Trucks & SUVs

Why Critics Say Ford’s F-150 Isn’t Even Close to the Most American-Made Truck

The F-150 is considered America’s best-selling truck. But can it claim to be the most American-made truck as well? Let’s look at why some critics say it isn’t even close to being the most American-made, despite its top bragging rights.

Who decides the most American-made truck?

Every year, Cars.com performs a study and produces an American-made index. The index is designed to identify and rank which vehicles are made in America the most concerning parts and assembly. The review takes into account trucks, cars, and SUVs, although it doesn’t include heavy-duty classes.

Cars.com’s study follows the content from the American Automobile Labeling Act, a law that requires automakers to report the sourcing data for major components of their vehicles.

What does the study consider with American-made trucks?

The study reviews a few key indicators for each vehicle in contention. The answers and data collected from these segments are then compiled for final analysis and ranking. Here are some questions the study asks:

  • Which country is origin to the vehicle’s engine?
  • Which country is origin to the vehicle’s transmission?
  • Where is the final assembly location?
  • According to the American Automobile Labeling Act, where are the parts primarily sourced?
  • How many Americans are employed by the factory locations?

Which truck is the most American-made for 2019?

It may surprise you to discover the Honda Ridgeline tops the list in the 2019 American-made index for trucks. There were 15 vehicles in total, with the Ridgeline actually claiming third in overall categories. With its factory in Lincoln, Alabama, it was only edged out by the 2019 Honda Odyssey and 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

Where does the Ford F-150 rank?

2017 Ford F-150 pickup trucks sit on display
2017 Ford F-150 pickup trucks on display | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You may assume the best-selling truck in the U.S. would top this American-made list, but it doesn’t. In fact, despite its truck assemblies in Claycomo, Missouri, and Dearborn, Michigan, it actually dropped below the top-10 mark.

The Ford F-150 may have more American presence in the production line and employ more Americans in total. But the 2019 model year has substantial foreign outsourcing among many of its engines and components.

How did the other American automakers rank in this year’s list?

Assembled in Wentzville, Missouri, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado came in No. 8. GMC’s 2019 Canyon ranked ninth. Dodge Ram didn’t make the top 15. As far as trucks are concerned, the big three American companies aren’t taking prime spots in the American-made space at all for 2019.

Why critics call out Ford F-150 as not even close to American-made

In the auto industry, American companies are always looking for ways to compete with overseas challengers. This index is designed to identify the brands that contribute most to the U.S. economy. When the best-selling truck in America falls to 13th on the list, it sends a red flag, and critics pounced.

Ford’s F-150 used to have bragging rights with made in America greatness in years’ past. It actually held the No. 1 title five times, so dropping below 10 indicates that many of those critical components are losing domestic content.

So, what is the key takeaway in this Cars.com index and made-in-America review? The biggest and best American brands aren’t always the most American-made. Consumers don’t seem to mind as they make new purchases, though.

The Ford F-150 can still call itself the best-selling truck in America in sales. However, for those consumers looking to buy their next vehicle according to U.S. economic impact and stimulation, they may have to consider foreign brands. Honda and Acura own much of the top-10 made-in-America list of vehicles. And it certainly caught the critics’ attention.