Australian Customers Receiving Ford F-150 Trucks as Production Ramps Up in Local Market
After four months since the first shipment of the Ford F-150 arrived in Australia, local customers are now taking delivery of their right-hand drive trucks. The first locally converted right-hand drive examples of the Ford F-150 have been delivered to Australian customers, marking the official entry of the American auto giant into the local American pick-up battle.
In a statement to the media, Ford announced that deliveries of the F-150 had begun this week, with the rate of vehicles expected to increase throughout the month. This comes amid reported waiting times of 12 months for some buyers. In celebration of the milestone, Ford invited selected future F-150 owners to the RMA Automotive factory in Mickleham, about an hour north of Melbourne’s CBD and 15 minutes north of the Broadmeadows plant that produced the Falcon, which converts the truck from left-hand drive to right-hand drive.
The automaker revealed that approximately 500 new parts are used throughout the conversion process, with assembly taking place on a 65-station production line. This is capable of converting each pick-up to right-hand drive in 22 hours of work over three days. According to Ford, approximately 20 F-150s can be converted to right-hand drive each day in a single shift, equating to 100 per week or between 4,800 and 5,200 per year, depending on whether the factory operates for the full 52 weeks.
For context, 5,481 examples of the Ram 1500 were sold in Australia last year, a truck that directly rivals the Ford F-150 and also converts locally from left-hand drive to right-hand drive. While 5,330 Ram 1500s were reported to have been sold between January and October 2023, Ford could take the market lead if it is able to produce around 5,200 F-150s annually, as its own truck is likely to take away sales with its V8 engine.
The F-150 could also easily outsell the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, with 1,823 being sold in 2022 and 1,734 delivered in the first 10 months of this year. Ford could also potentially produce up to 10,000 F-150s for Australian customers annually if it increases to two shifts, although plans to do so have not been formally announced as its immediate goal is to clear its order backlog.
The Ford F-150 is priced from $106,950 plus on-road costs in Australia, undercutting the latest Ram 1500 Laramie DT Series (from $127,950) and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ (from $121,000). Buyers are offered the option to choose between the entry-level ‘XLT’ and premium ‘Lariat’ grades, with short and long wheelbases available for both variants.
Ford’s entry into the local American pick-up market has been highly anticipated and the delivery of the first right-hand drive F-150 trucks to Australian customers marks a significant milestone for the company. with plans to ramp up production to meet the demand in the local market.
Jordan Mulach, a member of the Drive team who joined in 2022, and has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine, describes himself as an iRacing addict and can be found on weekends behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or cursing at his ZH Fairlane. With years of professional experience in the automotive industry, Jordan Mulach brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Drive team.