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Ram trucks digging in Down Under

Golden fleece: Ram trucks importer and right-hand drive converter ASV says it doesn't need the freshly unveiled Power Wagon version to continue growing its sales in Australia.

Thirty dealers and 1000 annual long-term sales target for American Special Vehicles

15 Feb 2016

THE company that has been authorised to sell converted Ram trucks in Australia – American Special Vehicles – is gathering momentum since its launch late last year, with plans for around 30 dealers by mid-2016 and ultimately annual sales of 1000 units.

ASV has only been converting the large United States-built trucks in Melbourne's south-east for two full months but has already attracted notable interest with 23 sales in January this year alone and is growing says the company.

That figure may not sound significant but the two-variant range starts at $139,500 before on road costs for the 2500 and rises to $146,500 for the 3500 range-topper, providing a multi-million dollar monthly turnover for the company.

Over the coming months, the company, which is a partnership between vehicle importer Ateco Automotive and the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, is aiming to grow that figure to a full-year average of more than 40 registrations per month.

Ateco Automotive spokesperson Daniel Cotterill told GoAuto that the existing two-variant range was sufficient to build sales to around 500 per year and on to around double that “over time”.

“At the moment we think we have picked the best offering,” he said. “We are hoping to do 500 in our first full trading year and we think that it's possible to build to 1000 a year over time.”

Despite numerous requests from interested parties, Mr Cotterill explained that the company had no immediate plans to add extra variants to the range, including a frequently mentioned 'Dualie' dual rear axle Ram or the new 6.4-litre petrol Power Wagon that was revealed at the Chicago motor show.

“Not at the moment – very early days for us,” he said. “We've got the 2500 and 3500 which for model year 16 is exclusively the 6.7-litre Cummins diesel. We are very focussed on getting our brand established and our network up and running in Australia with what we've got.

“Any number of people have already asked us for various different things, which is pretty tricky for a market that is as relatively small as Australia. We need to keep it straightforward for the moment.”

Mr Cotterill said the door was open to review the range at a later date once a larger audience had been established with the existing line-up.

“That doesn't rule out looking at where customer demand directs us down the track once we've got a sound basis.”

Part of the strategy to expand the model's profile and presence in Australia involves a growing dealer network, which is set to top 30 before the year is out, according to Mr Cotterill.

“I would think that the next couple of months are fairly crucial to get things started but it's the sort of thing that will take a little while to get going.

“We've got 18 dealers trading as we speak today, there's another four that will be signed up in the next 30 days and there's another eight we think will be on board by the middle of the year.

“If you've got a national dealer network of 30 that quickly for a very specialised and high-end product, I think that is a good sign.”

While a handful of customers taken the plunge with a Ram truck purely for the love of the brand, Mr Cotterill said a majority of owners have a genuine application for their vehicle.

“We think that the main market for Ram in Australia, at least to begin with, is people that need to tow. If you've got a big boat, a horse float, an enclosed car trailer or a big caravan then that's the truck for you.”

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