How to Find What Country a Car Was Made in by the VIN Number

by Leonardo R. Grabkowski

Globalization has made it difficult for someone to determine a product's country of origin. In the past, one could assume that a product from an American-based company was built in America; however, this is no longer the case. The same is also true for foreign manufacturers. For example, most Japanese cars were once built in Japan. But Japanese manufacturers now build many of their vehicles in the United States or in other countries. The best way to determine a car's country of origin is to inspect its VIN (vehicle identification number). This number tells you everything you need to know.

Step 1

Find the vehicle's VIN. The VIN is printed in several locations. The easiest place to find it is directly beneath the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle. You can also find the VIN on the driver's-side door jamb. In addition, it's printed on the vehicle's title or registration.

Step 2

Inspect the first digit in the VIN. This is the only number you need to analyze to determine what country the vehicle was built in.

Step 3

Determine if the number is "1," "4" or "5" to find out if it was made in the United States. Either of these digits represents the United States as the country of origin.

Step 4

Determine if the number is a "2." If so, the car was built in Canada.

Step 5

Determine if the number is a "3." If so, the car was built in Mexico.

Determine if the number is a "J" or "K." If so, the car was built in Asia. "J" stands for Japan, while "K" stands for Korea.

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