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Strong demand from South Africa and Australia could result in RHD Ram

17.01.2018

With its launch at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit having taken place earlier this week, a new report from Australia has alleged that Fiat-Chrysler owned Ram is looking into the possibility of making its 1500 pick-up available in right-hand drive (RHD).

Coming mere days after Ford reportedly hinted that it might introduce a RHD version of the next generation F150 and after Nissan alluded to similar plans with the Titan last year, Ram and Jeep Global Brand CEO Mike Manley, in an interview with motoring.com.au, stated that "we working very, very closely with our Australian colleagues to look to see if its viable for us to do that".

At present, versions of the bigger Ram 2500 and 3500 are imported and converted to right-hand drive by American Special Vehicles (ASV), a joint venture between Ateco Automotive and Walkinshaw Performance, with the sole engine option being the 6.7-litre Cummins straight-six turbodiesel engine outputting 276 kW and a mammoth 1 084 Nm of torque.

Quizzed further, Manley also stated that demand for Ram models has been on the increase in South Africa, where examples been converted into right-hand drive by Richards Bay based US Truck Sales since 2006, albeit like ASV, without full FCA backing.

"Because it’s not just Australia you know. [There’s] South Africa as well … some of the mines use right-hand drive too. It’s something we continue to look at. We’re very closely tied to those guys in those markets.

Earlier this year, General Motors owned Holden confirmed that its Holden Special Vehicles division had received approval to convert the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD to RHD, although don't expect this model to become a global consideration following GM's mass pullout from a number of markets since 2016.

Until now, examples of the Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin have been fitted with right-hand drive thanks to Queensland based Performax International, whose resume also includes the Titan and Toyota Tundra.

Despite being a potentially costly exercise relative to the sales volumes from RHD countries, Manley merely stated that, “If it becomes viable, you’ll see it".

Article written by Autodealer
17.01.2018
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