Nothing says “America” quite like a pickup truck. American vehicle manufacturers have etched out their names in automotive history by producing powerful, long-lasting trucks for generations. Companies like Chevrolet and Ford are longtime stalwarts of pickup production in the United States, and to this day build best selling pickups at a rapid pace. However, over the past couple of decades, foreign automakers have started to gain ground, many moving manufacturing of their pickup lines to North America to better compete with indigenous companies.
Over at Edmunds, they have compiled a list of the “most American” pickup trucks available for the 2014 model year. To accurately populate the list, the folks at Edmunds used a series of calculations to come up with an algorithm that determines the “American” composition of each truck. Based on figures that were reported by automakers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the American Automobile Labeling act, these models take into account the percentage of components produced domestically, the source of the engine and transmission, in addition to the country in which the model was actually assembled. The final component is the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, that takes into account things like research, development, and where profits from the vehicle ultimately end up.
Using all these factors as a framework, here are the top eight most “American” pickup trucks available for 2014, as compiled by Edmunds.
5. 2014 GMC Sierra (tie)
In a surprisingly low finish on the “American” scale, the GMC Sierra comes in at a tie with one other pickup to make the top eight. A mere 40 percent of the truck’s components are made in North America, and final assembly on many trucks is done in Mexico. The Sierra’s engine and transmission are produced in the United States, and on the Kogod Made in America Auto Index Score, the truck scores a 70. All together, the Sierra is a solid pickup, but it doesn’t have near the level of American-made components many would think.
5. 2014 Chevrolet Silverado (tie)
With identical scores to the GMC Sierra, Chevrolet’s Silverado comes in at a tie for the last two positions on our list. Again, with an American engine and transmission, but only 40 percent of the truck’s other parts produced on native soil, the Silverado comes up in a somewhat disappointing spot. Both the Silverado and Sierra are produced by General Motors, and marketed as heavily towards customers who factor American-made products among their top concerns when shopping for goods. Still among the top eight trucks on the road, the Silverado makes for an exciting purchase, even if it is a little less “American” than initially surmised.
4. 2014 Nissan Titan
The first entry from a Japanese automaker on the list, Nissan (NSANY.PK) takes the number four position with its Titan pickup. Surprisingly enough, the Titan ranks ahead of models from GMC and Chevrolet, although it achieves a Kogod Made in America Auto Index Score of 59. The transmission is made in Japan, but the engine is built in the United States. Final assembly also takes place in America, and 50 percent of the truck’s makeup is also indigenous. The numbers speak for themselves, even if the result is a eyebrow raising. The Titan is a solid choice for shoppers looking to buy American, even if its from a Japanese manufacturer.
3. 2014 Toyota Tacoma
Another Japanese model to make the list, the Toyota Tacoma has managed to best models from Nissan, Chevy, and GMC. Unlike the Nissan Titan, the Tacoma’s engine is of Japanese origin, while its transmission is manufactured in both Japan and the U.S. As for the rest of the pickup, 60 percent of its parts and materials are American-made, and final assembly splits time in the U.S. and Mexico. As for the Kogod score, the Tacoma clocks in just below the Titan with a figure of 57. A longtime customer favorite, the Tacoma has a surprisingly high degree of American manufacturing pedigree for a Japanese model.
2. 2014 Ram 1500
Ranking all the way up at number two, the Ram (FIATY.PK) 1500 pickup has been thrilling American truck aficionados for decades. Having made a name for itself as a powerful and capable line of trucks, Ram has also taken pride in its American roots, becoming a favorite of U.S. drivers over the years. The Ram’s components are 66 percent North American derived, and final assembly is limited to American and Mexican plants. The engine is produced stateside as well, but the transmission is manufactured in both the U.S. and in Italy. On the Kogod score scale, the Ram comes in at a solid 63, ahead of the Japanese models below it on the list, but short of the GM pickups.
1. 2014 Toyota Tundra (tie)
Another entry for Toyota, this time tied for top spot on the list. The Tundra, Toyota’s larger pickup model achieves a Kogod Index Score of 78.5, far outclassing Ram, Chevy, and GMC models. The Tundra is not only assembled in the United States, but also has its transmission and engine built here as well. As for the percentage of North American content, the Tundra sees 75 percent of its materials sourced from America. Very impressive for a Japanese-born pickup, as it’s obvious Toyota’s efforts to appeal to American buyers is paying off with its models remaining popular choices for truck fans.
1. 2014 Honda Ridgeline (tie)
Perhaps the most surprising of all the entries on the list, the Honda Ridgeline ties the Tundra and one other for top spot. The Ridgeline, while not nearly as popular with consumers as Toyota or Nissan’s trucks, is nearing a decade in production. Achieving identical scores to the Tundra, including an American-built transmission and engine, the Ridgeline’s impressive 78.5 score on the Kogod Index has propelled it to the top. Although the Ridgeline is definitely different from what traditionalist would consider a true American pickup, when it comes to the numbers, the Ridgeline can’t be beat.
1. 2014 Ford F-150 (tie)
Coming in at what is perhaps no surprise, the Ford F-150 assumes the throne as the most American pickup of 2014, alongside the Ridgeline and Tundra. Perhaps putting the F-150 slightly ahead is a high Kogod Index score of 87.5, beating all other pickups handily. The truck’s transmission, engine and final assembly are all American sourced, and 75 percent of the truck’s parts and materials are from the United States as well. As America’s best selling vehicle for many years, the F-150 is a true American truck for shoppers looking to spend their money stateside.