Tesla Model 3
For some buyers, where a car is made can be as important as the qualities of the car itself.
"Made in America" can be a powerful selling point, especially after a presidential election in which domestic manufacturing jobs were a hot-button issue.
But in the age of globalization, U.S. automakers no longer have a monopoly on cars with largely American-made content.
Every year, the Kogod School of Business at American University publishes rankings of the most "American-made" cars, with the top spots occupied by a mix of domestic and foreign models.
The rankings are based on such factors as the proportion of American-made parts, labor, and the amount of development work conducted in the U.S.
So where might the Tesla Model 3 rank when it starts production later this year?
2017 Toyota Camry
In 2016, the Toyota Camry mid-size sedan and Sienna minivan were rated 78.5 percent American-made, while different analyses in past years have dubbed the Camry the "most American" vehicle.
The Honda Accord mid-size sedan was determined to be 81 percent American-made last year, while the Chevrolet Corvette sports car came in at 83 percent. The Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck was at 85 percent, according to the study.
A trio of General Motors crossovers based on the same platform—the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave—were rated 90 percent American-made.
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The Tesla Model S garnered a 55-percent American-made rating, but the Model 3 could very well take the title of most American-made car, Electrek posits.
It all comes down to the batteries, the Tesla fan site suggests.
Tesla currently uses lithium-ion cells supplied by Panasonic, which manufactures them in Japan and elsewhere.
Tesla gigafactory, March 2016, shown in drone footage posted to YouTube by Above Reno
Cells for the Model 3 will be produced at the massive "Gigafactory" near Reno, Nevada, however, where elements of its powertrain will be made as well.
Tesla is also reportedly developing a source of lithium at a location near the Gigafactory, and Nevada officials are trying to incentivize lithium production in the state.
Raw materials sourced from the U.S. would likely boost the Model 3's American-made rating considerably.
Like the Model S and Model X, the Model 3 will be assembled at the Tesla plant in Fremont, California.
The battery pack and cells are a major component in any electric car.
One reason the Nissan Leafs built in Tennessee aren't all-American is that while their cells and battery packs are assembled in an adjacent plant, the high-value electrode material that goes into the cells is still fabricated in Japan and shipped to that factory in large rolls.
Technician attaches bus-bars to lithium-ion cell stack assembly at plant in Smyrna, Tennessee
Could cells assembled in Nevada, using electrode material fabricated in the same plant, be enough to push the Model 3 past the two electric cars built in the same plant?
We may find out a year from now, when the Kogod School of Business publishes its 2017 American-made rankings.
Tesla reiterated this week that it expects to deliver the first Model 3 electric cars in July, and ramp up production to 5,000 units a week by the end of the year.
If it does, that should give the analysts enough to assess how American it actually is. (As will the domestic-content percentage on the Model 3 window sticker.)