Name the American Truck: Chevy Silverado or Mazda B-Series

June 23rd, 2009
Silverado - it sure looks American!

Silverado - it sure looks American!

Not long ago, we asked if Ford was a foreign car company.

We asked because so many American cars are built in Mexico, while Japanese cars are built in America, so we wondered what really constitutes a “domestic” automobile. The location of final assembly is only a piece of the puzzle – there’s also the whole question of where a car’s parts come from.

It sounds like a philosophical conundrum: If a car’s engine is built in Germany, its transmission comes from France, final assembly happens in the United States, and the corporate headquarters is in Japan, where is the car from?

In this case it’s the “Japanese” Mazda B-Series pickup, but it seems more “American” than the Mexican-built Ford Fusion or Chevy Silverado.

Considering all this, I’m surprised to see the results of a poll in our original blog asking if car owners know where their car was built. With nearly 2,500 people answering, an overwhelming 81 percent said they do know where their cars were built.

I have to wonder, though, if some people just assume their Fusions or Silverados (or Escalades or Avalanches or HHRs or Sierras…the list goes on)  were built in America just because they believe all those American Heartland “Like a Rock” TV ads.

Heck, the Honda Odyssey is more “American” than the Dodge Grand Caravan, with its engine, transmission, and assembly all sourced from the United States.

That’s why I get infuriated when a staunchly anti-foreign Midwestern truck guy judges me for buying a Japanese SUV when he (unknowingly) owns a Chevy Silverado that was made in Mexico. I imagine that guy would be pretty peeved to hear that little nugget of information.

With pieces of cars literally coming from all over the world, I was excited to see this brilliant feature, put together by the New York Times, that lists every car that’s made in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

I’d be curious for the people who took our original survey to check out the Times’ feature and then answer our survey again.

Which do you think is more American: a Mazda built in America or a Silverado built in Mexico? If you want, go ahead and tell me what car you own, including the year, and I’ll tell you where it was built.

-tgriffith

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  1. Timm
    | #1

    I think the more American cars are the ones built in the states with U.S. parts. I know Toyota’s Tundra, Sequia and Tacoma all meet that requirement. I tool around in a 93 Tercel… where was that built? I assume Japan but I guess you never know.

  2. Tabitha
    | #2

    The Silverado is made in Mexico? That seems downright deceptive…

  3. tgriffith
    | #3

    Timm-
    Your Tercel was indeed made in Japan.

    Tabitha-
    I better be a little more clear… SOME, not all, Silverados are made in Mexico. Some are still made in the USA.

  4. Super
    | #4

    If a car is built in Brazil it is still American… it would be South American but still American. I think the main point of people buying “American” cars is the fact that the money is going to an American company.

  5. | #5

    Makes sense that American companies like Chevy outsource to Mexico, but it’s something I had never thought of before. It’s really tough deciding what constitutes a domestic car company as opposed to a foreign one. I think I would answer on the basis of final assembly, which would make Japanese automakers domestic…

  6. Lynn
    | #6

    I have a 2007 Mazda CX9 is that more american or foregin

    • | #7

      Hi Lynn-
      Your 2007 Mazda CX9 shares a platform with the Ford Edge. Your engine is a Ford-built 263 hp 3.5L V6, but CX9 is assembled in Japan.

  7. psps
    | #8

    Really every silverado truck is made in mexico? WOW!!and every mazda is made in America. People are stupid!!! I can’t believe we argue about this.
    If mazda trucks are americian made and americians can’t build good cars and trucks then the mazda must suck. And the foriegn made silverado must be high quality so make up your F**king minds. Don’t lie people always say americian cars are bad because of the workers. I know thats not true!

  8. | #9

    The car would be nationalized by the believe of the user.

  9. John Pfeifer
    | #10

    Are Mexican built chevy siverado’s avalible in the US? I Have a 1997 Silverado and for front brake pads there are different for Mex model.

  10. | #11

    Nice but when it comes to buying a vehicle, people know that there are many advantages to buying old trucks compared to a brand new one. In todays truck resale market, there are so many different models being dealt at great prices. Many are in good condition and hardly driven around before being put up for sale. It does not mean that cheap used trucks have some hidden problems that are costly to repair, but you should check the repair and accident history of the old trucks. For more information on trucks visit here. http://www.smarttruckbuyer.com

  11. US Products only
    | #12

    @psps
    Some of the Big 3 are built in the US, Mexico and Canada. This has always been around. Most Chevy trucks are built in the US. If your vin starts with a 1 US, 2 Canada and 3 Mexico.

  12. John H
    | #13

    Every car manufacture GM, Ford, Toyota must reveal on the parts content sticker (located next to the price sticker)the parts content,assembly point, etc of every vehicle. I have a Chevy Silverado 74% of my truck is U.S. parts,including engine and transmission, 18% Canada, 8% other, the final assembly point Shrevepoint,LA. I would say this pretty much makes my truck American made.Toyota on most there vehicles is 60-70% Japan, 20-30% other,pretty much makes it a rice product.

  13. Daniel T
    | #14

    @John H
    the Tundra is 80% American built and is the most American (USA) built Truck.

  14. Steve in his Tundra Limited 5.7
    | #15

    First, 80% of the Tundra parts are made at their plant in San Antonio TX. The parts companies surround the plant. Second, The engine is made in Alabama and the chassis is made in indianapolis. The entire truck is then put together in Texas. How Un American is that??? Maybe on the back of my truck it says Tundra then Toyota, but I know my purchase has put many, many Americans to work in this country not Mexicans. Third, most of the profits stay here for operating expenses. Today you are buying a name plate. Alot of people don’t even know where their ride is made. Do your home work before you judge others. The Tundra has more beef and looks let alone room then the so called domestics. I have owned a Blazer, Dodge Durango and Grand Prix over the years, but when I look at all the pickups I just think the Tundra has alot more substance all around.

  15. John
    | #16

    Steve… You honestly talked out of your ass in your previous post… Justify what you want, American car companies outsourced parts to stay afloat in the business… For obvious reasons and obvious sellouts who are as transparent as the glass your tundra transmission is made of. For so long an import was considered upscale and a classy vehicle of sorts Mercedes, BMW, etc. well obviously your yellowhanded made tundra is almost as much of a joke as your sorry justifications… But thank you so much for reciting the brochure for us… Continue to talk online as if you know what your typing… When it’s evident the ratchets and wrenches you spin are but of the Fisher Price brand which should go well with your wife’s pickup when you get permission to drive it.

  1. | #1
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