1 Heavy-Duty ‘American’ Pickup Truck is Actually Made in Mexico

The pickup truck is as American as apple pie, right? Whether the Ford Super Duty or GMC Sierra 3500, most heavy-duty pickup trucks are assembled in the U.S. But not the Ram. Every single heavy-duty Ram truck is built in Saltillo, Mexico.

Are Ram trucks made in Mexico?

Ram assembles the 1500 in Sterling Heights, Michigan. In addition, it assembles all Ram 1500 Classics that have four doors in Warren, Michigan. But Ram builds every other truck, including its heavy-duty models, in Mexico.

Blue Ram power wagon driving up a dirt trail in the desert.
2022 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab | Stellantis

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The Stellantis company’s heavy-duty trucks include its Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups. This category also includes the cab/chassis Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500. Ram assembles all of these truck in its Saltillo, Mexico facility.

If you buy a two-door light-duty Ram truck, badged as a Ram 1500 Classic, it will also come from Mexico. Finally, Ram assembles every ProMaster van in Mexico.

The Saltillo plant also builds a special trucks for the Mexican market: the Ram 4000. It has a heavy payload capacity and available manual transmission. The Saltillo factory actually assembled its 4 millionth vehicle, a Ram 2500, in 2019.

Are Mexican-built Ram trucks any good?

Ram builds its heavy-duty trucks in Mexico, and they may be higher quality because of it. Allpar reports that Chrysler recognized its Saltillo, Mexico facility for achieving the highest build quality of any Ram truck.

Mexican factory worker cuts a piece of metal while assembling a heavy-duty truck.
Factory worker assembling a truck in Mexico | PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

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Chrysler corporation opened its Saltillo factory way back in 1995. Today, Ram’s Saltillo truck assembly plant is a 49-acre facility with over 212,000 feet of floor space. The factory employs more than 4,000 union workers across three shifts.

Saltillo buys into the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) system. WCM is a manufacturing methodology used across several brands. The system is built around increasing quality and decreasing waste. WCM leverages an engaged workforce that is offering suggestions to improve the process. In 2012, Saltillo achieved the WCM’s bronze award level. The Saltillo plant not only processes all its own waste on site, but also produces excess drinking water for the surrounding city.

What trucks are built in Mexico?

It’s not just heavy-duty Rams being assembled in Mexico. Many GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 pickups hail from Mexico. In addition, Toyota has moved some of its Tacoma production across the border.

Three heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks parked on a road overlooking a desert valley.
2022 Ram heavy-duty trucks | Stellantis

Ram is not the only automaker to build all of its two-door pickup trucks in Mexico. Every light-duty regular-cab General Motors pickup truck is assembled in Silao, Mexico. This means all two-door GMC Sierra 1500s and Chevy Silverado 1500s come from Mexico.

GM builds some, but not all, crew cab variations of these trucks in Mexico as well. Note that General Motors assembles all of its midsize pickup trucks and heavy-duty pickup trucks in the United States.

Toyota launched the Tundra as the first full-size truck built in the United States by a Japanese company. Today, Toyota still assembles every Tundra in San Antonio, Texas. For years, Toyota built every Tacoma alongside the Tundra. But recently, the company moved some Tacoma production to Mexico.

Are you curious where your truck is made? There’s an easy way to find out: Check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Every car and truck assembled in the U.S. has a VIN that starts with one, four, or five. Canadian-manufactured vehicles have a VIN starting with two. Vehicles from Mexico have a VIN that begins with three.

Click here to read about the only full-size truck on the “American-made” index or learn what other vehicles are built abroad in the CNBC video below:

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