The F150 Isn’t as American as the Ford Ranger or Honda Odyssey
While the F150 may be called America’s pickup truck, it’s not the most American-made truck Ford offers. In fact, it’s not even the most American-made vehicle the Blue Oval offers. In the former category, it loses out to another Ford, the Ranger. And in the latter case, there are plenty of other non-trucks ahead of it—including the Honda Odyssey minivan.
The Cars.com American-made list
Every year, Cars.com produces a list of the most American-made vehicles sold in the US. The site uses manufacturer-supplied data to generate the list, which includes non-commercial and non-heavy-duty vehicles.
That’s why Ford’s Super-Duty F-Series and the Mercedes Sprinter, for instance, aren’t on the list, but the F150 is. By law, the OEMs have to report the percentage of parts made in the US. But commercial vehicles and ones with a GVWR above 8,500 pounds are excluded.
For 2020, Cars.com’s American-Made Index is based on a different methodology than the site has used in years past. The primary factors are the same: final assembly location; the percentage of US and Canadian parts; engine and transmission country of origin; and, number of US employees compared to the OEM’s footprint. However, for 2020 that last factor isn’t based on US sales, but US vehicle production. That’s to better account for US factories which may make a lot of vehicles that are then exported.
In addition, the 2020 AMI separates platform-mates, as well as full- and plug-in hybrid model variants. That doesn’t mean much for the F150, which offers neither. However, in the case of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, they’re listed as 2 different trucks. The 2020 AMI also separates vehicle variants with different platforms. The Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic are both Ram trucks, but they ride on different-generation platforms, so they’re separated.
The Ford Ranger tops the American-made list
91 vehicles are listed on Cars.com’s 2020 list. And taking the #1 spot is the Ford Ranger. 70% of its parts are made in the US. Slightly ironic, Motor1 muses, given that it’s technically several years old, but wasn’t sold in the US again until the 2019 model year.
The Ford Ranger didn’t just beat out the F150, though. It also ranks higher than all of Tesla’s EVs, the Honda Ridgeline, and even the Chevy Corvette. 2020 is the first time Tesla’s vehicles are on Cars.com’s AMI list. But its highest-ranked car, the #3 Model S, ranks below the #2 Jeep Cherokee.
Tesla and Honda, though, do have the most vehicles in the Top 10. The Tesla Model 3 is listed at #4, and the Model X at #9. Honda, meanwhile, occupies 5th, 6th, and 7th place, with the Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Passport, respectively.
Chevrolet actually beats Ford out in terms of Top 10 presence. Although the Ford Ranger is #1 on the list, it’s the only Ford in the Top 10. Chevy, though, has the #8 Corvette and #10 Colorado. The GMC Canyon is right behind it, at #11.
The F150 beats its American full-size rivals
The F150 isn’t ranked particularly high on the 2020 AMI list. It’s not even the most American-made full-size pickup truck. At #44, it’s significantly behind the #16 Toyota Tundra. It’s also ranked behind another popular truck, the Jeep Gladiator (#40).
But the F150 does rank above its other American rivals. The Ram 1500 is at #47, and the 1500 Classic at #63. And both of GM’s full-size trucks rank even lower. The Silverado 1500 is listed at #77, and the GMC Sierra 1500 is at #85.
However, Cars.com’s list also reveals something interesting about the American pickup truck market. And not just that, although it generates more revenue than “the MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA combined”, Road & Track reports, the F150 isn’t as American-made as the Honda Odyssey. It’s that pickup trucks as a whole, despite their popularity, aren’t necessarily the most American vehicle.
Pickup trucks aren’t the most American-made vehicles
Cars.com’s 2020 list only includes 13 pickup trucks out of 91 total vehicles. In contrast, there are 31 passenger vehicles listed, and 47 crossovers/SUVs. So, while the Ford Ranger and F150 may rank higher than the Escape or Escape Hybrid, Ford has more crossovers and SUVs listed than trucks. The Expedition, for example, is ranked at #20.
What does this mean, then? If you want to buy an American-made truck, pick the Ford Ranger over the F150. But if you really want to support American vehicle manufacturing, overall, SUVs and passenger cars are the way to go.
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