: 75.5%

2021 2022 Ford Bronco Riptide Concept Woodward Dream Cruise
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

American Cars Are… Relatively American

The table shows the relationship between total domestic content (TDC) for US-assembled vehicles, compared to all cars sold in the US. Some vehicles have dropped on the ranking from 2020 from the previous report due to foreign-sourced parts, which could be a result from US component shortages.

The total TDC for 2021 indicates that manufacturers serve the US market by using local components. Non-US-based manufacturers like Honda have a strong lead in this category (and have four vehicles in the top 10); but others like Toyota don’t fall within the top 10 because of non-localized components and engineering. Honda has a dedicated engineering facility in Ohio.

2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Stealth Edition Appearance Package
Image via Ford

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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  1. Note that ALL 4 (100%) of the currently available Tesla models and sub-models, including the world’s fastest supercar/familysedan are included in the top 8 positions. I wonder what this report would look like if it was titled, “Here are the manufactures with the highest percentage of models made in America”.

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