Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia is studying sales of right-hook muscle cars as it weighs up the business case for the American-built Dodge Challenger.
Showroom performance of the recently updated Ford Mustang and the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro will help decide if the Dodge brand is reintroduced to the Australian market.
FCA's local wing will watch muscle car sales closely, before formulating a plan to import the Challenger and the Charger, according to president and chief executive Steve Zanlunghi.
“We are looking very closely at what’s going on with (Ford) Mustang, as well as what will happen with (Chevrolet) Camaro, because both of those vehicles sit on opposite sides of the spectrum,” he said.
“In other markets they sit together. They’ve taken two totally different strategies (in Australia). One is to play in the mainstream, which is the Mustang, and the one is the Camaro that (will) play at the high end.”
While the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro are natural rivals, both rear-driven and V8 powered, the Blue Oval's offering will be significantly cheaper at $62,990 plus on-road costs as the Chev is expected to be priced around $90,000.
The price discrepancy is due in part to the added conversion costs placed on the Camaro, with the Mustang built in right-hand drive direct from factory.
Mr Zanlunghi said that if the demand is there, FCA Australia may call for factory right-hook Challenger and Chargers.
“We’re a major OEM and if we can make the business case with the volumes and the demand is there, we can bring any of our vehicles to this market,” he said.
“I think it’s worth seeing which business model (works) and how it plays out here, and then we can make some decisions on whether it’s worth the trip or not.”
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