Ram Expands Full Lineup to Australia

Ram Laramie OZ Interior 2[2]

By Tim Esterdahl

Just in case you haven't noticed, the Ram brand is growing these days and not just in the U.S. The next major conquest for the Ram Nation could be Australia.

Two announcements highlight this growth: First, a new import agreement was reached to dramatically increase the number of trucks coming into Australia. Second, SCD American Vehicles, a low-volume Australian converter, has announced it will begin importing the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Both of these announcements will help grow Ram's sales and put pressure on rival truckmakers.

While the EcoDiesel half-ton will be new for Australia, Ram heavy-duty models have been around for years thanks to the outfitters like SCD. Still, Australia is about to get many more of them due to the new import and conversion program.

The deal, constructed by Fiat Chrysler New Zealand, allows the limitless import of these trucks thanks to the new "Full Volume" Australian Design Rules compliance. Essentially, the deal allows Fiat Chrysler New Zealand to import as many trucks as it can sell.

The Australian auto market already features a variety of U.S. full-size trucks thanks to import and conversion operations. You can find Ford F-Series, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra models there.

Fiat Chrysler New Zealand says it plans to offer Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks in September after they have been converted by a yet-to-be-announced Australian firm. The current deal with Fiat Chrysler New Zealand does not call for the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel; that truck will only be available through low-volume importers like SCD.

When Ram announced it was going to offer a small diesel in a half-ton, most of the focus was on American consumers and whether there was demand for it. However, others knew there would be global demand for half-ton turbo-diesels. So starting in September the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will go Down Under along with the Ram HDs.

SCD American Vehicles will import and convert the Ram EcoDiesel, which will be sold through Dodge Trucks. SCD has been converting Ram 2500s and 3500s for almost 10 years and boasts more than 300 truck conversions.

Eddie Kocwa, director of Dodge Trucks, said the EcoDiesel is really what got Australians interested in the 1500. They see it as a way to address a need in the marketplace.

"With the 1500 size truck, the demand is very high," Kocwa said. "Currently, Australian-delivered trucks are not big enough to tow most caravans and fifth-wheelers. We also believe the tradesman will find these Rams very practical for work vehicles."

These converted trucks won't be cheap though. Kocwa said a regular-cab Ram 1500 costs around $82,000 in Australian dollars (roughly $64,500 U.S.), and prices will go up from there depending on configuration. He also said the most popular models will likely be the top-of-the-line Laramie Limited crew cabs.

Australians can also import a truck on their own and have it shipped from a U.S. dealer. Once it arrives, SCD offers a conversion and compliance package for $39,000 Australian.

In the end, importing and converting Ram pickups is a pretty expensive endeavor. But Kocwa believes the contraction of the Australian automotive industry in the past few years combined with growth in the use of recreational trailers means there is plenty of opportunity for full-size trucks to flourish.

SCD American Vehicles images


Ram Laramie OZ Interior[2] TE


Lol! Certain Australian commentators may have to take back some words...

Good for FCA.

Is this really what the conversion looks like? The 4x4 switch on the passenger side and the shifter on the door side. Seems they could do a complete left drive as a factory option.

not to mention the floor hump on the floorboard on the that side of the truck. Nowhere to pot your left foot with that side being the drivers side.

I can't wait for Bafo to drive one with ecodiesel.

Interesting, I wasn't aware that Australia had so many full sized trucks down there. I always keep hearing about mid-sized this and that.

"With the 1500 size truck, the demand is very high," Kocwa said. Currently, Australian-delivered trucks are not big enough to tow most caravans and fifth-wheelers"

Yup that sounds about right we all new BAFOZ was lieing.

Fiat Chrysler grasping for every sale they can get before they are bought out, at least they hope somebody will merge with them before they go down the tubes. GM wanted nothing to do with them after Fiat Chrysler contacted them in March asking for a merger. Hopefully some other auto manufacturer will merge with them and absorb the debt that will eventually take Fiat Chrysler down. If not, the Ram will be like the Studebaker pickup, just a memory.

There are a couple of issue with this article which doesn't seem to be quite accurate.

1. Towing? The way Tim has written the towing comment can be taken two ways. The first is the current US import grey pickups can't tow, or the current vehicles we have in Australia can tow. It is an ambiguous comment on Tim's part.

2. Work Truck? A tradie isn't going to spend $80k on a truck to carry some shovels and hammers, when he can have that right now for 1/3 the price. It just ain't goin' to happen.

It will cost me $39k for a conversion, let alone the purchase of the vehicle. $39k will get you into a good midsizer work truck here that can carry 3 000lbs. What is the Ram 1500 rated to? Especially at $80k. So to carry some shovels,etc you need to spend near on $100k.

We earn a far higher income here than in the US, but not to that level.

3. It seem since this company was converting Ram HDs and FCA has decided that HSV will convert the HDs for less money FCA had to placate this guy who has a relatively large investment in converting the Ram HDs.

4. These will not sell as well as the HDs. These will not tow a fifth wheel either.

They will sell, but may a few a month.

These will be toys like the rest of the US pickups here.

Sorry guys.

This doesn't have much to do with FCA, other than FCA has allowed Ram HDs to be converted at a factory by HSV (a subsidiary of GM/Holden).

A person already had a factory here converting Ram HDs. When FCA made the deal with FCA NZ to convert vehicles to meet current ADRs the person already doing the conversions has lost out big time.

So, FCA is helping him out after they just screwed him over.

The Ram 1500 will not sell in big numbers. They can't tow a fifth wheel, carry one ton, etc. They are too large to off road as effectively as the midsizers.

For Outback touring, spares will be an issue, plus again the Ram 1500 has a very restrictive load, similar to a station wagon. Put 6 Jerry cans of diesel in the back and you can't bring your tent or food.

So, they are of little use other than for "show and tell" with your friends.

BAFO: "we earn a far higher income here that in the US", but you forget to mention you PAY a lot more for fuel,taxes, and food than we do here! As everything is relative gas here is just over $2/gal, what do you pay? and that "free health care you talk about? who "pays" for that? your taxes! You need to STOP comparing the two Countries and implying yours is so much better, as they are both Great in their own ways, only we can own nicer and more powerful pistols, rifles and other weapons you can not!

Will the Ecodiesel have the same pathetic tow/haul ratings over their?
80-100k means it will be a toy for the rich who don't really need a pickup. Any global diesel small truck will out perform it.

The Ram HD Cummins will have a market for the RV crowd.

This story is DenverMike's wet dream.

Sandman, you are correct. By the time you finish paying all your higher expenses, earnings to costs ratio in Australia seems to be lower. Eg, you rarely see Class A motorhomes and 40' fifth wheels in Australia, whereas in America, you see the middle class with that kind of stuff all the time. The fact that only rich people will have full-size pickups imported there, just further highlights this problem. Socialism sucks, and it's a real shame what BHO is doing.

By the way Aussie use standards on their midsize trucks. The Ram will be able to tow 5 million pounds and carry 3 million.

"With the 1500 size truck, the demand is very high," Kocwa said. Currently, Australian-delivered trucks are not big enough to tow most caravans and fifth-wheelers"

By the way Aussie use standards on their midsize trucks. The Ram will be able to tow 5 million pounds and carry 3 million.

"With the 1500 size truck, the demand is very high," Kocwa said. Currently, Australian-delivered trucks are not big enough to tow most caravans and fifth-wheelers"

Don't listen to Alex as he hasn't lived in Australia for over 10 years. Since Alex left Australia or should I say for over 20 years now our economy has grown at 3.5% in real terms.

The US's growth has been much flatter. Vehicles cost the same or less than 25 years ago, ie, I bought a diesel midspec 4x4, dual cab, Nissan D22 in 97 for $46k or $31k US, they are cheaper now. The same goes for Corolla's, Pulsars, etc, they are $18kAUD or $13 700US before any wheeling and dealing.

This is staggering growth. So, in effect you can't make dollar for dollar conversions. Like I've stated we can get into a midspec dual cab 4x4 midsizer for under $30 000 and we don't need to buy packages to make it off road ready like you guys do.

The overall standard of living between Australia and the US is similar. Like comparing the US to a EU nation, the US has the edge, in this case we have the edge. But not much.

No, you are incorrect Sandman.

As a percentage of our income we pay roughly what you guys do for fuel.

As for food, we actually pay less for real food, ie, 85c for a loaf of bread or 65cUS. One litre of milk is 95c or 70cUS or less than $2.80 a US gallon.

Sandman4x4, the US has a fantastically large economy, this is a different measure than individual standards and what we can buy with our income earnt.

You can't say well you are paying $80k for a Ram, so we are better off, it just doesn't work that way.

Lou BC

PUTC just ran this story just to agitate and you fell for it.
I always look forward to reading what you have to say but you disappointed me cause I thought you were smarter than that.

I agree with your sentiment and sediment.

No one will buy this for work, especially when you can get into a 70 Series Landcruiser V8 diesel for $20k less.

They will sell, but in small numbers.

What is good about this it will for the grey importer of Tundras to reduce their prices. The company converts high end Tundras and sells them for $120. Ridiculous money.

One thing though ask these guys how much a Mitsubishi Triton, BT50, Amarok would cost in the US. I'd bet that they couldn't or wouldn't answer you. There comment will be but who wants one.

I can say the same about the Ram 1500, but obviously 10 or 20 people a month will buy one.

That is what is great about Australia's vehicle import regulations we can sample any vehicle we want.........if you have the cash, something that doesn't and can't occur in the US.

@ johnny doe and the other name you use,
Your comment illustrates how much of a moron you really are.

Did you actually analyse what you stated.

Why would Australia build trailers that can't be towed???

Think about that.

Your tow/haul comment is quite significant as the Ram is running more of less an equivalent diesel we run in our midsizers.

Even my BT50 runs a 3.2 diesel and can tow 7 800lbs and in the bed I can load 2 700lbs.

Will these Rams be 4x4? If they are will they come with standard features like locking diffs and all of the acronyms for off roading like the Ranger/BT50/Colorado/Amarok have?

From what I can gather even the Ram Rebel isn't as well configured to off road as well as a base model 4x4 here.

So, the people who buy these will be buying something more unique than what is the norm here.

I hope they are successful and sell in quantities to keep this guys conversion shop operating as he was shafted by FCA.

They will be a nice addition to what on the roads already, but a guy at work had a 2011 Ram 1500, he just went out a bought a diesel Silverado 3500 dually.

He said the Ram looked nice and went well with the Hemi but he would of been better off with a Landcruiser.

The problem with US 5th Wheelers and Class A Motorhomes, is their import cost . Local production non viable because of a small market and local preferences . Long story of why they have not worked here, Tito much for one post.

@ Big Al from Oz, the local,head of FCA has been charged with Fraud, FCA is pursuing him through the Courts, I wonder if the RAM thing will go through This article is a bit of a beat up as what it is describing is what Perfomax on the Gold Coast does already and they have a licence to produce as many Ford Pickups
as they want, because they have full ADR compliance

Sorry guys.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | May 29, 2015 1:18:25 PM

Apologies accepted.

2015 F-150 "RUSTED OUT"

Looky see boys and girls your precious 2015 F-150 is rusted out!
Oh Oh
Loooks like that aluminum isn't as wonderful as you said it is.

I have PROOF
With Pictures!

Spot on. I will just add again, the head of FCA in Australia is up for fraud charges and I do not know if the RAM thing will go though
Conversion costs exorbitant mark ups, will limit demand too 300 to 500 anyway
Bulk will go to RV crowd and they will be HD Pickups

Thank you:)

What needs to occur is for the US pickup manufacturers like FCA, Ford and GM to make RHD pickups for our market.

Toyota and Nissan already make larger pickups, ie, Patrol and Landcruisers.

Full size US pickups will sell for half the price they currently do. I don't think many who read and contribute to PUTC understand the vehicle conversion industry as it is alien to them. As this article pointed out it cost $39 000 for a conversion job. That is twice the price for a single cab midsize work ute here.

If the manufacturers made full size pickups in diesel with a real one tonne payload they would sell in far better numbers.

But it isn't feasible for this to occur due to our small population and market size.

I would love to see all US pickups offered here through their respective dealerships.

Australia is probably the most viable full size pickup market outside of the US and Canada. But it is too small, not per capita, but overall.

@Robert Ryan,
Who dudded FCA $36 million.

There is also a current article in regards to FCA's poor customer service here in Australia.

People are torching, crushing and smashing Jeeps in protest.

They say FCA isn't honouring their legal obligations on replacing vehicles through our consumer laws.

There are many angry FCA owners out their in Australia.

"Is this really what the conversion looks like? The 4x4 switch on the passenger side and the shifter on the door side. Seems they could do a complete left drive as a factory option."

Yes exactly like that, complete mirror image conversion

All up you may get 1000 Conversions per year, on a 1.2 million general sales

Here is a sample of the anger at FCA in Australia.

Seems Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge haven't changed since I bought my lemon Cherokee in 95.

I had to get rid of the Jeep after 15 months as it spent 6 of them in the workshop. They refused to replace the Cherokee.


@ Big Al from Oz,

Aren't the so-called midsize trucks like the Toyota HiLux way more capable then this Fiat Diesel?

@Lou_BC - This isn't anything new. Barely news worthy. US pickups converted to RHD aren't anything new to OZ. Except now RAMs will be sold through Dodge dealers, but still a stup!d expensive exercise.

But US pickup capacity "ratings" don't change when landing in OZ, so they're completely incompatible numbers vs. with small, radically overrated pickups, sold normally in OZ.

And BAFO is still up to his usual nonsense of comparing apples to oranges. He only talks *gross* payload of the most stripper regular cab and gas powered, OZ (rated) pickups, sold without a bed not less... vs the most loaded, crew cab 4X4 diesel fullsizer US pickups.

Nothing to see here.

Wonder what insurance implications are if you have something fail due to the conversion??? Like say the steering system fails.... Or items they move around causes a short and cause a fire or something... Is the conversion company liable or is Fiat liable as the truck wasn't designed for RHD.

Australia should just allow LHD vehicle on there roads instead of being so strict on there vehicle import laws.

Congratulations to RAM for export to Australia and New Zealand. Only quality full size truck to make it to this high competitive market.

I'm not a Hilux fan. The question you posed isn't as simple at a straight out comparison.

As a soft riding family hauler a Ram 1500 is by far the better option.

When it comes to work, off roading and durability in harsh conditions I'd rather be in a Hilux.

I'd say most are insured through Shannon's Insurance. If I owned an insurance company I wouldn't like to insure these.

Also, the Ram 1500s will not be like the HD Rams. The HD Rams will be fully ADR compliant and sold through dealerships.

The Ram 1500 isn't sold through dealers.

The quality of the workmanship is quite high and they even fix the niggling problems that can occur in the vehicles.

It's a pity that the US has so many regulations preventing you guys from buying some of the pickups we have.

Wouldn't it be great if someone in the US could go out and buy a Ranger or BT50. They would cost more than we pay for them of course.

Vastly better in many cases, this is why it is a pretty silly article
Read TFl Truck article on the just released Toyota Hilux


The Brits would like to sell RHD, Rolls, Bentleys, Jaguars, Land Rovers and Aston Martins. The Thais would like to sell RHD Pickups to the U.S.
Let us not forget the Japanese who like to sell Nissan Skyline GTR's etc to North America so it cuts both ways

@BAFO - You've got midsize or midsize or midsize. It's like having 300 selections of beer on 'tap'. Except only beer. And more beer. Anything else is unavailable or insanely expensive.

We can go out any class of pickups between midsize to medium duty pickup classes. We've got your midsize equivalent and a whole lot more!

Our *used* fullsize market, you would ABSOLUTELY kill for!!

But enjoy the hell out of your midsize, alright? Especially the Mahinda, and other junk trucks from China... OK???

It's a pity that the US has so many regulations preventing you guys from buying some of the pickups we have.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | May 29, 2015 9:22:18 PM

Manufacturers just have to clean up there diesels and they can sell them here. Diesel sold in your country are too dirty and don't meet our standards.

Heck France is mostly diesel operated country and due to diesel being subsidize and lacking clean air emmissions they sometimes have to institute driving bans do to diesel pollutions/smog. If everybody in Los Angles had small diesel like you have your visibility in Los Angles would look like industrial China or the US industrial revolution before pollution controls were implemented.

Nothing is stopping these manufactures from offering world vehicles in the US if they are up to our safety standards and emmission standards. Pretty easy to meet really. We got tons of small cars and the ability to buy small pickups. Financially its not viable.

Plus Americans still love to drive and love there auto's... The rest of the world just consider it a necessity and are more bothered by driving and it is evident by there vehicle choices?

" Dirty diesels" more in the mind than anything to do with reality

Old Diesels and Gas engines have been banned from Paris, not France

Most use Autos here and a lot of other countries, only Europeans like stick shifts and they do not drive Pickups of any sort

Diesel cause more smog emitting pollution. If everybody in LA which is america's dirtiest city drove around in 2.2 diesel T6 rangers available around the world it would suffocate from the smog produced by them compared to a gas motor. Even the 3.2 for the US transit has to be cleaned up to come to the US.

Diesel is a lot dirtier concerning smog then gas.

Petrol,Gas engines 1000 times more harmful than Diesels

Different site

I don't think this is a feasible market for Ram unless they can produce their trucks with right hand drive for export which would make them more competitive. A diesel Ram with factory installed right hand drive might do much better especially if Ram would improve their service record in Australia. If the Toyota plant in Georgetown, KY can produce right hand drive Camrys for export then Ram should be able to do that as well if they can justify the volume.

Now that Denver Mike has put his two cents worth in maybe he can get his employer Ford to produce right hand drive F-150s for export to Australia and give them more choice. Denver Mike could start with his native country Spain as well. I have no problem with American companies exporting full size pickups internationally but if they are serious about it they need to produce right hand drive for the markets that require right hand drive. A 90k truck after conversion costs has a limited market, but at 40k and 50k with a diesel it would be much more competitive.

It is funny that Denver Mike compares all midsize trucks to the crude Mahindra and the compact pickups of 30 years ago. I guess Denver Mike does not know the difference between a Mahindra and a global Ranger and its Mazda equivalent or else he has run out of points to argue. I can't fault Denver Mike for trying since this is his bowl of rice. Everyone has to earn a living doing something.

@Jeff S,
If they had a 3/4 or 1 ton RHD Diesel from the factory, more Caravan people night use them instead of the Diesel SUV's. U.S.Pickups have very defined role here 80% are used for RV Towing, the last 20% are used as personal transport

I would think there would be an overall market of 5,000- 6000 vehicles in Australia and New Zealand

@Robert Ryan--I would think the HD truck market would be better but the cost to convert to right hand drive would make US trucks less competitive except for the wealthy. If the trucks could be produced from the factory with right hand drive they would have a much better chance at selling at a higher volume. I don't think our full size trucks would ever sell in the volumes that your midsize trucks do, but they could become much more profitable and sell at a more competitive rate if priced lower.

@Jeff S - I know there's a clear difference between the Mazda/Ford and Isuzu/Holden, Mitsu etc pickups and the crude Chinese etc, pickups.

So again you're blowing past the bigger points to say I'm employed by Ford. That's your's and comrade's *go to* when completely out of logical argument.

Funny when I criticize Ford, GM or Ram, you're silent as a mouse.

So it doesn't go over your head again, I'll put it plain/simple terms. What BAFO preaches is "choice". OK, you still with me? So meanwhile OZ/NZ consumers are limited (mostly unless you're millionaire with cash to burn/flush) to just one class of pickups. Midsize.

Good. Bad. Ugly. But all midsize "choices".

If your small town has 100 burger joints, that's awesome. Awesome "choice" in burgers, no doubt about it! Like no other place, blah, blah, blah. But since that's your only "choice" for restaurants there, I hope you're a huge fan of hamburgers, or hamburgers or hamburgers.

the interior is all back asswards

@Denver Mike--I think the American truck makers should expand internationally but it is hard to do that when there is a 39k conversion for right hand drive which makes the truck affordable for only the rich. Maybe Ford, GM, and Ram need to try to produce a few right hand drive trucks and at least try. For Ford and GM they could sell them through their existing dealerships which could service them as well. Ram on the other hand needs to beef up their service.

As for Ford I don't recall you ever criticizing them. I don't think Australia has any large tariffs on importing trucks but a 39k conversion is a deal breaker for many and it is more like going into a fight with your hands tied behind your back. Australia at least is more similar to the US in that they don't have the narrow roads that much of Europe has and they don't have the restrictions on vehicle size or the taxes. The US has a much large vehicle market than Australia but Australia would be big enough and they seem to like their trucks as well. I am for competition and the more choices offered the better, even with hamburgers.

The comments to this entry are closed.