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US truck importer spreads its wings
Performax starts building its future with its first showroom to open late this year
22 Apr 2015
By NEIL DOWLING
MORE than $4 million has been poured into the first showroom for Queensland-based importer and right-hand drive convertor, Performax International, as it gears up for annual sales of about 450 units.
Performax International general manager Glenn Soper told GoAuto that the showroom in North Lakes, near the Brisbane airport, was “a long time coming” but would give the company the opportunity to showcase its products and allow test drives for prospective buyers.
"In addition to our network of dealers around Australia, our own dedicated retail outlet will help showcase our product range to a greater number of customers in the market for top-of-the-line American pick-ups with far superior towing capability than anything available from manufacturer-importers," Mr Soper said.
“We have just completed our business plan for 2015-16 and think an annual production of 450 is ideal in terms of retaining volume and quality.”
The Australian operation told GoAuto last year that it was targetting sales of 1000 units per year by the 2017-18 financial year.
He said Performax had recently received federal government compliance to allow it to manufacture unrestricted volumes of 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups and Ford F-250s, further boosting sales projections.
Performax, Australia’s biggest independent importer and right-hand drive convertor of American trucks, has 10 dealers but Mr Soper said there will be 21 by the end of this year.
“We signed (as a dealer) McCarrolls Automotive Group in Sydney yesterday,” he said.
Left: Performax International general manager Glen Soper.
“Sydney was a difficult market for us but I think the McCarrolls, with franchises including Maserati and Toyota, have the right experience and reputation.”
Performax deals with five United States manufacturers – Ford, GMC, Chevrolet, Toyota and Dodge, but the bread and butter for the company are the Ford-badged models.
“We are relatively new to the Chevrolet line-up and still have some models in prototype,” he said.
“The Toyota Tundra is still imported on a ‘low-volume new’ basis which limits the numbers to 100 a year.
“There’s a rumour that Toyota is to make a diesel engine for the Tundra. If that comes about we’ll certainly push for more volume and a full-compliance approval.”
Mr Soper said he welcomed news that Fiat Chrysler New Zealand was planning to import the Dodge Ram trucks into Australia and New Zealand later this year.
“That’s a good move,” he said.
“It strengthens the market, expands the service network and makes more people aware of the product. It can only be good.”
The new 5000 square-metre North Lakes showroom is adjacent to the Bruce Highway and will contain sales, service and spare parts operations.
Mr Soper said it would also allow space for future expansion of the company.
"Buyers will be able to see and test drive back-to-back our full range of new Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ford F-250 Super Duty, Dodge Ram and Toyota Tundra pick-ups, plus selected pre-owned examples,” he said.
"We'll also have 10 workshop bays for carrying out warranty service and repairs, meaning that ownership of a Performax vehicle will come with all the usual new-car benefits and experience.
"This is an important development for the Performax business.”
The North Lakes complex will operate in conjunction its administration headquarters and production lines in Gympie, 150km north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast,
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