Australians are furious over the importation of US full-size trucks

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The increase in US truckloads arriving in Australia has caused a lot of uproar from the country's government and public criticism.

“If you buy one, you're an idiot,” Samantha Ratnam, Leader of the Victorian Greens and Member for the North Metropolitan Region, said on Instagram as quoted by Carsguide.com/Australia.

He went on to add:

“If we want to reduce the pollution of transport and reduce the number of people dying on the roads, we must see less of these crazy cars on our roads.

It is an undeniable fact that big cars are dangerous. They have blind spots up to four meters in front of the car.

And it's no coincidence that a child is eight times more likely to die when hit by a large vehicle compared to a light vehicle. Not to mention the incredible amount of pollution caused by these monsters.”

What are the US full size truck imports to Australia?

A brief recap would be that in the past few years, Ram, Ford, GM and Toyota have all started looking at or are actively importing full-size and heavy-duty trucks into Australia. These car makers have imported from other countries in the past, but now the amount of imports has increased significantly.

It used to be a car for that market driven for camping in the Australian Outback, towing boats and construction. This is because the smaller vehicles that Australians used – such as the Toyota Hilux or the global versions of the Ranger and Colorado – did not have the capacity to carry or tow these items as well as the larger trucks.

Ram started things off by importing the 1500 through long-time importer Ateco Group since 2013. These trucks will be brought into their factory to be retrofitted to be right-hand drive and have a limited trim level. This is an expensive process, requiring about 100 hours of work. This brings the starting price of the Ram 1500 Laramie, a double cab with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 to $114,940 Australian dollars ($76,690 USD) before other “on the road” prices according to Alteco Group.

There will be a Limited and Limited Launch Edition priced at $139,950 ($93,369 USD).

The new Hurricane lineup of engines will eventually replace the Hemi V-8, according to reports Cars Guide Australia.

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Altec Group celebrated 2,000 conversions on February 3, 2023. Previously it celebrated 500 conversions on January 15, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Altec Group)

Ram also imported the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 trucks through a joint venture with Walkinshaw Automotive Group for more towing and loading capacity.

This month Ram revealed that more than 30,000 of these trucks have been sold in Australia since they were launched in 2013. This sales number, although small in the US market, was not seen according to Carsguide.com/au.

Holden Special Vehicles, a partnership between General Motors Holden and the British Tom Walkinshaw Racing team, has begun importing the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD with the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine. Then it started bringing the Chevy Silverado 1500 with a 6.2 liter V-8 engine as well.

The Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium is now $130,500 Australian dollars ($87,064 USD) before a $2,500 surcharge that increases each year according to Cars Guide Australia

Ram has sold 1,637 trucks so far, while Chevy has sold 1,519.

Ford also entered the fray, announcing in early 2022 that they will bring the F-150 with a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine to Australia through RMA Automotive Australia in Melbourne. Sales began late last year with prices ranging from $100,320 to $151,910 ($66,929 – $101,328 USD) for the XLT or Lariat with short or long wheelbase.

Finally, Toyota has announced that it will bring the Tundra Limited with a 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged hybrid engine to Australia. It had 280 customers doing site tests as well Cars Guide Australia He suspects that they will be sold later this year. The Walkinshaw Group has signed up to carry out factory-approved conversion work.

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The 2024 Toyota Tundra Limited is a right-hand drive convertible in Australia. (Photo courtesy of Cars Guide Australia)

Strong criticism

This importation of full-size trucks is causing a lot of discussion between the Australian government and consumers as found in the comments section.

Many point to their increased pollution, problems with parking in cities designed for small areas, and the general distaste for seeing them run down and out of service every day.

Andrew Chesterton, contributing reporter Cars Guide Australia, summed up the issue in a column titled: “Do you drive a Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra or Chevrolet Silverado in Australia? I'm sorry, but it turns out that everyone doesn't like you.”

Chesterton says he rather likes them after spending time with them. And he admits he's on an island with commentators attacking these trucks.

The comments section is full of back and forth over it.

Beau Johnson says:

“Although these cars have a towing area, they are not intended to be 60% of the cars. The rest of the world except the US and Oz is doing everything they can to reduce GHG but the brainy Aussie and muscle head Yank insist on driving these bums and whining about fuel prices.

IMHO, they have a good place in the car market – towing. If you don't need that, you don't need one of these huge Yank Tanks that endanger everyone on the road.”

IT&N Escapes said:

“I have both a Ram 1500 and a Kia EV6, both have their purposes and will never have another, the Ram does it's job brilliantly and I wouldn't trade it for less than power any day, if you have it. 1 you'll never go back to others, and an EV is amazing for what it does 'run around,' but if you can't charge it at home without solar then it's frankly not worth it, buy a hybrid instead.”

Answer from Russell Jay:

“Unfortunately, you seem different. Almost every time I go to Woolworths there is a ram or similar that takes up 2-4 spots or goes too far from where it sits making the car park a problem for others to get around.

I have no problem with large utes if they are used for targeted roles as you seem to be. “

Finally, Yarra City Council councillor, Stephen Jolly, is also very critical of them.

“If you live in Fitzroy with its narrow roads and you buy a Hummer, you are a total idiot and you need to deal with it, any way the council can deal with it,” said Jolly as quoted by Cars. Guide Australia.

The city council is studying higher parking fees as a way to discourage people from driving large cars.

An important point

This criticism has long been part of American culture that has held back the growing size of full-size trucks.

Something that is often left out of the conversation are all the new safety features like rear cameras, pedestrian detection, multiple parking sensors and blind spot monitoring. People see size and immediately jump to conclusions.

Finally, watching a video review from Chesterton of the Toyota Tundra Limited, it's clear that he thinks people will eventually like them in Australia.

“I think Toyota's biggest problem with the Tundra is building them fast enough.”










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