News - Ram
Ateco takes over American Special Vehicles
Walkinshaw to still convert Ram trucks to RHD, but ASV now under Ateco umbrella
30 May 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
ATECO Group has taken the reins of American Special Vehicles (ASV), a joint venture established with The Walkinshaw Group in 2015 to convert American Ram pick-ups to right-hand drive.
Under the arrangement, Ateco will become the sole factory-authorised importer and distributors for Australasia of Ram vehicles that include the big 3500, smaller 2500 and – from June – the entry level 1500.
However, The Walkinshaw Group will still remanufacturer Ram trucks for Australia and New Zealand under contract to ASV, while Walkinshaw’s sister company, Holden Special Vehicles, will convert Chevrolet’s Silverado pick-up and Camaro sportscar to right hook.
Announcing the new arrangement, Ateco Group managing director Roger Zagorski praised Walkinshaw’s technical competence.
“There is no doubt Walkinshaw remains the only company in Australia that has the world-class technical ability, engineering skills and production facilities to undertake the Ram project, and we are pleased and excited to confirm that they will continue to develop and remanufacture the growing Ram range for the Australian and New Zealand markets as a client of the Ateco Group,” he said.
“The change in ownership of ASV marks both the next major step in the growth of Ram in Australia and it is major commitment to long-term future of this business for the Australian and New Zealand markets.”
Mr Zagorski said the partnership with Walkinshaw made sense in 2015 when the outfit started importing Ram trucks, but the time was right to take over ASV.
“We needed a partner to undertake the engineering and production of the Ram 2500 and 3500 in right-hand drive as quickly and effectively as possible following the appointment of the Ateco Group as the sole factory authorised importer and distributor of Ram trucks for Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“The Walkinshaw Group were our only choice and they have proven, as we knew they would, to be the ideal engineering and production partner for the joint venture.
“Now that the business is running so successfully and with the approaching launch of the Ram 1500 and the transformation that will cause on the scale of the business, it is the ideal time for Ateco to assume full responsibility for the Ram business.”
Ram’s 1500 pick-up is due for an Australian market launch this month where it is expected to lock horns with the Chevrolet Silverado sold in HSV dealerships, as well as potentially stealing sales away from top-spec one-tonne utes such as the Ford Ranger Raptor, Mercedes-Benz X-Class 250d Power, Volkswagen Amarok V6 and Toyota HiLux Rugged X.
Ram’s current line-up consists of the 2500 and 3500 Laramie variants, both powered by a 276kW/1084Nm 6.7-litre turbo-diesel Cummins six cylinder and priced at $139,500 before on-roads and $146,500 respectively.
Mr Zagorski said expectations were high for the new entry-level Ram 1500.
“The launch of the Ram 1500 in June will confirm Ram as a significant player in the most dynamic part of the Australian and New Zealand markets with benchmark products in each of the sectors in which it competes,” he said.
To the end of April this year, Ram has shifted 63 units of its full-sized pick-ups, down 38.2 per cent compared with the same period last year.
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