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Rams selling like hotcakes

ASV RAM Australia

Despite many pundits and journalists alike (this one included) calling for the introduction of bigger four-wheel drive utes being brought down under, many manufacturers have been dragging their feet. Perhaps after seeing the Rams selling like hotcakes, we may see a bit of a change from the other manufacturers.

Ram has been pushing the 1500 series pretty solidly, with Ateco group importing them via American Special Vehicles, and having the utes converted to Right Hand Drive (RHD) by the Walkinshaw group. Sales have followed, with Ram outpacing Great Wall, Peugeot and Fiat.

This equates to 1.2 per cent market share within the ute segment, which doesn’t sound like a great deal, however that has allowed Ram to outsell the X-Class ute from Mercedes. This is some excellent news for local Australian manufacturers are back to producing components for the use in the right-hand drive conversions. This comes after Toyota, Ford, and Holden ceased local manufacturing. Walkinshaw has had to increase shifts to 24 hours per day to keep up with demand and fill backorders of the Ram utes. Some 400 components are required to convert the rams to right-hand drive, most of which are sourced locally in Australia.

Where this will hopefully benefit the Aussie market is that Nissan has hinted and outright spoken about bringing the Titan HD to Australian shores, as has Toyota with the Tundra as a direct import. At this stage, we’ve not seen anything substantial begin to be moved across, aside from Ram and Chevrolet bringing in their full-sized utes. It will be interesting to see if the other manufacturers that have enjoyed massive success with their bigger utes in the US hasten the pace at which they’re planning to release their offerings. Do you think with the Rams selling hand over fist we’ll see more American based utes down under soon?

13 Comments

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  • The caravanning nomads have long being calling for a decent tow tug and now that Walkinshaw are giving us what we have being asking for, hopefully it will help with Utes snapping in half due to the rear wheel being too far forward thus creating a fulcrum between the cab and the tray. Now add to this mix the looming entrance to the Aussie market the 4X4 electric Ute, whether you’re talking Elon Musk’s or the Chinese/Nissan corroboration it’s going to make things interesting. Initially the biggest drawback with the electric Utes will be cost, which will start to decrease with more numbers in production. Personally I’m researching small 4X4 trucks, I.e. Isuzu and Mitsubishi. 2nd hand they’re a much cheaper option than the current $100k plus towtugs now on offer.

    • Check out via motors, Jay Leno did a YouTube show on them very interesting concept and a real solution to big ute’s / trucks being too thirsty to own

  • One key issue that has not been addressed is that our car parks, roads, our off road tracks, house garages etc have all evolved around current and earlier smaller sized vehicles.
    As it is now, some of the newer and larger dual cab utes are a very tight fit into a normal suburban parking space and the average garage.
    Yes the big utes from America are great for towing big loads but the USA also has the matching infrustructure to accommodate them.
    In a world of increasing pressure on resources maybe we should consider downsizing our caravans a little?

  • They’ve brought in the Mustang in RHD at a competitive price and a potentially smaller sports car market in comparison to the much larger SUV market. So why can’t someone bring in RHD Utes like Ford use too. First in best dress I reakon and I would certainly buy one. Just can’t justify the conversion cost of pulling apart a brand new vehicle.

  • I somehow think if Ford, who are the worlds biggest builder of Light Trucks / Utes wanted to build Right Hand Drive F Series for Australia, then it would need to be a much bigger market. It works well and probably profitable for ASV/HSV to build and sell a 1%+ share of the Australian Market. Bring in Ford, GM, Toyota & Nissan and you’re going to need a market of of well over 5% for a possible profitable outcome. For the cost of RHD tooling huge factories in the US or Mexico (Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan & Toyota). The numbers just don’t stack up. Maybe in the future we could bring in American size Trucks/Utes from these manufacturers in a “Knock Down Kit” like manufacturers used to do years ago and it may make them cheaper to convert to RHD and for end buyer. Until then we have a great boutique market with ASV & HSV. The others won’t stack up as a business sense.

    • I see you mentioned Dodge in your post. Dodge hasn’t made RAM Trucks for nearly a decade. RAM Trucks became their own company and manufacturer way back in Oct 2010.
      Dodge have no association with RAM since that date.

  • Tommy, 164K for a ram 3500 in Aus, yep I paid around that for a GMC 2500, and everyone told me I was mad, bring it in yourself and do the conversion, I say do the math, by the time you convert from $Aus to $US, then pay freight and Aus taxes, then pay for a good conversion, have the engineering done and wow your maybe a thousand or two better off, AND NO WARRANTY. I went with a local importer from Queensland who have been doing these since the 80’s, I have a good quality ute with More Australian build hours than any other Ute on the market, a 3yr 100,000km warranty and a local service agent, not to mention for a few hundred dollars more it was engineered so my wife and kids could drive it on a car licence, all it done was drop my load carrying capacity by 45kg and didn’t alter my towing capacity.
    Cheers

  • I was outback in Western Queensland last week and I was very surprised by the number of Rams and other American big utes on the road. The farmers, tradies and caravaners seem to love them.

  • I’d love to see direct imports of large pickup trucks. I was quoted $164k for a dodge 3500. They are $63,000 USD in the states new. That’s one hell of a mark up.

    Also it was $8,000 to get a bull bar where it costs approx $3k to get one on all other 4wds.

    Bring them in for under $100k as 4wds and you have a market. We need towing vehicles for farmers.

    35,100 pounds that’s 15,921kgs is what a ram 3500 can tow in the states legally. In Australia the manufacturer told me we could only tow 5500kgs and it would need to be with the tow connection inside the tray.

    Then we need a truck licence to drive one of these vehicles as law where is in the states it’s a standard drivers licence.

    These 2 things need to change to help everyone out. These vehicles have been tested in the states for a very long time towing these kinds of weights by people with car licences. Why should we be different…..

    • Yes, utes are less than a quarter of the price in the states than here. We get ripped off big time in Aust. I was in California 2011, could buy a new decked out F150, 4×4 diesel pickup for $29,990. Here in Aus, 4 times the price!

  • Would love the Ram to be a direct import, yes we loose parts produced locally but the price drops. $107000 for the Ram 1500 Diesel is a lot of money, direct would equal cheaper.

  • And hopefully Ford will run there models down the factory assembly lines like the Mustang and take out the 10 to 15 thousand dollar conversion cost

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