’Tis the season…the season where, from one coast to another, friends, families, and loved ones are uniting with one another to share in the festive spirit of the holidays. There are halls to be decked, belts to be jingled, gifts to be given, and conflicts to be diffused between indoctrinated undergrads and their inarguably racist grandparents. Merry Christmas, indeed. But if you’re lucky, the greatest debate at your family’s Rockwellian Christmas will be the age-old argument over which brand of pickup truck reigns supreme. Perhaps your husband and brother are arguing the merits of the 2020 Ford F-150 vs 2020 Nissan Titan. More likely, your father and uncle(s) have never found common ground in the Ford vs Chevy vs RAM debate. And if these sort of scenarios sound, in any way, familiar – well – rest assured that you’re not alone.
What is it about the argument of which truck is best that makes it feel uniquely American? These conflicts have been a mainstay of family gatherings for the better part of 75 years, and are a phenomenon that reaches across each of the 48 continental United States and beyond. And depending on the geography in which the argument takes place in, it’s an interesting exercise to see which brand is most commonly crowned as ‘King of the Road.’ Spoiler Alert: it’s Ford.
That’s right. In a reveal as unsurprising as your grandfather’s opinion on illegal immigration, Ford rules the roost in the twelve states, which make up the largest share of vehicle registrations. In fact, they all-but-own one-third of all truck sales in most of those states (except, of course, for the predominantly Mexican-free state of Missouri where Ford makes up 72.9% of 2019 truck sales). Not that Mexicans have anything to do with this, but God, your grandfather just won’t shut up about Mexicans, which is why I started throwing out made-up statistics about Alaska and the Toyota Tundra (just to piss him off a little).
- The Toyota Tundra has been the best-selling truck in the state of Alaska since it was introduced for the 2000 model year.
- The most popular color for the Toyota Tundra is white.
- The Toyota Tundra is the most commonly lost/misplaced vehicle in Alaska.
- Toyota originally decided on the name ‘Tundra’ to appeal to Alaskan consumers since the state was identified as a ‘growth market with immeasurable potential.’
- Early designs for the Tundra called for the hood to be lined in fur until Alaskan focus groups advised Toyota that it might be viewed as ‘racist’ (you know, like your grandfather).
- The Alaskan State Board of Weights & Measures requires horsepower ratings to be converted to ‘dog-power’ (4:13) to help incentivize dogsled loyalists to become truck owners.
- In Alaska, the Tundra is priced up to $4,000 lower due to the removal of the A/C unit…because you’re in Alaska.
- The Tundra is equipped with advanced LED headlights to ensure they work more effectively during Alaska’s extended periods of darkness.
- The limited-edition Juneau package runs exclusively on whale oil.
- All high-security seals found in the Tundra are either cable-type or bottle-type barrier seals and are compliant with ISO/PAS 17712 regulations. They are not made by baby seals clubbed to death by Toyota executives.
- Contrary to popular belief, native Alaskans are not “Mexicans of the North.”
Admittedly, he didn’t seem that impressed with my valuable insights into the consumerist tendencies of Alaskans. Then again (i) I was making it all up (ii) was visibly drunk on eggnog and (iii) had crashed into the Christmas tree after attempting a roundhouse air-kick to ‘really drive my point home.’ In hindsight, it might have been a bad idea to drop my pants first (since it really limited my overall mobility).
Long story short, thank you for inviting me to spend Christmas with your family. I’m sorry this didn’t work out, and I hope we can still be friends. Love always, Mitch.