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2022 Cars.com American-Made Index: Which Cars Are the Most American?

ami-2022-tesla-y-editorial-lead Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

Cars.com’s American-Made Index returns to rank all qualifying vehicles built and bought in the U.S. for the third time in its 17-year history. The 2022 study follows the same guidelines as in 2020 and 2021, ranking 95 vehicles through the same five criteria: assembly location, parts content, engine origins, transmission origins and U.S. manufacturing workforce.

Related: 2022 Cars.com American-Made Index: What About the Least American Cars?

Topping the 2022 index is Tesla, which not only retains its No. 1 overall ranking thanks to the Model Y, but furthers its presence on the list with all four vehicles of its current lineup placing in the top 10. The Model 3 drops one spot from 2021 to No. 2, the Model X comes in at No. 5, and the Model S follows at No. 6. The Lincoln Corsair and Honda Passport SUVs break the Texas-based automaker’s stranglehold at the top with Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, while the Jeep Cherokee and three more Hondas in the Ridgeline, Odyssey and Pilot round out the top 10.

Where did other models rank for 2022? Keep reading to see.

AMI2022-manufacturing-map-editorial Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan

The Top 20

Rank Model Assembly location for cars sold in the U.S. (Rank in the 2021 AMI)
1 Tesla Model Y Fremont, Calif., or Austin, Texas 3 Research Shop
2 Tesla Model 3 Fremont, Calif. 1 Research Shop
3 Lincoln Corsair Louisville, Ky. 64 Research Shop
4 Honda Passport Lincoln, Ala. 9 Research Shop
5 Tesla Model X Fremont, Calif. Unranked Research Shop
6 Tesla Model S Fremont, Calif. Unranked Research Shop
7 Jeep Cherokee Belvidere, Ill. 4 Research Shop
8 Honda Ridgeline Lincoln, Ala. 6 Research Shop
9 Honda Odyssey Lincoln, Ala. 7 Research Shop
10 Honda Pilot Lincoln, Ala. 8 Research Shop
11 Chevrolet Corvette Bowling Green, Ky. 5 Research Shop
12 GMC Canyon Wentzville, Mo. 15 Research Shop
13 Chevrolet Colorado Wentzville, Mo. 14 Research Shop
14 Acura MDX East Liberty or Marysville, Ohio Unranked Research Shop
15 Acura RDX East Liberty or Marysville, Ohio 12 Research Shop
16 Acura TLX Marysville, Ohio 13 Research Shop
17 Ford Ranger Wayne, Mich. 28 Research Shop
18 Ford Bronco Wayne, Mich. Unranked Research Shop
19 Dodge Durango Detroit 36 Research Shop
20 Ford Expedition, Expedition Max Louisville, Ky. 11 Research Shop

The Rest

Rank Model Assembly location for cars sold in the U.S. (Rank in the 2021 AMI)
21 Ford F-150 Claycomo, Mo., or Dearborn, Mich. 29 Research Shop
22 Kia K5 West Point, Ga. 27 Research Shop
23 Toyota Tundra San Antonio 10 Research Shop
24 Honda Accord Marysville, Ohio 17 Research Shop
25 Nissan Pathfinder Smyrna, Tenn. Unranked Research Shop
26 Ford Mustang Flat Rock, Mich. 2 Research Shop
27 Chevrolet Malibu Kansas City, Kan. 56 Research Shop
28 Chevrolet Camaro Lansing, Mich. 35 Research Shop
29 Lincoln Aviator Chicago 21 Research Shop
30 Ford Explorer Chicago 44 Research Shop
31 Cadillac XT6 Spring Hill, Tenn. 22 Research Shop
32 GMC Acadia Spring Hill, Tenn. 23 Research Shop
33 Cadillac XT5 Spring Hill, Tenn. 24 Research Shop
34 Lincoln Navigator, Navigator L Louisville, Ky. 20 Research Shop
35 Cadillac CT5 Lansing, Mich. 25 Research Shop
36 Infiniti QX60 Smyrna, Tenn. Unranked Research Shop
37 Lexus ES Georgetown, Ky. 19 Research Shop
38 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV Arlington, Texas 30 Research Shop
39 Hyundai Santa Fe Montgomery, Ala. 41 Research Shop
40 Jeep Gladiator Toledo, Ohio 40 Research Shop
41 Jeep Grand Cherokee Detroit 16 Research Shop
42 Toyota Highlander Princeton, Ind. 37 Research Shop
43 Hyundai Santa Cruz Montgomery, Ala. Unranked Research Shop
44 Jeep Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited Toledo, Ohio 38 Research Shop
45 Ram 1500 Sterling Heights, Mich. 42 Research Shop
46 Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer Warren, Mich. Unranked Research Shop
47 Toyota Camry Georgetown, Ky. 50 Research Shop
48 Hyundai Tucson* Montgomery, Ala. Unranked Research Shop
49 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL Arlington, Texas 32 Research Shop
50 Kia Sorento West Point, Ga. 45 Research Shop
51 Mercedes-Benz GLE Vance, Ala. 47 Research Shop
52 Toyota Sienna Princeton, Ind. 59 Research Shop
53 Nissan Murano Smyrna, Tenn. 46 Research Shop
54 Acura ILX Marysville, Ohio 48 Research Shop
55 Kia Telluride West Point, Ga. 58 Research Shop
56 Ford F-150 hybrid Dearborn, Mich. 43 Research Shop
57 Lexus ES hybrid Georgetown, Ky. 63 Research Shop
58 Nissan Titan Canton, Miss. 51 Research Shop
59 Nissan Maxima Smyrna, Tenn. 52 Research Shop
60 Chevrolet Suburban Arlington, Texas 31 Research Shop
61 Cadillac XT4 Kansas City, Kan. 34 Research Shop
62 Nissan Altima Canton, Miss. 55 Research Shop
63 Chevrolet Tahoe Arlington, Texas 33 Research Shop
64 Buick Enclave Lansing, Mich. 54 Research Shop
65 Chevrolet Traverse Lansing, Mich. 53 Research Shop
66 Toyota Camry Hybrid Georgetown, Ky. 60 Research Shop
67 Toyota Corolla Cross Huntsville, Ala. Unranked Research Shop
68 Nissan Frontier Canton, Miss. 57 Research Shop
69 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Toledo, Ohio 49 Research Shop
70 Ford Escape Louisville, Ky. 62 Research Shop
71 Honda Accord Hybrid Marysville, Ohio 67 Research Shop
72 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Princeton, Ind. 65 Research Shop
73 Honda CR-V* East Liberty or Marysville, Ohio, or Greensburg, Ind. 69 Research Shop
74 Subaru Ascent Lafayette, Ind. 70 Research Shop
75 Subaru Outback Lafayette, Ind. 71 Research Shop
76 Subaru Legacy Lafayette, Ind. 72 Research Shop
77 Subaru Impreza Lafayette, Ind. 76 Research Shop
78 Mercedes-Benz GLS Vance, Ala. 68 Research Shop
79 Honda CR-V Hybrid East Liberty, Ohio 73 Research Shop
80 Volvo S60 Ridgeville, S.C. 84 Research Shop
81 Volkswagen Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport Chattanooga, Tenn. 66 Research Shop
82 Ram 1500 Classic* Warren, Mich. 89 Research Shop
83 Nissan Rogue* Smyrna, Tenn. 86 Research Shop
84 BMW X6 Spartanburg, S.C. Unranked Research Shop
85 BMW X5 Spartanburg, S.C. 78 Research Shop
86 BMW X7 Spartanburg, S.C. 81 Research Shop
87 BMW X4 Spartanburg, S.C. Unranked Research Shop
88 BMW X3 Spartanburg, S.C. 82 Research Shop
89 Nissan Leaf Smyrna, Tenn. 79 Research Shop
90 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid* Georgetown, Ky. 85 Research Shop
91 Honda Civic* Greensburg, Ind. 89 Research Shop
92 Toyota Corolla* Blue Springs, Miss. 88 Research Shop
93 Chevrolet Silverado 1500* Roanoke, Ind. 74 Research Shop
94 GMC Sierra 1500* Roanoke, Ind. 80 Research Shop
95 Hyundai Elantra* Montgomery, Ala. 83 Research Shop

*Vehicles that come from one or more assembly plants outside the U.S.

All cars above are ranked for the 2022 model year, with assembly locations current as of April 2022. For nameplates that include both gas-only and substantially electrified versions (e.g., Ford F-150, F-150 hybrid and F-150 Lightning), each variant is rated separately.

Substantially updated versions of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV were late to arrive for 2021, which robbed them of sales data needed to meet our threshold for last year’s index. Their reappearance, coupled with the recent opening of a new plant producing Model Ys in Austin, Texas, that bolsters the company’s workforce credentials, means Tesla’s representation has never been more conspicuous.

It’s not a total takeover, however. Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln appears in the top 10 for the first time in the index’s history with the Corsair compact SUV thanks to a dramatic year-over-year increase of nearly 50 percentage points in U.S. and Canadian parts content. Similarly, the Honda Passport’s exceptional U.S. and Canadian parts content of 75% — a requirement of the original AMI and a bar dozens of models once met — is the highest of any qualifying vehicle for 2022 and helps buoy its ranking.

With the exception of the Model Ys rolling off the assembly line in Austin, all Teslas are built near San Francisco. The Corsair comes out of Kentucky and the Cherokee out of Illinois. Honda’s Odyssey minivan, Ridgeline pickup truck, and Passport and Pilot SUVs all hail from Alabama.

Electrified Interest Rises, Inventory Falls

A recent Cars.com survey saw a 21% year-over-year increase in respondents who would consider buying a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. Though only 14 such examples made our index for 2022, automakers have heard the call and an influx of EVs, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, Polestar 3 and Volkswagen ID.4, will be or already are being assembled in the U.S. for model-year 2023 — some in new plants specifically intended for EV production.

The only problem for shoppers looking to buy both American and electric may be finding an example that fits the criteria. On the heels of a prolonged pandemic, revised trade pact, microchip shortage, global conflict, high gas prices and inflation, inventory has dropped as automakers struggle to tweak supply chains and meet consumer demand. Our analyses of some 263,000 vehicles in Cars.com inventory and in-person audits of 423 dealer vehicles reflect such depletion, a firsthand testament to the drop since 2021 when we analyzed more than 406,000 vehicles and examined 788 dealer vehicles in person.

When the shortage will abate — and how much that will affect jobs tied directly to the manufacture of new light-duty vehicles and their parts, which by our assessment rose 4% from 2021 to more than 282,000 for 2022, an increase of 11,000-plus workers — remains to be seen. It’s a slow process sure to play out in future AMI results.

Under the AMI Hood

Now in its 17th year, Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranks vehicles built and bought in the U.S. for the 2022 model year. We consider five major factors:

  • Location(s) of final assembly
  • Percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts
  • Countries of origin for all available engines
  • Countries of origin for all available transmissions
  • U.S. manufacturing workforce

While we don’t reveal the weighting and calculation methodology, all five factors above play a significant role, as do a number of disqualifiers explained below. Models are ranked on a 100-point scale, with heavier curb weights functioning as a tiebreaker when necessary.

Final assembly location(s)

Arguably the most important factor for index qualification is final assembly at one of 48 U.S. plants run by 16 major automaker groups and their subsidiaries that currently mass-produce light-duty passenger vehicles. (We adopt the Federal Highway Administration’s definition of light-duty vehicles, which allows for up to 10,000 pounds’ gross vehicle weight rating.)

But automakers run scores of additional plants for powertrains, castings, stampings, batteries and other vehicle parts, while third-party suppliers run additional facilities beyond that. And just because a model may be made in a U.S. assembly plant doesn’t necessarily mean it’s exclusively made here. We account for this with scoring reductions for imported volume.

Percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts

This component employs data from the American Automobile Labeling Act, which has been in effect since 1994 and requires automakers to report the overall percentage of U.S. and Canadian content, by value, for most vehicles they sell. Some automakers report a single percentage per given model sold; others break out unique percentages by powertrain, trim level or assembly location. In such cases, the AMI employs sales-weighted averages for the score.

Combining Canadian and U.S. parts content is a clear flaw of the AALA that we can’t reverse-engineer, but a clear advantage is that unlike other leading systems rating domestic automotive content — e.g., calculations for regional value content under trade agreements or delineations for import versus domestic cars in fuel-economy mandates — the AALA makes this information more legible for the public. The act requires automakers disclose this percentage on window stickers or nearby placards for most vehicles not yet sold (though we’ve come across dealerships that don’t comply).

While automakers don’t furnish U.S. versus Canadian parts content and public data don’t exist to distinguish each, we compensate by factoring in engine and transmission origins to more accurately identify two major cost-intensive components of each vehicle.

Countries of origin for all available engines

The AALA mandates automakers report the country of origin for all available engines and transmissions, but it can get complex — a nameplate might have one available engine from one country but another from a different country. As with U.S. and Canadian parts content, the AMI applies sales-weighted scoring to account for the variances.

Countries of origin for all available transmissions

The process plays out similarly among transmissions, another AALA requirement. For example, the same transmission can come from one or another country, depending on the car. Again, the index applies weighted scores as needed.

U.S. manufacturing workforce

The AALA doesn’t focus on labor value, especially in a vehicle’s final assembly. Thus, we analyze each automaker’s direct U.S. workforce involved in the manufacture of light-duty vehicles and their parts, factored against that automaker’s U.S. production footprint, to determine its workforce factor.

There are also factors accounted for to disqualify vehicles. Regardless of assembly location, these vehicles are ineligible:

  • Models with a gross vehicle weight rating above 8,500 pounds — mostly full-size vans, three-quarter- and 1-ton pickup trucks, and larger commercial vehicles — which are exempt from AALA requirements.
  • Models from automakers that build fewer than 1,000 cars in a given model year. Such cars are exempt from certain AALA requirements.
  • Models set for imminent discontinuation, or production moving outside the U.S., without a clear U.S.-built successor.
  • Models not yet on sale at the time of the study (in this case, spring 2022) even if they’re from the current model year.
  • Models intended solely for government or commercial fleets.
  • Models that don’t meet minimum sales or inventory thresholds. (Such thresholds cover roughly 98% of all passenger vehicle sales, so exclusions here are minimal.)
  • Models for which we cannot verify sufficient information from automakers, dealership audits, Cars.com inventory and government records.

Among FHWA light-duty vehicles fully assembled in the U.S., the above disqualifications knocked 45 model-year 2022 vehicles off the list:

  • Acura NSX; Buick Encore GX; Cadillac CT4; Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, Express, Silverado 1500 Limited and Silverado HD, and Spark; Ford Bronco Sport, E-Series, F-Series Super Duty, Police Interceptor Utility and Transit; GMC Savana, and Sierra 1500 Limited and Sierra HD; Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Insight; Jeep Grand Cherokee WK; Lucid Air; Mercedes-Benz Sprinter; Nissan NV, NV200 and Rogue Sport; Ram HD and ProMaster; Rivian R1S and R1T; Toyota Avalon and Sequoia; Volkswagen Passat
  • Electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW X5; Ford Escape, Explorer, F-150, Police Interceptor Utility and Transit; Karma GS-6; Lincoln Aviator and Corsair; Toyota Tundra; and Volvo S60

This year’s study draws on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all major automakers and Automotive News, as well as analyses of 263,211 vehicles in Cars.com inventory and in-person audits of 423 dealer vehicles.

A given model under AMI consideration includes all variants under the root nameplate unless they’re substantially electrified or use separate platforms. For example, the GMC Yukon includes the extended-length Yukon XL, while the Ford Mustang includes the high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500 — but the Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid have separate AMI billing, as the latter has substantial electrification. (“Substantial” is important; we judge milder hybrid applications, like the Jeep Wrangler’s eTorque V-6, as acceptable to fold into the parent vehicle’s ranking.) Under our platform rule, vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee WK are separate AMI entrants due to their different underlying architecture.

By contrast, vehicles with different root nameplates are always distinct regardless of the architecture. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups have almost identical underpinnings, but since they have different names, they’re listed separately.

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Dude, Where’s My Car?

Though 95 vehicles qualified for the 2022 index, the Hyundai Elantra that concludes the list still outranks hundreds more that were disqualified by our index but are still accounted for elsewhere in the automotive economic chain — 244, in fact. By AMI methodology, automakers sell — or plan to sell — 379 distinct light-duty models in the U.S. for the 2022 model year. Among that group, 244 models are entirely imported; 121 models are entirely built in the U.S.; and 14 models are both, with some sales from American-built models and some from imports. The latter two groups are AMI-eligible.

The value to the U.S. economy that ineligible models bring can be seen in government data for 2021, which shows the overall economic impact of the automotive industry. Some 250,000 jobs originated from building both light- and heavy-duty vehicles, a further 550,000 contributed to vehicle parts, and roughly 1.26 million American jobs could be put down to operations that include new- and used-car dealers. Put another way, 2 in every 5 jobs core to the auto industry is there to build cars, but 3 in every 5 jobs core to the auto industry is down to selling them. Even strict imports in your driveway like a Mini or Audi still provide plenty of value.

The value doesn’t stop there, either. Think of all the independent repair shops unaffiliated with dealers that help service cars, which provided work for 1.18 million people in 2021. Think of wholesalers like auction houses, which provided 347,000 jobs. Think of auto parts stores, which employed 569,000. Think of the humble gas station, which added 949,000. Think of it all long enough and you can see the biggest picture: From design board sketches to diesel refills at the pump, the automotive industry offers more than 5 million jobs to American workers.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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