Customers wanting to get their hands on a fresh-faced DT-series Ram 1500 in Australia will have to wait a little longer yet.
The fifth generation of the iconic Ram truck went on sale in its native North America in 2018, but will not be available to Australians until next year, contrary to media reports that it could lob in Australia ‘within months’.
DS-series Ram 1500s powered by a 5.7-litre petrol V8 are sold locally by distributor ATECO, attracting an ever-growing customer base.
The pick-ups are converted to right-hand drive at the same facility in Clayton, south-east Melbourne, where Walkinshaw handles the re-engineering process for the Silverado 1500. Walkinshaw is contracted by ATECO to complete the remanufacturing process for the Ram.
Replacing the DS model overseas, the DT-series carries over the same engine but has a revised interior, with a large 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The new model also grows dimensionally, but sheds some all-important kilos thanks to the use of aluminium for certain body panels.
While unable to be drawn on what specification the DT-series Ram 1500 would be in Australia, a spokesperson for ATECO said the model would be available “from early 2021”.
“It will be a highly specified, luxurious, full-size, full-volume truck which will complement and further expand our product offering,” he told Wheels.
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Eager customers currently can purchase a right-hand-drive DT-series 1500 from one of the low-volume conversion specialists around the country. However, ATECO has been hard at work with Walkinshaw to get the DT-series Ram ready for Australian customers with approval from North America.
“As the world’s only factory-authorised RHD manufacturer of Ram trucks, each nameplate undergoes a thorough re-engineering process which designs and produces the required right-hand-drive parts,” the spokesperson said.
Going some way towards explaining the extended wait for the DT-series’ arrival is the fact the model shares only a handful of parts with the DS-series model that is currently offered to Australian customers.
“We have over 600 new parts that we’ve designed and engineered for DT alone,” the spokesperson added.
Since becoming the official distributor of Ram trucks locally, ATECO has invested over $100 million in tools, equipment, inventory, and stock for the re-engineering process.
With the Clayton facility running around the clock, more than 5000 Rams have rolled off the Australian production line - helped, no doubt, by a more than 300 percent increase in sales last year.