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Your American pickup trucks aren’t as American as you think

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Every year right before the Fourth of July, Cars.com releases its American-Made Index, which looks at vehicles that have final assembly in the U.S. Then it looks at parts content, engine origins, transmission origins and U.S. manufacturing workforce to come up with a final ranking on how American your pickup truck is.

While last year’s index ranked the Ford Ranger No. 1 in terms of most-American vehicle, for 2021 we have to drop down to No. 6 on the list to find a pickup truck.

And it isn’t a Ford. Or a Ram. Or a Chevy. Nope, it’s the Honda Ridgeline, which has its final assembly in Lincoln, Ala. To find the next most-American truck on the list, you’ll have to drop down to No. 10 – and it’s the Toyota Tundra, which has its final assembly in San Antonio, Texas.

To find an American automaker’s truck on the list, you’ll have to drop down to Nos. 14 and 15 on the list for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, respectively, which have their final assemblies in Wentzville, Mo.

So, the only full-size pickup truck in the top 20 vehicles is the Tundra.

Where in the heck did the Ford Ranger go? It dropped all the way down to No. 28, followed the Ford F-150 at No. 29.

While I’ve included only the truck rankings below, it’s interesting to note if you look at all vehicles on the list, only eight of the top 20 are American automakers.

Which trucks make the bottom of the list? The Ram 1500 Classic, Toyota Tacoma, GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500.

Here’s this year’s rankings according to Cars.com.

Cars.com rankPickup truckAssembly location2020 rank
6Honda RidgelineLincoln, Ala.6
10Toyota TundraSan Antonio16
14Chevrolet ColoradoWentzville, Mo. 10
15GMC CanyonWentzville, Mo. 11
28Ford RangerWayne, Mich. 1
29Ford F-150Dearborn, Mich., and Claycomo, Mo. 44
40Jeep GladiatorToledo, Ohio 40
42Ram 1500Sterling Heights, Mich. 47
43Ford F-150 HybridDearborn, Mich., and Claycomo, Mo. unranked
51Nissan TitanCanton, Miss. 55
57Nissan FrontierCanton, Miss. unranked
74Chevrolet Silverado 1500Roanoke, Ind.* 77
80GMC Sierra 1500Roanoke, Ind.* 85
87Toyota TacomaSan Antonio*84
89Ram 1500 ClassicWarren, Mich.* 63

Editor’s Note: If there’s an * that means some of those vehicles come from assembly plants outside of the U.S.

The bottom line on American pickup trucks

With the global economy, the world is a smaller place in 2021. Thus, it makes sense the waters are a bit muddy in terms of what actually comes from where. Just because an automaker has a global headquarters here, doesn’t mean their vehicles and parts are made here.

If you’re feeling patriotic and want to “buy American” this holiday weekend, you might do a little research first. The most money coming back to the U.S. in terms of labor and parts isn’t always what you assume it is.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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