For drivers over the age of 30, you may remember Chevrolet as the “heartbeat of America.” But are these all-American trucks actually made in America? For the most part, yes, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about where Chevy trucks are made.
Chevrolet is one of several brands owned by General Motors Corporation (GMC). GMC is a large multinational company founded and headquartered in Michigan. Currently, they operate facilities in 35 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Brazil. In addition to Chevy, other GMC brands include Cadillac, Pontiac, and Buick.
The two main models of Chevy trucks are the Silverado and Colorado. The Silverado is constructed in Flint, Michigan, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Springfield, Ohio, and Silao, Mexico. The Fort Wayne plant and the Mexico plant also produce the popular GMC Sierra. The Chevy Colorado, on the other hand, is only built in the plant located in Wentzville, Missouri.
The locations mentioned above are assembly plants, where the vehicles are constructed and manufactured. However, Chevy truck parts are sourced from all around the world. In the US alone, Chevy parts are made by 38 US companies and GMC-owned facilities.
On the global level, Chevy sources parts from five Mexican companies, four Japanese companies, three companies each in Canada and Brazil, two each in South Korea and France, and individual partners in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, India, and Thailand. So while Chevy trucks are assembled in America, they’re truly a global product.
The majority of parts are produced in Michigan, with the bulk of production facilities located in and around Flint. This includes most of the manufacturing of frames and engine blocks. Foreign-made parts are mostly used in electronics and some interior pieces.
Chevy also operates joint ventures or has partnerships in a handful of other countries, including Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. However, it should be noted that these businesses are not directly related to Chevy trucks.
In order to be considered “Made in the USA,” at least 50 percent of a vehicle must be produced in the US and Canada. All Chevy trucks fit these criteria, with 62% of Silverado parts and 71% of Colorado parts made in the US or Canada.
During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the US government purchased the majority of GM stock to keep the company afloat. GM ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and was forced to reorganize and close some divisions, including their Saturn brand of vehicles.
In 2010, a bankruptcy settlement was reached, and GM’s stock was reissued. At the time, the three top shareholders were three of the company’s new top executives: Don Amman, Mary Teresa Barra, and Mark Reuss. At this point, the US government was no longer a shareholder.
Currently, GM’s three largest shareholders are the Vanguard Group, the Capital Research and Management Company, and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway firm.
Other businesses and institutions hold large portions of GM stock throughout the world since it’s considered a reliable investment. Much of the company’s remaining shares are owned by individual shareholders, whether directly or through investments in mutual funds.
You may have noticed one glaring omission from our list: China. This is despite the fact that GM and Chinese automaker SAIC motor have a 50-50 stake in several Chinese factories. These plants manufacture Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet vehicles, among other GM brands. Therefore, some Chevy trucks are actually made in China.
So, why wasn’t China on our list of countries? The answer is that the US government is currently imposing a 27.5% import tax on Chinese-made vehicles. As a result, it’s not profitable to make trucks in China and ship them to the US in the current market.
For the time being, Chinese-made Chevy trucks are only sold in the China market. Future developments will depend on the course of the current US-China trade war.
So where are Chevy trucks made? As alluded to above, Chevy trucks are made in many parts of the world. Countries like Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Canada all play their role in producing some of America’s most beloved trucks. The U.S. still has the most production facilities, with Chevrolet’s primary plant residing just outside of Motor City in Flint, Michigan. This site alone has produced over 13 million units. Chevrolet continues to be a powerhouse in the American automotive market, and with this level of production and collaboration, it’s poised to remain one of the world’s premier automakers.