Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos S.A. (VAM) was an automaker in Mexico. It was established in 1963 after the Mexican Government passed a law to control the government-owned SOMEX (Sociedad Mexicana de Credito Industrial), the parent company of Willys Mexicana S.A. (established since 1946 as a distributor for Willys-Overland Jeeps) that held the license to produce and import AMC Ramblers. Willys Mexicana was transformed into VAM in 1963 after an agreement between American Motors Corporation (AMC) and the Mexican Government. At the same time, AMC took a 40% equity interest in VAM, but did not actively participate in the company's management. Government content regulations required VAM vehicles had to have at least 50% locally sourced parts.
VAM continued to manufacture AMC products under license. Many of these carried different engines, interiors, and model names than their counterparts in the U.S.A. Some models were unique, such as the VAM Lerma. All VAM engines were of AMC design, but built in Mexico. Moreover, VAM added unique engineering features to deal with low octane fuel and high altitudes. This included a 282 cubic inch (4.62 L) I6 engine that was not available from AMC. VAM also built Jeeps.
In 1982, VAM's the engineering department worked on a prototype Jeep XJ and fitted VAM's straight six into it (in place of AMC's four-cylinder or optional V6 from General Motors). AMC was so impressed by the project, which eventually developed into the 4.0-liter engine version introduced in the 1987 Cherokees.
Financial problems during a collapse of the Mexican economy (recession and devaluation of the Mexican peso) in 1982 forced the sale of the Mexican company to Renault.
This history taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehiculos_Automotores_Mexicanos
This page also features some information on other Jeeps from South America, as I have not been able to make a page for Willys Colombia yet.
1980's VAM Jeep 4x4 X.Also pictured is aVAM Jeep Renegado (not a pickup, but still pretty cool) and a VAM wagoneer.As you can notice, it is not a pickup. But I have it here for a reason. That is because the VAM Jeep pickups were based on this truck's 109 in. wheelbase. That is why the VAM 4x4 X appears to be shorter than a similar Jeep pickup of that time period.
Plans for Wilco Jeeps. I'm pretty sure these are newer. Wilco
started out as Willys' Columbian subsidary and still exists today. Note
that the front bears a strong resemblance to the YJ/Mahindra Jeeps
of the same vintage.
More Colombian Willco Jeeps. Wilco is their version of Willys and still exists today.
An advertisement for the VAM wagoneer that they based their pickups on. It was on ebay.
This is a version of the Jeep J2000 indigenous to Mexico. It has DRW wheels, but has only a single rear wheel, and also features a different rear bed than US-spec models. A very interesting vehicle.
This is a picture of a Flatfender/ J-truck hybrid produced in Mexico by VAM, known as the "chassis largo" When I first saw it in the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, I thought that it was a custom vehicle created by the prop department, but this confirms its existence. For better pictures, see the Once Upon a Time in Mexico page.
I do not know much about this picture, other than the fact that this Jeep J-series truck was in use by the Mexican army as an ambulance. I do not know whether it was imported from America or domestically produced. If anyone has more info on this pic, please send us an email.
These are some more pictures of the VAM "chassis largo" which seems to be a combination of the Jeep CJ and J-series truck. The owner was calling it a "jeep HD" meaning Heavy Duty. The white vehicle is a 1978 model, I do not know the years of the others. The last 2 pictures are of one of these vehicles that is still in use with the Mexican army. If anyone has any more info on these vehicles, we would appreciate it if you could contact us.
(click on the thumbnail to enlarge the picture)
These pictures of a 1983 Jeep 4x4 X were sent to us by an owner who was looking for parts for his vehicle. The 4x4 X was different from American models because it was based on the 109 in. Wagoneer wheelbase and not that of the J-series truck, causing it to look shorter than its American counterparts. A very interesting truck.
to go back to index, click on the Jeepney