Tips, Tricks & Trends

Do You Know Where Your Car Was Built?

If Honda and Toyota are Japanese companies, then their cars are built in Japan, right? No, not really. Actually most Honda, Acura, Toyota, Kia, and even BMW cars are built right here in the U.S. while some other cars, like those that wear Ford, GM, and Dodge are actually built in other places on the globe. If you’re wondering where your car was built, then we’ll tell you how to find out and then surprise you with a few cars that you probably didn’t know were built in other parts of the world.

Your car’s VIN says a lot

If you want to know where your car was built, all you have to do is check out the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find it on the multiple spots on the car, including the door jambs, underneath the hood, or even on the bottom part of the trunk lid or cargo door. However, the easiest place to spot it is on the bottom of the windshield, on the driver’s side.

That 17-character alphanumeric string tells you a lot about your car, believe it not, so let’s decipher it. Look at the first digit of the VIN, if it’s a 1,4, or 5, then it indicates that the car was built in the U.S., a 2 means it was built in Canada, 3, Mexico, J means Japan, K means South Korea, S means England, W means Germany, and Z mean Italy. The tenth digit in the VIN is the model year, the 11th is the assembly plant, and the last six digits indicate the vehicle’s production number. As you can imagine, you would be hard-pressed to find a “000001” at the end of your car’s VIN.

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You probably couldn’t guess where these cars were built

Now that we know how to identify where a car was built, here are a few cars that are currently in the market that were built in some surprising locations:

Audi Q7

Built in Slovakia. We bet you never would have guessed that considering Audi is a German company. But the real question is: Where is Slovakia located?

A Audi Q7 60 TFSIe Quattro is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview at Messe Wien, as part of Vienna Holiday Fair
The Audi Q7 | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

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Jeep Renegade

Built in Italy. Weird, right? Although, it’s not so weird if you remember that Fiat owns Chrysler and Jeep. And if you didn’t know, the Renegade is built right alongside it’s Italian cousin, the Fiat 500. Ciao!

A Jeep Renegade Trailhawk drives down a dirt road
A Jeep Renegade Trailhawk driving down a dirt road | Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Honda Civic Type R

Built in England. While most of Honda’s model are built in Ohio, there Civic Hatchback and hot-hatch Type R are actually built in Swindon, England.

Blue 2020 Honda Civic Type R driving around a corner
2020 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Chevrolet Spark

Built in South Korea. So this one might not be a massive surprise considering GM has global ties with Daewoo (a Korean car company) and the Spark is sold in over 50 different countries.

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is presented during the press preview of the 2015 New York International Auto Show
The Chevy Spark | JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

Ford EcoSport

Built in India. Apparently, Ford’s smallest SUV is the only new car that is built in India and imported to the U.S. That’s a fun fact.

Ford EcoSport
All-new Ford EcoSport delivers a fun, capable and connected driving experience in a compact SUV loaded with technology.

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There’s many more where those came from

If you want your mind blown even more, check out Kelley Blue Book’s extensive list of where some cars are surprisingly built as these were only a few of them. And now that you know where your car was built, you can eagerly pass this knowledge onto your friends and family so they can know a little more about their cars.