10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: Ford Ranger, Tesla Put American-Made Index First

So you wanna buy American, huh? These days, more and more people are adopting an “America first” policy when it comes to car shopping — but what exactly does that mean? It’s not as simple as choosing a car from an automaker with a Detroit-area ZIP code that feels American. No, what it means to be an “American” car is perhaps as nuanced and complex as what it means to be, well, an American. In our No. 1 news article of the past week, Cars.com’s 2020 American-Made Index (America first, indeed) we apply empirical methods to this emotional concept to help car shoppers keep the “us” in the U.S. auto industry.

Related: 10 Biggest News Stories of the Month: Jeep Easter Eggs, Cheapest New Cars Foil Ford F-150

In the latest AMI, Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays defines the term “American-made” according to a slate of criteria going far beyond a brand’s corporate-office geography. These criteria include:

  • Location of final assembly
  • Percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts
  • Country of origin for available engines
  • Country of origin for available transmissions
  • U.S. manufacturing employees relative to the automaker’s footprint

This year’s official most American vehicle? Ford’s recently resurrected Ranger pickup truck, which returned from a years-long hiatus for the 2019 model year and is assembled in Wayne, Mich.

“With increased U.S. parts sourcing for its 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, the Ranger’s U.S. and Canadian parts content reached 70% for the 2020 model year, with majority-U.S. origins for its engine and transmission,” Mays reports. “It topped the Jeep Cherokee and Tesla Model S to rank as the No. 1 vehicle on the 2020 index.”

That’s not to say that Tesla was any slouch in its first index-eligible outing. Nearly the entire California-based luxury-electric automaker’s current lineup landed in the AMI top 10, with the Model S and Model 3 sedans landing at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, and the Model X SUV at No. 9.

Get the entire list of AMI inductees — expanded several times over this year to include 91 vehicles — by following the link below to our most popular story of the week. Oh, and if you’re curious as to which cars are the least American-made, you’ll find some examples (counterintuitively featuring the likes of Chrysler, Ford and GM) at No. 5 on this week’s countdown.

Rounding out this week’s top five are our report on an even higher-performance, 600-unit (very yellow) limited edition of the 2021 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch, at No. 2; an explainer on how the VTEC (variable valve timing and lift electronic control) technology used in Acura and Honda models works, at No. 3; and our rapid-fire rundown of our likes and dislikes about the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V, at No. 4.

There’s lots more beyond that on the BMW M5, Mazda CX-30, Ford Mustang and Polestar 1, so be sure to continue below the fold. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:

1. The Cars.com 2020 American-Made Index: Which Cars Are Most American?

2. 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Getting Closer to Launch

3. What Does VTEC Stand For?

4. 2020 Cadillac CT5-V: 7 Pros and 3 Cons

5. Cars.com 2020 American-Made Index: What About the Least American Cars?

6. 2021 BMW M5: Updates for the Ultimate 5 Series

7. 2020 Mazda CX-30: Recall Alert

8. Which Convertibles Have AWD for 2020?

9. Five-Point-Ohhh! 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Is Ultimate 5-Liter Pony Car

10. 2020 Polestar 1: 7 Things We Like and 4 Things We Don’t

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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