#139, Cars.com index reveals ‘Made in America’ gains importance

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Kelsey Mays, senior consumer affairs and vehicle evaluations editor for Cars.com, knows what it means for the industry and consumers when a vehicle is made in America. It means a lot.

According to research from Cars.com in its recently released 2020 American-Made Index (AMI), 70 percent of shoppers consider a car’s U.S. economic impact a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle purchase.

Mays is our guest this week on Episode #139 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

The 2020 Ford Ranger is most American-made vehichle in cars.com 15th survery.
The 2020 Ford Ranger is the most American made vehicle in cars.com recently released 15th American Mage Index.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Mays the 15th AMI and how during the COVID-19 pandemic it has further impacted Americans’ desire to “buy local.”

The survey found 37 percent of consumers report they are more likely to buy an American-made car due to the current health and economic crisis. Four percent said they were less likely.

Additionally, 26 percent of those surveyed said “unpatriotic” to buy a non-American-made car. It’s an increase of eight percent from 2019.

2020 Ford Rangers gets Cars.com top marks

“This marks the 15th year we have released the American-Made Index, and for the first time, we are ranking a full, comprehensive list of qualifying American-made cars available in the U.S. Of some 350 cars on the market for 2020, 91 models qualified for our index,” said Mays. “The auto industry is highly globalized, but these 91 models bring jobs to America and investments to our local communities — a growing concern for Americans in the current climate.”

For 2020, the No. 1 most American-made vehicle for is the Michigan-built Ford Ranger. The Jeep Cherokee, assembled in northern Illinois, is No. 2 in the survey. New entrant Tesla took three spots among the top 10.

Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranks cars based on five factors: assembly location, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, U.S. factory employment relative to vehicle production, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing.

The survey, conducted May 26-28, included more than 1,000 participants from an independent, third-party provider.

With rising interest in buying American amid the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, cars.com has changed its methodology and expanded its rankings to all qualified cars built in the U.S.

Here are the top 10 finishers on the 2020 Cars.com American-Made Index:


Rank Make/Model U.S. Assembly Plant Location(s)
1. Ford Ranger Wayne, Mich.
2. Jeep Cherokee Belvidere, Ill.
3. Tesla Model S Fremont, Calif.
4. Tesla Model 3 Fremont, Calif.
5. Honda Odyssey Lincoln, Ala.
6. Honda Ridgeline Lincoln, Ala.
7. Honda Passport Lincoln, Ala.
8. Chevrolet Corvette Bowling Green, Ky.
9. Tesla Model X Fremont, Calif.
10. Chevrolet Colorado Wentzville, Mo.

“Expanding the American-Made Index required significant updates to certain elements of our methodology, but the results accommodate a long-standing desire of AMI audiences: to see the full list,” Mays said.

In total, the 2020 American-Made Index ranks cars from 13 automakers built in 14 states.

Please join us for an informative episode as we chat the Mays about all things involving American-made cars and trucks.

CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers.

Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers.

CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.

For more information on the 2020 Cars.com American-Made Index, including data detail and methodology, visit www.cars.com/ami

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