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Do you drive a Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra or Chevrolet Silverado in Australia? Sorry, but it turns out everyone dislikes you | Opinion 

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Full-size ute options in Australia continue to grow.
Full-size ute options in Australia continue to grow.

It’s funny, I always thought I had the controversial automotive topics down pat.

Think the 70 Series Toyota LandCruiser isn’t actually the second coming of automotive Jesus? Prepare to be mercilessly shamed. Do you want to see Australia’s shift to electric vehicles happen sooner rather than later? Expect to be lectured on how you’ll never be able to cross the Nullarbor, mostly by people who have never crossed the Nullarbor.

Or, and this is the really big one, so much as mention cyclists and you'd better batten down the hatches for a barrage from either side.

But I’ve discovered a new boiling issue in Australia this week, and that is the people who own an American jumbo-truck in Australia. It turns out there are a lot of people who really, really don’t like you.

Now, let me preface this by saying I actually rather like them. I’ve spent time in petrol- and diesel-powered Ram 1500 models, and they were ace at what they are designed to do. And the same for the Toyota Tundra, which I gave a very strong 4.3 out of 5 for its awesome i-Force MAX engine and its ability to tow small planets.

But it seems perhaps I’m on an island here, because the backlash in the comments when we write about jumbo utes is immediate.

Take my esteemed colleague James Cleary, who last week suggested Australia’s full-size truck market might now begin to slow, given there are already so many brands here, and the Tundra yet to arrive.

The column, as expected from JC, was fantastic, but there was plenty of action in the comments, too.

Some that leapt out at me include:

“Merely pointless pavement princesses that don't fit on our roads or parking spaces AND have a smaller tray than a Japanese Kei truck!”

“My wife’s Thermomix lady uses a Ram 1500 with a one-tonne payload to deliver a load of Thermomix and accessories weighing less than 100kg all up to a handful of customers every day, as she has an ABN despite the fact she never carries anything she is entitled to write the cost off over one to even two years if the first year is a loss. This ute socialist tax benefit for commercial vehicles has become a complete joke and must be looked at.”

“ESV - Emotional Support Vehicle. Freedumb Truck. CCV - Carries Corpulent Vehicle”

The list goes on, and on. And they appear on almost all stories.

Not that the people buying them seem to care. JC ran the numbers last week, and the entire big truck eco-system seems pretty robust, though as he points out, the market isn't necessarily getting any bigger.

Ram sales, for example, are down 38.5 per cent year on year, but that shortfall is made up for by the Silverado, which is up 44 per cent, and the F-150, which has moved 789 units. The Tundra is yet to officially go on sale, thought evaluation cars are no in customer hands.

So tell me, which side of the jumbo-truck debate are you on? The comment section awaits.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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