HSV To Start Building Ram Pickups?7
We’ve known for some time General Motors has been toying with the idea to introduce the Silverado under the Holden nameplate, presumably to ease the pain once the Commodore Ute departs the Australian market.
It appears General Motors isn’t the only company looking to take a stake in that particular market because a new report from Australian News says Ram is ready to bring its full-size truck line to the nation. And Ram’s plans seem much more solidified than the idea of a Holden Silverado.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, has awarded exclusive rights to a certain Australian distributor to convert its left-hand drive trucks to right-hand drive guise. That Australian distributor is tipped to be the Walkinshaw Group, who happens to be the parent company of HSV. It sounds like it could become a messy process, due to strong HSV ties to GM, but HSV’s contract allows for work to be completed outside Holden.
“We will not confirm or deny any other partners other than Fiat Chrysler Group globally,” said Clyde Campbell, the former boss of Fiat Chrysler Australia who is now the distributor for Fiat and Chysler vehicles in New Zealand and is heading up the Dodge Ram deal.
Campbell has said FCA chose a “conversion and engineering partner who provides unrivalled engineering excellence to world-class standards” and who have “an impeccable reputation on a global level in both the motor racing and automotive industries.” Sounds like HSV to us.
More evidence mounting to an HSV built Ram are Campbell’s words stating U.S. engineers have been working to build a truck “as close to a factory right-hand-drive vehicle as it possibly can be without having run down the production line.” HSV’s work is about as OEM as it gets in terms of outside performance divisions, seen in their thoughtful and extensive Commodore builds.
Ram trucks are slated to go on sale by the end of this year with the introduction of its more luxurious models, rumored to start around $120,000 AUD. More affordable models are to be introduced slowly after the brand’s initial introduction.
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1st GM let’s Dodge take the Diesel from VM Motori that GM put tons of into to develop, now they letting them Take HSV to, what’s really going on with this, GM Merger with Fiat?????? 😉
It was rumoured that FCA was looking for GM to either become a full partner, or buy them outright and they would become a subsidiary of GM.
FCA is looking for anyone to be a partner or buy them. They have spoke openly of GM, Ford and VW in hopes of starting some talks.
The problem is FCA has a lot of major issues and even some on Wall Street wonder if they will be around in 10 years. They post them and Mitsubishi at risk of not being around or greatly parted out.
If you look at Chrysler and Fiat they are both struggling for totally new products as most new products are rehashes of Fiats as Jeeps and Lancias as Chryslers with just refreshes on the RWD lines. Hellcat is not going to save them.
You can see they have a emergency exit plan as Ram was adopted for the trucks before the merger so it could be sold or split off to someone else if cash is needed. Same with Ferrari as it is now on its own as separate entity. Jeep always was.
These three are the only real products of value at FCA right now and the rest is of little interest to anyone else unless they are just looking for volume but you have to take the baggage with it.
It is a tough market out there and I is to the point even large companies like this can be at risk.
GM has no interest, Ford still has to pay off their loans they took out years ago and already have a solid product program. VW has been trying to live on volume and may be interested at some point if the price is right. But that plan could bite them as if they take on division taking on debts it could sink them. I think they really only want the trucks and Jeep as they are two things they really lack.
As for this deal I would not read to much into it. This is a cheaper way to get low volume performance vehicle built. They will garner attention but not save FCA from their financial issues.
GM did the same with SLP years ago when they did not have the money to do it in house.
With the loss of the Zeta HSV may be leveraging out into more products to help pay the bills. SLP did Ford Rangers after the loss of the F body.
I am a bit of an Avgeek as well. When I think of the American “big three” sometimes it makes me think of the fact that just over 30 years ago the US had three companies building wide body commercial airliners. Now there is only one, which of course is Boeing.
With the rise of automakers and auto manufacturing in other parts of the world, China being the most noticeable in recent years I do sometimes wonder whether the US auto manufacturing industry will experience a similar fate in the next 30 years. If that is the case I do believe the American brands in the FCA group will be the first to go.
In regards to HSV the important thing to remember here is that they are not majority owned by GM. Walkinshaw group are free to go pursuing contracts with other automakers and using their engineering and manufacturing resources to do other things. If they were a GM majority owned company then I think they would be closely following Holden out the door here.
if not HSV then Pro Drive who ran FPV until Ford bought it from them and they did the conversions for the RHD Mustangs that were to compete (but failed) with the V2 Monaro….
Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Tickford who did the Mustang conversions. In reality I don’t think HSV has anything to do with it so Prodrive could be on the money
Get your hands off Marchione!!