Elon Musk: There’s a ‘good chance’ Tesla Model 3 will be most Made In America car

7 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 40

tesla model 3

Tesla Model 3 in the sunshine.

It’s no secret that the Tesla Model 3 is going to be an American kid. From the battery pack (Nevada gigfactory) to the chassis and body (California), the major components are all from the sunny Southwest. In fact, so much of the EV is going to be made in the USA that there’s a “good chance” it will be the most Made In America car when Tesla starts building them later this year. This is according to Tesla CEO, who responded to a question on Twitter about the possibility.

The Model S is already the most American-made EV, with about 75 percent of its content coming from within the US. For the last two years, the most American-made car overall was the Toyota Camry, according to a list kept by Cars.com. For 2016, five of the top eight “most American” were from Japanese companies. After the Camry, the top five list includes the Honda Accord, the Toyota Sienna, the Honda Odyssey, and the Honda Pilot. Rounding out the top eight are the Chevy Traverse, the GMC Acadia, and the Buick Enclave. An American company hasn’t had a car at the top of the list since the Ford F-150 was there in 2014. Cars.com says that its list, “recognizes cars that are assembled here, using a high percentage of domestic parts, and which are bought in large numbers by American consumers.”

Musk’s Tweet, though, is about a different scale, one used by the Kogod School of Business at American University. This ranking looks at, “factors [like] the proportion of American-made parts, labor, and the amount of development work conducted in the U.S.,” according to Green Car Reports. Whatever reckoning you use, the Model 3 looks like it’s gonna be a player.

Source: Elon Musk on Twitter

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40 responses to "Elon Musk: There’s a ‘good chance’ Tesla Model 3 will be most Made In America car"

  1. Sonya Wiley says:

    Hey Elon
    The other day I seen the most beautiful black car I’d ever seen here on your site and it was a Tesla,

    It was gorgeous keep up the great work.

    Sonya Wiley

  2. unlucky says:

    Will Model 3 clear the “bought in large numbers by American consumers” bar? Maybe that’s a percentage cutoff not a total count?

    It would seem like it could make the top of the list on all the other criteria. The Gigafactory will be pumping out cells and packs by then.

  3. MDSTJ says:

    With all the backorders the model three has the potential in 2018 to be the best selling car in America.

    1. ANewHope says:

      Keep in mind that reservations are worldwide, not just US.

      To have a chance at being best seller in the US Tesla will need to make around 400,000 model 3’s and sell 100% of them in the US. I think doing both of those is not probable, so I doubt model 3 will be best selling car in the US.

      1. Miggy says:

        Yes the good thing is Tesla will make their cars in both RHD and LHD unlike GM who only make their EV’s in LHD.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It seems overly optimistic to hope that the Model 3 will outsell the top-selling gasmobiles in the North American market. After all, the Model 3 is only a “semi-affordable” car, and isn’t in the price range which all the top-selling cars are. (Note I’m specifically referring to cars here, and not pickups, SUVs and other light trucks.) But unless Tesla drops the ball badly, it should easily outsell all other PEVs (Plug-in EVs) for at least the next 2-3 years.

        Even if another PEV maker (say, GM and its Bolt EV) wants to ramp up production to match the Model 3, they won’t be able to because nobody else (other than possibly BYD) has access to that large a supply of batteries.

    2. Nix says:

      Well, the Model 3 is supposed to be an entry-level luxury car. I think it will do very well in that class.

      For example, they may very well be able to beat the best-selling Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which sold 77,167 units in the US in 2016.

  4. georgeS says:

    Gee the Donald should really like it then:)

    1. Dave86 says:

      … yes, the Donald should definitely like it since it should use almost entirely American made energy.

      1. floydboy says:

        The Donald……yeah….well….

  5. georgeS says:

    and speaking of the Donald.

    From the WSJ:

    Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order.

    wow Trump really becoming pro environment:)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner-pushed-to-remove-language-critical-of-climate-deal-from-executive-order-1487889272?mod=trending_now_3

    1. pjwood1 says:

      As one journalist already remarked, “the trouble is understanding what they mean, when they use words.”

      Mention, or no mention, carbon dioxide policy is well down the list of what this Administration will support, regarding pollution. I think we’re on “I don’t want to prejudge, how I’d rule on lead”, or other Pruitt’isms such as whether the amount of mercury coming out of coal plants is beyond “miniscule”.

      Baby steps.

      1. floydboy says:

        A coworker told me that the press “Should listen to what Trump means, not so much to what he says”. Very enlightening. I just nodded politely. On the inside though, there was a bit more activity.

  6. Kdawg says:

    If you include overhead, I’m guessing the Asian cars aren’t in the top 10 anymore.

  7. jack says:

    Most made in america car? I’m sure they’ll fall to last place in the Consumer Reports’ Reliability ranking
    http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/

    1. Paul Smith says:

      You would be wrong.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      You’re sure? Then you don’t know jack. 😉

  8. Ct200h says:

    Simple test to try: take the names of 10 or 12 car manufactures and write/print them on a piece of paper, include Tesla on the list.
    Ask a friend or co-worker to circle all the American car companies on the page.
    See what you get , I’ll bet most fail to circle the Tesla name! It’s the stealth American car company!

  9. Lad says:

    Tesla and the Germany car makers have committed to EVs while the American makers fight to maintain the Fossil fuel status quo with ICEVs. Hope they don’t wait too long as they may not survive building obsolete vehicles.

    1. ANewHope says:

      Unfortunately I think it is the boiling a frog problem. Dump the frog in hot water it hops out, put it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, you boil the frog.

      Tesla is not a threat to the bread and butter of the other american car makers: namely full size pickup trucks. Last year Ford sold over 800,000 F-150s!!! GM = over 500,000 Silverados + another 200,000 GMC Sierra’s.

      I suspect not until Tesla makes a full size pickup will the other american car makers wake up.

    2. unlucky says:

      What are you talking about?

      Germany has one from-scratch EV so far and one factory conversion.

      Germany makes talk a mean streak but their commitment so far is more toward making vehicles that do the minimum to get low-emission credits (short range PHEVs) than toward making EVs a thing.

      1. georgeS says:

        unlucky:

        and they might be here in 2020.

        wowy zowy!!

    3. Dave86 says:

      I’m extremely disappointed that GM opposes the ELA standards through 2025. Those standards apply equally to all auto makers. However, what automaker can beat this line up:

      * Volt gen 1
      * Volt gen 2
      * Spark EV
      * ELR
      * CT6
      * Bolt

    4. Paul Smith says:

      The Bolt is a good car and will sell well. GM says it is the basis of many new models to come.

  10. Jim Seko says:

    The cool thing is Tesla didn’t do this for marketing purposes. It’s all about manufacturing efficiency.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Yes indeed.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “It’s all about manufacturing efficiency.”

      AKA using more “Internationally made” automation and machines to replace labors which are American in this case.

      Nothing against that. But the facts remain that automation have killed more American jobs than any outsourcing…

      Tesla is more American because Elon wants its factory to be as fully automated as possible and near its battery factory which is in the US and also happens to be highly automated.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Elon in the past has talked quite a lot about the efficiency of local sourcing of parts and raw materials, and how reducing shipping costs (and transit times) would be improved by that. It seems to me that in the past, this has been his biggest motivation for making Tesla cars “the most made in the USA”.

        But now we’re seeing Elon talk about other things, such as using robots instead of humans on the assembly line for more efficient manufacturing. And Elon is talking about putting Gigafactory 3* in Europe, so he’s now thinking more internationally.

        *Gigafactory 2 is, reportedly (and confusingly), what they will be calling the (formerly) SolarCity solar tile/panel factory in Buffalo, NY.

      2. Roy_H says:

        “the facts remain that automation have killed more American jobs than any outsourcing…”

        Automation is the only way for American companies to be competitive with low wage foreign made products. Your view is mis-guided, without automation there would be no jobs.

        “Tesla is more American because Elon wants its factory to be as fully automated as possible and near its battery factory which is in the US and also happens to be highly automated.”

        “happens to be” ?? Very deliberate, see above argument. EVs are expensive, to be a success the cost has to be brought down. Elon sees vertical integration and automation as the way to accomplish that. The alternative would be to build everything in the countries with the lowest cost.

      3. floydboy says:

        I’m under the impression that he may have hired a few workers?

  11. Acevolt says:

    Even a Mercedes C class sedan is 75% US content and only 12% German. While my Tesla Model S says 50% US content.

  12. Bob Nan says:

    Yes it should be, because the biggest component which is battery is 100% Made in USA. I am sure the motors and other components are made here.

  13. Bob Nan says:

    I wish Tesla buys the headquarters of Toyota which is put on sale in California.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-toyota-headquarters-20170216-story.html

  14. Tilyon says:

    I just got in a Bolt and I was not comfortable in that car. GM made it too small. My Leaf is a lot better, too bad for the long range of the Bolt. I’ve decided to wait for model 3.

    1. tedfredrick says:

      As I have said before the seats are made for a 110lb woman. Anybody larger than that cannot fit in the seats.A woman will complain the seat bottom is to narrow and a man like me at 5’11” and 210lbs will complain the back hits your lats.

      1. unlucky says:

        Simply not true. The back doesn’t hit my lats and why would I care if it did? People pay extra for sports seats with big bolsters. How did this become a negative?

        The seat bottom is narrower than normal but after a month I don’t even notice anymore. It’s not uncomfortable and I don’t feel pinched. I even have room to manspread.

        And I’m not significantly smaller than you.

        I don’t like that the headrests cannot be adjusted forward and back and if the lumbar isn’t curved for your spine you are in a bad way because it’s not adjustable in any way.

  15. Tilyon says:

    Yes, model 3 will be the most popular and in a very large production, too bad for the Bolt. Sorry.

    1. Martin T. says:

      Yes, It’s good to know the Model 3 will have mostly american made parts on board.
      This is so much better … remember when Japanese products were the very best because all the parts were Japanese or 1st world country of origin.
      GM and others could once again learn from this instead of importing from 3rd world communist countries that should only supply wrapping paper and other disposable 1 use items!

  16. Brenno says:

    I totally agree with Musk on this one!! hopefully they can get production numbers and efficiency up to meet demand whilst not compromising on quality.

  17. jim stack says:

    Most American made and powered with no OIL. That’s a really big point. EVen the best German gas car is only 20% efficient and runs on highly polluting OIL made with electricity into gasoline.
    What a difference a Tesla makes.