Australian Ford F-150 pick-up deliveries begin, close sales race predicted

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Four months after the first shipment of Ford F-150 arrived in Australia, local customers are now receiving their right-hand-drive pick-ups.

The first locally-converted right-hand-drive examples of the Ford F-150 have been delivered to Australian customers, as the US car giant officially enters the local battle of US pick-ups.

In a media statement, Ford announced customer deliveries of the F-150 had begun this week, with the rate of vehicles arriving in driveways expected to ramp up throughout the month – amid reported wait times of 12 months for some buyers.

As a celebration of the milestone, Ford invited selected soon-to-be F-150 owners to the RMA Automotive factory in Mickleham – about an hour north of the Melbourne CBD, and 15 minutes north of the Broadmeadows plant which produced the Falcon – which converts the pick-up from left- to right-hand-drive.

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The car-maker claims approximately 500 new parts are used throughout the process, with the assembly taking place across a production line with 65 stations – capable of converting each pick-up to right-hand-drive in 22 working hours across three days.

According to Ford, approximately 20 F-150s can be converted to right-hand-drive each day in the single shift, equating to 100 a week or 4800 to 5200 a year, depending on whether the factory operates for the full 52 weeks.

For context, last year there were 5481 examples of the Ram 1500 sold in Australia – a pick-up which directly rivals the Ford F-150 and is also converted from left- to right-hand-drive locally.

While 5330 Ram 1500s have been reported as sold between January and October 2023, Ford could take the market lead if it is able to produce its circa-5200 F-150s annually, as its own pick-up is likely to take sales away from its V8-powered rival.

The F-150 could also easily out-sell the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, of which 1823 were sold in 2022 and 1734 were delivered in the first 10 months of this year.

As previously reported, Ford could also produce as many as 10,000 F-150s for Australian customers annually if it ramps up to two shifts – though the car-maker has not formally announced plans to do so, as its immediate objective is to clear its backlog of orders.

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 choice of the entry-level ‘XLT’ and the premium ‘Lariat’ grades, with short and long wheelbases available for both variants.

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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