Sales of US pick-ups surge despite market slowdown

The Ram 1500 and Chevrolet 1500 continue to post significant sales growth even though the overall market hit the brakes last month.

US pick-up sales in Australia are continuing at record pace, with Ram and Chevrolet posting big gains in the grip of the coronavirus crisis – and now the Melbourne facility that remanufactures them in right-hand-drive is struggling to keep up with demand.

The Ram Trucks Australia assembly line has been running 24-hours a day, five days a week for more than a year – and the adjacent Chevrolet Silverado facility is also running at maximum capacity.

Official sales figures for July 2020 show Ram told 280 examples of its US pick-ups – an increase of 7.3 per cent in a market that slowed by 12.8 per cent compared to the same month the prior year.

It was the 28th month in a row of year-on-year sales increases for Ram Trucks Australia. Local transport logistics trucking companies have had to increase the number of car carriers large enough to accomodate the massive pick-ups.

The Chevrolet Silverado has enjoyed significant sales growth since the arrival of the new generation 1500 pick-up earlier this year.

Figures supplied by Holden Special Vehicles, which converts and distributes Chevrolet vehicles locally, show sales of the Silverado pick-up in July were up by 90 per cent compared to the same month the prior year.

Both brands are now concerned about stock shortages in the second half of the year due to interruptions to production of the left-hand-drive vehicles out of the US, due to the coronavirus.

US pick-ups and heavy duty four-wheel-drives have enjoyed strong sales during the pandemic.

The Toyota LandCruiser, Nissan Patrol and Mitsubishi Pajero have posted healthy sales in recent months – as more Australians prepare to holiday at home – however sales of these models slowed in July 2020 because dealers ran out of stock.

All three brands have requested a bigger allocation of vehicles for Australia for the remaining months of the year, to keep up with increased demand.