Skip to main content

The pickup truck is a North American icon. They are popular in the U.S.A. and Canada, and I’m here to tell you pickup trucks are also popular in Mexico. All of the Detroit Three assemble and sell pickup trucks in Mexico, but some of their Mexican market models look a bit different than what we get in the U.S.A.

The Ram 4000

Ram 400 Chassis in a press photo from the side view is a pickup truck made in Mexico

I have to start off with the Ram 4000. This unique heavy-duty truck has the distinction of being the final full-size manual truck built by any one of the Detroit Three. The Ram 4000 earns its name because of its payload capacity–much higher than the 3500’s. It is essentially a heavy-duty Ram truck with stiffened rear springs. Ram offers it as a chassis cab and it is a popular platform for purpose-built vehicles such as agricultural transports and buses.

So what’s up with the Ram 4000’s five-speed manual transmission? One of the ways Ram makes this truck cheaper to buy and operate than other heavy-duty trucks is by offering it with a smaller 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and manual transmission. This improves its fuel efficiency–if its driver is willing to shift often.

The Ram 700

A white Ram 700 compact pickup truck with a short "regular" cab parked in front of a yellow wall in Mexico.
Ram 700 | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

At the other end of the pickup truck spectrum from the Ram 4000 is the Ram 700. This compact, unibody pickup truck is based on the Fiat Strada and assembled at a Stellantis plant in Brazil. Its MSRP is about $16k, its horsepower tops out at 98, and if you aren’t in a hurry, it can carry up to 1,650 pounds.

When I was last in Mexico, I spotted both extended cab and regular cab variants of the Ram 700. It’s a popular truck for families, but companies and municipalities also prize it for its fuel efficiency. Fiat makes a bigger compact–the Toro–which is rebadged as the Ram 1000 at the same factory in Brazil. But the Ram 1000 is only available in Brazil.

The Ford Maverick

Lumber rack fit into the Ford Maverick's unique flex bed that makes it a unique pickup truck for the Mexican market.
Ford Maverick truck bed | Henry Cesari, MotorBiscuit

I know, isn’t the Ford Maverick available in the U.S.A.? Doesn’t it have the most star-spangled name of any pickup? The truth is that the Maverick is assembled in Hermosillo, Mexico. And with only 26% of the parts going into it hailing from the U.S.A. or Canada, it is one of the least “American-made” pickup trucks on the U.S. market. So why is the Ford Maverick more Mexican than U.S.A. born? It may be because Ford is targeting it at the Mexican market.

Buyers in the U.S. certainly love the Maverick’s low MSRP, the cheap cost to drive (40 mpg+ around town), with the utility of a small truck bed. But in Mexico, it is also very popular. I saw multiple tradespeople who had used the lumber-sized slots in the truck’s “flex bed” to build out custom racks. In Mexico, the Maverick is a work truck.

Next, read all about the manual transmission Ram 4000 or see a Mexican-market Ford Ranger in the video below: