Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM)

Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos (VAM) was founded in 1946 under the Willys Mexicana SA name and manufactured automobiles in Mexico until 1989. It originally produced vehicles licensed under Willys-Overland and American Motors Corporation (AMC).

In 1963 the company became government controlled so VAM became its own company, transforming from Willys Mexicana through an agreement with AMC and the government.

In late 1980 Renault assumed the majority of AMC ownership in VAM and the last AMC based vehicles were produced in 1983. In 1984 several Renault-based models were produced with a VAM nameplate.

The Mexican economy collapse that began in 1982 caused financial problems and the Mexican Government’s share in VAM was sold to Renault. But the government paid Renault $200 million to take over VAM in 1987 and Renault closed down VAM’s company.

Automobiles produced by VAM include models based on American made vehicles. In the 1940s and 1950s versions of Jeep and AMC vehicles were produced. In the 1960s versions of the Rambler American, AMC Rebel and AMC Javelin. In the 1970s versions of the AMC Hornet, Gremlin, Javelin,  Pacer, Matador and Spirit. In the 1980s until the closing of the company, versions of the AMC Hornet, Gremlin and other models were produced.

One model produced by VAM was the Lerma, but was only sold in Mexico.

All engines used in VAM vehicles were AMC designed built in Mexico with engineering differences for the higher altitude and lower octane fuel. VAM vehicles did not have any V-8 engine options, so a bored out 258 cu. in. I6 engine was used.

Image Caption: A modified version of the Eagle Premier was the last vehicle produced by VAM for a few months in 1987. Credit: CZmarlin/Wikipedia (public domain)