American-sourced trucks are booming down under

Aussies' thirst for big, converted dual-cab utes like RAM is growing

Ram 1500 Main Jpg

Bigger means better, right? If Aussie sales of converted American-based ‘trucks’ like RAM are anything to go by, the old adage might just be true.

We can’t seem to get enough of the oversized dual cabs down under.

RAM, like HSV’s converted Chevrolet Silverado and, potentially, the Nissan Titan, is here to fill the void for those who think something like a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux is a bit too small.

According to VFACTS, the demand is certainly growing, with the monthly data revealing RAM is outselling brands such as Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Jaguar.

The figures equate to 1960 sales this year to date, or an average of 219 sales per month so far in 2019.

The rate of progress is seeing RAM’s year-on-year increases sit at around 200 percent compared to the corresponding month in 2018 (although it is admittedly coming from a low base).

A spokesman for RAM Trucks Australia claimed that our domestic dual-cab market is a particularly competitive one, but one which has shown headroom for bigger and more expensive metal.

“It’s a vehicle [RAM] Australians want – the sales figures reflect that demand.”

To keep up with the conversions, Walkinshaw Automotive’s re-manufacturing facility in Clayton, Victoria, is ramping up the production line.

“There are three shifts, and an extended production line, to increase capacity and meet demand.”

The most popular model is the smaller RAM 1500, which is powered by a 5.7-Litre Hemi V8 with 291kW/556Nm and can be purchased for less than $80,000 in base trim.

Fuel economy isn’t the aim of the game here (there’s a 121-litre tank to keep you truckin’) but what you can pull behind it is.

One justification for the shift to bigger utes is that they are “full-size American pick-up trucks” with heavy-duty towing capacities and an 845kg payload.

While most of the largely four-cylinder turbo-diesel-based dual-cab segment offers 3.5 tonnes, the RAM 1500 has a “maximum braked towing capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes”.

There’s a healthy network of almost 50 RAM dealerships in Australia.​

 

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