What does “Made in America” really mean these days? Before we get too deep, I’m not suggesting American is better or more worthy or any such nationalistic thing like that. Vehicle manufacturing is complex and has many steps throughout the process, and while many people want to shop “more locally,” it can be tough to figure out just how locally you are shopping. If you want to support American manufacturing, for some reason or another, the 2020 Toyota Tundra has more parts and assembly made/done in America than any other full-size truck. Yes, even America’s favorite truck, the Ford F-150.
Is the Toyota Tundra made in America?
For the last 15 years, Cars.com has compiled a list using a very complicated set of criteria and metrics to find the cars with the highest amount of parts made/assembled in the U.S. Typically, Cars.com only includes the top 10 vehicles. Still, this year, with the desire to help our struggling economy, more and more people want to “shop local” and support American jobs, so the list included every vehicle that qualified.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra shows up in the No.16 spot and is the first full-size truck on the list, making it the most American full-size truck you can buy. The Ford F-150 is down at the 44th spot. (I am specifying the “full-size” aspect because the 2020 Ford Ranger got first place, but it is not a full-size truck. That model falls under the “compact truck” category.) Of course, this is fitting because of the beautiful fact that Toyota is a Japanese company, and if we’re honest, that is the most American thing of all.
What makes the Toyota Tundra more American made than the other Trucks?
Five main factors influenced the 2020 American Made Index (AMI). The first and main criteria is the “location of final assembly.” The others are as follows: Number of U.S. or Canadian parts, country of origin for available engines, country of origin for available transmissions, and U.S. manufacturing employees relative to the automaker’s footprint.
In order to comply with the 28-year-old American Automobile Labeling Act, manufacturers must report the amount of U.S. and Canadian parts used every year by value. For each one of the items on the list of criteria, there are regulatory agencies that track and require automakers to report these things to better regulate quality and consistency.
The Tundra scored higher and met more aspects of each piece of the criteria than any other full-size pickup.
The Tundra feels pretty American
Aside from the very complicated and stringent rules for the AMI, the tundra just feels American to its core, doesn’t it?
I mean, think about it, people love to trash the Tundra for being wasteful, outdated, clunky, huge, and a bit slow compared to the tech advances of its classmates. Every one of these critiques is not only valid, but they are also painfully true.
It’s painful because the Tundra has been so great and dependable for so long. People love the Tundra and buy the hell out of them. It can be frustrating when we think about how much better it could and should be because the bones are strong. All the Tundra has to do is get a little more flexible and be willing to adapt to the world it now lives in, as opposed to being content knowing that it once dominated a world that is long gone.
For better or worse, the Toyota Tundra is the most American truck. We love it and hate it at the same time. It’s great and terrible, equally. It could easily just be great. All it needs is a little willingness to change.