Ram hits 20,000 sales, demand for US pickups off the charts

Ram hits 20,000 sales, demand for US pickups off the charts

Demand for US pickups remains at record levels as auto giants Ford and Toyota prepare to join the battle with Ram and Chevrolet in Australia.

R.A.M. – the largest seller of US pickup trucks in Australia – has reached a major milestone by converting its 20,000th vehicle from left-hand to right-hand drive.

The total includes 18,000 Ram vehicles sold in Australia, 1000 exported to New Zealand and another 1000 in transit en route to dealers.

The 20,000th example built was a 6.2-liter Ram 1500 TRX with supercharged V8 drive in Hydro Blue (pictured below).

RAM sales have grown at such a pace in Australia that last year the company acquired the Chevrolet side of the Melbourne assembly plant, which previously housed both competing brands under one roof.

Although it took Ram three years to eclipse the first 1000 sales and five years to eclipse the first 5000 sales, Ram Trucks Australia reported a record 6095 deliveries in the last year alone.

In other surprises, Ram outperformed its stablemate Jeep by five months last year – and with January 2023 sales figures, it has now done so for the Past five months in a row.

Record US pickup truck sales come as more Australians have opted to holiday at home following international travel restrictions and soaring air fares.

Ram Trucks Australia sold its closest competitor – the Chevrolet Silverado, distributed by General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) – by more than two to one (6095 versus 2389 last year).

A sign of our changing tastes in cars, Ram sold those too Nissan patrol for the past two years in a row.

Ram Trucks Australia reported a record 710 monthly sales in November 2022, beating previous records of 657 in October 2022, 633 in June 2022 and 604 in June 2020.

The surge in US pickup truck sales – fueled by Ram’s record growth – has prompted a reaction from Ford and Toyota, both of which plan to launch full-size pickup trucks later this year.

Ford has tested right-hand drive versions of the F-150, and Toyota has tested right-hand drive versions of the Tundra.

Ford has partnered with Thailand-based RMA Group – a Ford-backed accessories specialist that has never before undertaken a right-hand drive conversion program on this scale.

Toyota has teamed up with Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the former Holden Special Vehicles design and assembly company behind the Ram Trucks Australia and GMSV Chevrolet Silverado pickups.

Ford Australia previously sold the F-250 and F-350 – from 2001 to 2007 – but the vehicles were withdrawn from the local market after weaker than expected sales.

During a visit to Ram Trucks Australia’s Melbourne remanufacturing facility last year, Bob Graczyk, head of Ram International, said in a media statement: “When we first looked at the opportunity seven years ago and asked how big the market was could (in Australia), nobody really knew what to expect, maybe 3000, 4000, maybe 5000 (sales per year).

“Our expectations have been completely exceeded and 10,000 vehicles is now realistic – who knows, we could go up to 15,000 or 20,000. The acceptance of full-size pick-up trucks by Australians is phenomenal,” said Mr Graczyk.

Ram Trucks Australia is the world’s only Ram authorized remanufacturer of Ram right hand drive pickups.

All vehicles supplied by Ram Trucks Australia are “international specification” vehicles, uniquely coded for the Australian market and local construction process, according to the company.

Ram Trucks Australia now employs 641 assembly workers, engineers and clerks and has grown to become the largest vehicle assembler in Australia. The DS-Series Ram 1500 features 361 locally developed parts, the DT-Series Ram 1500 features 402 unique components, and the high-performance models feature 465 unique components.

  • 2022: 6095
  • 2021: 4025
  • 2020: 3320
  • 2019: 2868
  • 2018: 723
  • 2017: 398
  • 2016: 292

Ford F-Series sales in Australia:

  • 2007: 106
  • 2006: 842
  • 2005: 2111
  • 2004: 1851
  • 2003: 1956
  • 2002: 2480
  • 2001: 290

Source: Federal Chamber of the Automotive Industry and data center Drive.com.au.

MORE:Find used RAM Cars for sale
MORE:Find used RAM Cars for sale

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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