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.
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%
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.