American-made index? Fuggedaboutit

cars.com American-made index TeslaMondoTesla is pushing to hire military vets, who already comprise five percent of its 6,000-ish workforce. Military peeps have the right stuff: discipline, team experience, often some tech background. This all sounds pretty patriotic, yes? And, of course, Tesla builds here. And Tesla sells heavily here. But if you’re thinking Tesla will soon factor in the Cars.com American-made index, you’re forgetting that the index is getting stricter by the year. This year only ten vehicles made the list of finalists. That’s the lowest number ever. And you’re forgetting that Tesla sources battery cells from Panasonic in Japan, electric motors from Fukuta in Taiwan, and various components from Hon Hai (a.k.a Foxconn) in Taiwan. Given the scarcity of internal organs in the Model S, the domestic/foreign ratio skews rather easily. And these suppliers aren’t going away. Panasonic is expected to partner in the Gigafactory, despite its strategic show of wishy-washiness in negotiations. Fukuta just expanded its operation in preparation for the Model X. And Tesla is fattening its pipeline with Hon Hai also.

Ah well. The Gigafactory surely will cement Tesla as very red, white and blue, and all the more so if veterans make up a big chunk of the workforce. Do we really need indexes to tell us who’s on the home team? Moreover, does the index impact sales?

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