RAM NUMBER 1,000 ROLLS OFF THE AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION LINE
- The 1,000th RAM truck has been remanufactured in Australia since production started in December 2015.
- The American-made full-size pick-ups are remanufactured in Australia for sale in Australia and New Zealand with the Melbourne operation producing more right-hand drive RAM pick-ups than anywhere else in the world.
- With the launch of the RAM 1500 in July the second 1,000 Australian remanufactured RAM pick-up will be produced in less than half the time.
RAM Trucks Australia has produced its 1,000th RAM pick-up truck in Australia with the four-figure benchmark achieved in two and half years since production started in December 2015 but, with production of the RAM 1500 already underway ready for its July launch, RAM Trucks Australia is set to hit its second 1,000 vehicle mark in less than half the time of the first one.
Indeed, such is the planned growth of RAM in Australia in coming months, RAM pick-up trucks are now being produced on an all new production line in Melbourne ready for the significant increase in volume brought about by the arrival of the RAM 1500.
The 1,000th RAM to be produced at the Melbourne production line was a black RAM 2500 Laramie. “We deliberately launched with the RAM 2500 and 3500 as these models, with their unrivalled towing ability of up to 6.9 tonnes and the massive performance provided by 1084 Nm of torque from its Cummins Turbo Diesel, gave us models that truly brought something new to the Australian market,” says Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM trucks Australia. “But, even though there are now 1,000 of them across Australia, towing caravans, working on farms and mines, supporting the emergency services and much more, and we have proven clearly that there is a market for these mighty pick-up trucks, it is still a relatively niche market.”
“The RAM 1500 is a whole new ball park. It is priced to sit amongst the top of end of the mainstream Ute market, yet it still offers new sector benchmarks, be it the towing capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes, the unique legend that is the Hemi V8 engine under the bonnet and much more, so with the prospect of a significant increase in sales volume, a new production line was an absolute essential for our plans,” says Mr Stewart.
As the only official, factory backed and supported RAM importer in Australia and New Zealand, RAM Trucks Australia has sought to make the buying an owning experience of RAM Truck exactly the same as that of any other vehicle on sale in Australia.
To achieve this goal, it was essential to remanufacture, not convert, the vehicles from left hand to right hand drive. The production line is an essential to this plan as it enables a level of vehicle quality and consistency of product that is simply not possible with conversions, as well as enabling a volume of production that endows RAM Trucks with the capacity to have a nationwide dealer network of 36 dealers and which is set to grow 60 dealers by the end of the year.
The RAM Trucks are built in North American to specific Australia/New Zealand specifications, not just equipment and features, but also the instrument packs are metric, the radios are set to meet Australian frequency needs and even the rear lights are ready for Australia and New Zealand, amongst many built-in Australian market features. The steering wheel just happens to be on ‘the wrong’ side!
On arrival at the start of the Australian production body and chassis are completely separated and travel down their own parallel production lines. This allows unfettered and complete access to the firewall separating the engine bay and the interior, where new panel stampings are fitted with sealing and rust-proofing is done to full factory specification. The chassis has new mounting points welded in placed for the new steering systems. Meanwhile the Australian-made dashboard and Australian-made heating and ventilation systems are fitted with the instrument and telematics system from the original dashboard and then the interior is refitted to the now completed cab. Finally, at the end of the twin production line cab and chassis are ‘re-married’ and the completed vehicle rolls off the production line and heads for its new owner.
“Now that RAM is firmly established in Australia, the RAM 1500 is rolling down the production line and 1,000 RAM owners are out on Australian roads, we know number 2000 will come down the line in well under half the time" says Alex Stewart.