Official: RAM 1500 for Australia
Full-size pick-up to arrive here for the price of a top-spec mid-size ute within months
https://www.motoring.com.au/official-ra ... ia-111634/
Congrats, my Australian visitors!The RAM 1500 pick-up will become available here for the first time via Australia’s official RAM importer, Ateco Group, by mid-2018.
The move will make the RAM 1500 the first full-size pick-up to be offered in Australia for around the same price as a top-shelf mid-size ute.
With the most expensive versions of the top-selling Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger – and the Volkswagen Amarok and upcoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class – priced above $60,000, the RAM 1500 could start from as little as $70,000.
That will make it significantly cheaper than the bigger RAM 2500 and 3500 models that have been available via Ateco’s national dealer network since 2015. The RAM 2500 is currently priced from about $130,000.
Ateco Group made it clear the RAM 1500 will directly target Australia’s most popular utes in the country’s fastest growing sales segment.
“The RAM 1500 will enable the RAM to compete in what is the largest segment of the ute market for the first time,” it said in a press release this morning.
It said the RAM 1500 will be “a unique full-size American pick-up truck that sets new benchmarks for towing, cabin space and ability”.
Full details of the first official RAM 1500 to be sold in Australia are yet to be announced, but it will be available in four-door crew-cab and double-cab forms, in two trim levels and with five or six seats.
Although its payloads will be similar to that of many existing ‘one-tonners’, the RAM 1500’s trump card will be towing capacity, which will easily exceed the 3500kg offered by most mid-size utes.
Like the RAM 2500 and 3500, of which Ateco sold about 400 last year (up 36 per cent on 2016), the RAM 1500 should therefore appeal to the caravan, boating and equestrian sectors.
As well, Ateco says the RAM 1500 will deliver class-leading towing, power, cab size and cargo space, with a tub length of up to nearly two metres and options like the unique RamBox Cargo Management System.
There are only two catches. Initially the RAM 1500 will only be offered here with a “class-exclusive” 5.7-litre HEMI V8 petrol engine. However, we understand a diesel version will become available later.
And we’re talking about the previous MY18 RAM 1500, not the all-new MY19 model revealed at the Detroit motor show in January.
Again, however, motoring.com.au understands the redesigned RAM 1500 will eventually become available here, but only after it extensive re-engineered as a right-hand drive vehicle.
Now on sale in North America alongside the 2018 model, which continues on sale, the more expensive 2019 RAM 1500 brings a host of technical advances including electric steering, for example.
Like the RAM2500/3500, the RAM 1500 will be converted from LHD to RHD – including fitment of a specific steering system and Australian-made dashboard — by HSV sister company American Special Vehicles in Melbourne.
Like Ford F-Series trucks converted and sold in Australia via Performax International and Harrison F-Trucks, which offers the F-150 only in high-spec guises such as the Raptor, RAM trucks come with full Australian Design Rule compliance.
But because Ateco is Australia’s exclusive factory-backed RAM importer and distributor, it is officially classed as a remanufactured vehicle — not a conversion – and offered with a three-year/100,000km warranty backed by a national dealer network with more than 30 outlets.
Confirmation of the RAM 1500 for Australia comes just days after global RAM boss Mike Manley told us exclusively at last week’s Geneva motor show that US factory RHD RAM production is now unlikely, effectively guaranteeing Ateco and ASV a long-term business opportunity.
With RHD production or local conversion of the Nissan Titan now also now unlikely, the RAM 1500’s only direct full-size pick-up competitor in Australia will be the new Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which HSV is expected to eventually add to its remanufactured Silverado 2500/3500 range on sale mid-year.