Fast-growing American pickup brand Ram is pleased in its Australian partners Ram Trucks Australia and will help the local distributor and converter remain competitive in the face of new rivals.
Ram’s local conversion is the result of a partnership between the Walkinshaw Group and Neville Crichton, owner of Ateco Automotive, which aims to sell 10,000 Rams this year and grow to 20,000 in the near future.
Though the brand managed 6,149 vehicle sales in Australia in 2022 and looks set to do 10,000 based on its current monthly run rate in 2023, that might change as the American truck market is set to heat up in Australia with the arrival of the Ford F-150 later this year.
Priced from $106,950 before on-road costs, Ford’s best-selling model in the U.S., will be going after the Ram 1500, which starts at $98,950 before on-roads for the Express Crew Cab.
Speaking to the Australian media in New York, Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr confirmed the relationship with the Australian distributor remains strong.
“We appreciate everything that the team in Australia and New Zealand is doing, they’ve been fantastic partners for us and you see the numbers. I mean, we’re growing leaps and bounds year after year,” Mr Koval said.
“In fact, 2022 is the best year of the history of the brand in that market. So [we are] very pleased with how things are going.”
In order to help Ram hit its targets in Australia, Koval confirmed the brand will support the local distributor to remain competitive if price becomes an issue.
“We have a strong working relationship, [it’s] open and transparent. Their success is our success and vice versa… So we, we have to work together and if there are challenges that we need to [meet], I think one of the things that we always have to do is we have to ensure competitiveness,” he said.
“We will always have those conversations and the doors are always open.”
Mr Koval was upbeat about the potential for the Ram 1500 electric ute heading to Australia and for our market to be treated as an even more serious contender for future products.
“We are a global brand more than ever. For sure historically, Ram brand sales have been predominantly in North America. Not anymore,” he said.
“If you look at the numbers of South America, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand… which is where something like this [Ram 1500 REV] can really help us. Right? So no, this is all about global growth.
“This electrification is game-changing for all of us. So especially in the truck segment. With full knowledge of what the other guys have announced.”
The Ram 1500 REV has a range of more than 800km with more than 650hp, but it won’t go into production until at least late 2024, meaning Australian conversions and deliveries are unlikely to start until mid-to-late 2025. Nonetheless, the pure electric EV ute may be the start of a new era for the American brand’s globalisation strategy.