All-American’ Pickup Trucks Aren’t All Made in America

What brand comes to mind when thinking of the All-American pickup truck? There are a few trucks that fall into this category. And owners are some of the fiercest loyalists to their American brands.

Some trends indicate more and more consumers are turning away from their SUVs and sedans in favor of the trusted pickup. But before you buy what you believe is an All-American pickup truck, it’s essential to do your research. Even though these models and brands are considered All-American, it doesn’t mean they’re all necessarily made in America.

What brands fall into the All-American pickup truck category?

A Ford All-American pickup truck.
Ford pickup truck | Getty Images

If asked what brands are considered All-American, you might name manufacturers like Ford, Chevy, GMC, or Ram as the most All-American pickup trucks. Those badges certainly represent U.S.-based companies. But there’s a little more to defining American than that. Cars recently shared its American-Made Index for 2022, based on model vehicles with production locations in the U.S.. It might surprise you that the pickup trucks on this list, ranked higher for American-made and units sold, happen to include Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.

As The Drive points out, the big three U.S. truck makers can be considered All-American. The Ford F-Series models are all produced in the states. But General Motors and Ram do “rely heavily” on Mexico-based production plants. The Drive investigated where the big three get their parts and supplies. Those details were a little clouded.

They’re not entirely made in the U.S.

Some data regarding automaker component outsourcing can be found through the NHTSA, based on the law requiring new light trucks and passenger models to display percentage labels describing the origin of each vehicle’s components. You won’t find any production pickup truck with more than 75% American components either. PickupTruckTalk outlines further details about the Cars indexing report and how the All-American brands rank.

The trust is that most automakers outsource much of their parts and labor across national lines. They have to remain competitive in pricing. Most automakers have expanded into global markets, including Ford, General Motors, and Ram. With a broader landscape of buyers, and more cost-efficient sourcing methods in other countries, parts and materials for transmissions, pickup truck bodies, and engines often come from other nations.

Some of the current offerings you might consider buying

How your favorite pickup trucks are assembled may not be of great importance. Knowing you’re buying an All-American badge may be enough. But if where your truck is assembled matters, know that production location and material sourcing won’t always be on U.S. soil. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline, built in Alabama, is 70% red-blooded American-made, the most U.S. representative of all the pickups.

For example, you might believe the Ford F-150 is an All-American pickup truck. And those trucks are built in America. But according to the origin of components and production locations, the Toyota Tundra has more U.S. stamps. In fact, the Toyota Tundra is 65% American, based on parts and assembly in San Antonio, Texas.

Those who believe the Ram Heavy-Duty trucks are All-American pickups know that Stellantis produces those models at its Saltillo, Mexico facility. The Chevy Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 trucks are also produced south of the border, with GM’s plant in Silao, Mexico. Alternatively, the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Titan are assembled here in the U.S.

So, now that you know the latest regarding assembly and production data, do you still consider the same brands to be All-American pickup trucks? With the global economy blurring the lines of commerce and connecting more, it’s probably best to assume that no vehicle you buy today is entirely comprised in America. And what likely makes a truck All-American, in the heart of the consumer, is the American personality that gets infused from each new pickup truck owner.

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