Just over five years ago, everyone laughed at the idea that American automakers could produce a smaller fuel-efficient vehicle to compete with their Japanese rivals. It was so bad that American autos had to dish out thousands in incentive money to move their cars off the lots -- resulting in massive losses and low resale values. 

Those days are gone. Now Ford has produced a handful of extremely popular vehicles such as the Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion. General Motors has even had success, and Tesla has appeared out of nowhere to take America by storm.

For proof of an American-made automotive renaissance, look no further than these three vehicles having an explosive year.

Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors and owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.