Fiat Chrysler New Zealand, the joint venture company owned by Australian businessman Clyde Campbell and New Zealand businessman Neville Crichton, has signed a contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to be the official factory-appointed importer and converter of the legendary RAM truck range. The first products will go on sale in September this year, when full details of the local range along with prices will be announced.
The RAM Truck range, or full size Utes as are known in Australia and New Zealand, are made in left hand drive only and, therefore cannot be sold in Australia and only in very limited numbers in New Zealand. Fiat Chrysler New Zealand will undertake the conversion to right hand drive and to meet all the legal requirements for them to be sold in unlimited volume in Australia and New Zealand.
"Clearly there is a demand for this type of vehicle in Australia and New Zealand in both the private and commercial markets with only availability restricting sales," says Clyde Campbell, who set up Fiat Chrysler New Zealand two years ago to import and distribute Fiat Chrysler products in New Zealand. "Until now the only way to own one in Australia was through a low volume aftermarket conversion. Our vehicles are being developed with the full blessing of FCA's RAM division. They have worked closely with our engineers to produce a vehicle that is as close to an official factory right hand drive vehicle as it can be without it having actually run down the factory production line."
With the appointment of Fiat Chrysler New Zealand as the official RAM importer it has enabled Fiat Chrysler New Zealand to achieve Full Volume Conversion for the RAM range, also a first for RAM in Australia. This level of certification sets Fiat Chrysler NZ above and beyond all other RAM converters and places RAM trucks from Fiat Chrysler New Zealand on a par with all other vehicles sold in the mass vehicle market in Australia and New Zealand.
There are two sets of importer rules for vehicles in Australia and New Zealand:
1. Low Volume: Limited to a maximum of 200 vehicles per annum, must meet a reduced level of standards for design and compliance.
2. Full Volume. Unlimited volume. Must meet all Australian Design Rules (ADR) and may be subject to factory compliance inspections.