Tesla Motors’ Model S is set to claim another coveted number one title from the automobile industry — it will soon top Ford’s F-150 as the most American-made car.
Ford’s legacy pickup has been the number-one selling vehicle for 32 years straight, the top-selling truck for 37, and topped the cars.com 2013 American-made index, according to Quartz.
The index combines sales, the origin of parts (with a minimum American-percentage of 75 percent) and place of assembly to determine the list. According to Wall Street financial services corporation Morgan Stanley, Tesla will likely take the top spot on the list after completing founder Elon Musk’s recently announced $6 billion gigafactory, which will allow the company to domestically produce the large lithium-ion batteries that power the globally-dominant electric car.
After completion of the factory, more than 90 percent of Tesla parts will be assembled in America compared to the F-150’s 75 percent, which even at the top spot, just maintains the minimum percentage required to be considered for the list.
The factory is expected to go up somewhere in the southwestern portion of the country, and will have a production capacity far beyond Tesla’s needs alone. The company is currently seeking possible third-party partnerships to produce batteries for, since lithium-ion powers almost all modern electronics.
Production isn’t expected to begin until 2017, but by completion in 2020 the factory is expected to employ some 6,500 workers and produce more batteries than the current total of the entire industry combined.
But competition could heat up by then according to Ford, which recently announced an initiative to transition production of the 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium-duty truck models back from Mexico to a U.S. plant in Ohio.