The Least American-Made Pickup Truck Has the Most Star-Spangled Name
The pickup truck is as much a symbol of America as baseball and blue jeans. So you might be surprised to find out that many trucks for the U.S. market are assembled in Mexico. Experts disagree on which pickup truck is the most “American-made” but agree that the Ford Maverick falls near the bottom of the list.
What is a Maverick?
Ford made a compact car called the Maverick from 1970 through 1977. When it launched an all-new compact truck based on the unibody Bronco’s chassis for the 2022 model year, it dusted off this classic name. Likely, Ford named its new truck the Maverick because of the iconic American images the name represents.
A Maverick is simply a person who is independent-minded and unafraid to go against the flow. Almost a decade after Ford canceled its Maverick car, Top Gun dominated the 1986 box office. Tom Cruise played an ace fighter pilot as rebellious as he was talented and used the call sign “Maverick.”
The American Senator John McCain was a real-life naval aviator who went on to have a long political career (1987-2018). At some point, he also adopted the nickname Maverick. The word even became a slogan for Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin’s 2008 run for the White House.
A “Maverick” wearing a Ford badge just might have the most star-spangled name of any vehicle in existence. The irony is that the new Ford Maverick is one of the least American-made pickup trucks on the market.
Where is the Ford Maverick made?
Ford assembles its compact Maverick pickup truck at its Hermosilla plant in Mexico. While many pickups are assembled in Mexico, only 26% of the parts that go into a Maverick are built in the U.S.A. or Canada. This gives it the distinction of being the least American-made truck by most any measure.
According to the Automobile Labelling Act, any truck half-ton or lighter must have the location of its assembly and the percentage of its parts hailing from the U.S.A. or Canada printed on its window sticker. Cars.com uses this data to rank the 100 most American-made makes and models. But the Ford Maverick didn’t even earn a place on the above list.
What is the most American-made pickup truck?
The Kogod School of Business (a part of American University) digs a little deeper than Cars.com, considering where each make and model’s engine and transmission are built, where the automaker does research and development, and where its headquarters are. For this reason, Cars.com gave the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tundra first and second place in the truck segment. But Kogod reserved these spots for the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and the Ford F-150.
Kogod did give the Maverick a ranking: dead last among pickup trucks. Certain GMC Sierras, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 Classics, and Toyota Tacomas are assembled in Mexico. But even the Mexican-built examples of these trucks outranked the Ford Maverick.
Why does Ford make so much of the Maverick in Mexico? Possibly because it is a popular pickup on the Mexican market. The extremely low cost of buying and owning it may make it appealing in a country without a great exchange rate. And after a recent trip to Mexico, I can tell you that new Ford Mavericks are being loaded down and treated like work trucks there.
Even in the Spanish-speaking country, Ford keeps the truck’s “Maverick” badge. I wonder what Mexican Maverick owners think of the name?
Next, read about the only Jeep to land on the most American-made list or find out just how American-made your vehicle is in the video below: