Deciphering the VIN

Here’s How to Tell Where Your Vehicle Was Assembled

It’s often hard for the average consumer to know where the products he or she buys are made. That’s because many manufacturers go to great lengths to hide the fact that their products are not made in the USA by workers making a decent wage.

In the automobile industry, many vehicles are sourced from multiple countries. So that nice new car you buy that you thought was made in the United States may have been made in Mexico or elsewhere. Using the 2018 UAW Union-Built Buying Guide is one way to ensure you are making a purchase that protects decent-paying jobs at home.

If you look at the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can get an early clue on where the vehicle was made. A VIN beginning with a 1, 4, or 5 indicates that the vehicle was assembled in the United States; a VIN beginning with a 2 indicates it was assembled in Canada; a VIN beginning with a 3 indicates the vehicle was made in Mexico.

The attached graphic breaks down the VIN even further. Take a look at the second spot on the VIN. That tells you who the manufacturer is. The 11th spot on the VIN tells you what plant your vehicle is from. Match the VIN code with the code on the chart and you will know if the vehicle is assembled in a plant that has workers who are earning a decent wage and helping their communities remain stable.