Posted by David Thomas | June 23, 2010
By Kelsey Mays, Cars.com
Once American-Made Index mainstays, Detroit pickup trucks had a weak showing this year. The Ford F-150, which was at one point the No. 1 model for five AMIs in a row, has dropped off the index entirely; the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which has made an appearance on every AMI since 2006, has also dropped off. The culprit? Falling domestic parts content on both models — in the F-150’s case, significantly.
As recently as the 2007 model year, the Silverado 1500 and its GMC Sierra 1500 sibling were rated at 90 percent for domestic parts content. (DPC, required by the American Automobile Labeling Act since 1994, rates the percentage, by cost, of a model’s parts that come from the U.S. or Canada; medium- and heavy-duty trucks are not rated.) The F-150 was rated at 75 percent DPC for the 2009 model year. That’s not the case anymore. The F-150 fell to 55 percent for the 2010 model year. The Silverado, on a steady DPC decline since 2007, has dipped this year below 75 percent — our minimum threshold for AMI-eligible vehicles. Both pickups continue to sell well, but falling DPCs have bedeviled their AMI rankings. For Ford, this is a result of “more global sourcing,” spokesman Mark Schirmer said.
That’s not to say Detroit pickups are off the list for good. The Dodge Ram 1500, whose Quad and crew cabs are assembled in Warren, Mich., has 76 percent DPC for 2010. That’s up from a lowly 53 percent for the 2009 model year, and it helped the Ram earn its first entry on the AMI. The F-150 and Silverado 1500, meanwhile, are assembled for the U.S. market in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Mexico. We’ve heard no plans from GM or Ford to move the majority of production for either U.S.-market pickup elsewhere, and given the recent volatility of DPC figures for both trucks, it’s quite possible either one could make it back on next year’s AMI.