What Vehicle Topped the 2021 Kogod Made in America Auto Index?

By Matt Heller
Dec 17 2021 |
Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

American companies were at the front of the pack of the annual index, which measures how much of the manufacturing process happens in the United States.

The latest edition of the Kogod Made in America Auto Index is out. The annual list rates cars that are made in the United States on the basis of their profitability, labor policy, and innovation — and topping the list this year is an American classic.

The Ford Mustang GT 5.0L MT topped the list, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette String Ray. Placing third and fourth were the Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Tesla Model 3 Short Range, respectively. Rounding out the top five is the Tesla Model 3 performance.

The highest ranked cars on the list are ones whose parts are entirely Made in America and assembled in America. As one could imagine, the highest ranked cars were all from American companies, as opposed to foreign companies that produce vehicles in the United States. This reflects the fact that U.S. automakers not only assemble their cars in the US, but largely try to source them from the U.S. too.

Ford, GM, and Stellantis earned some of the top-marks from the index, with 15 of the top 25 vehicles and 34 of the top 50 vehicles all being made by those three companies. Tesla vehicles, Made in California and Texas, also performed extremely well in the index.

“Kogod’s 2021 Made in America Index shows Ford, General Motors and Stellantis’ overwhelming advantage compared to their transplant competitors,” said American Automotive Policy Council president Matt Blunt. “American Automakers assemble more of their vehicles here, use twice as many auto parts manufactured in the US supply chain, and base nearly 8 times more of their workers across the United States.”

Unfortunately, not every aspect of the Kogod Index was ideal.

Cars dropped across the board in terms of their American-made content, largely a consequence of supply chain shortages in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s too early to tell if that trend will change, but ideally, sources of domestic production will come back online and ensure that the drop was a temporary blip. At AAM, we’ve long advocated for U.S.-based supply chains as the best way to ensure that supply shortages don’t impede production, and hopefully automakers are willing to listen and invest more in the United States.

But overall, the index makes it clear that American companies continue to have the firmest commitment to American manufacturing throughout the supply chain. It’s important for policymakers to recognize this, as they ought to ensure that government support goes to companies who will redistribute funds to American manufacturers of auto parts, not just do their final assembly here.

And as the auto industry moves toward an electric future, policymakers should do all that they can to ensure that production of electric vehicles and the parts needed to build them also happens on U.S. shores. Ensuring that a tax credit for EV purchases only applies to vehicles manufactured in the United States is a good place to start.

Hopefully next year, we’ll see a rise in scores across the board from the Kogod Index as more companies realize that the best parts are made in the U.S., and that the U.S. labor force is the most effective and hard-working in the world. In the meantime, if you are in the market for an American-made vehicle, the index is a good place to start your research.