The Ford F150 dream is anything but dead in Australia, with the Blue Oval's local arm telling CarsGuide it would "absolutely bring one in" to meet customer demand.
Global chatter has hinted at the new-generation F150 - expected to launch in 2020 - being manufactured in both left- and right-hand drive (though nothing has been confirmed to date), with international executives pointing to the success of the Mustang's globally focused development as a potential case study for America's best-selling truck.
Ford in Australia says it is currently studying the full-size truck market, now led by Ram (remanufactured locally by the Ateco/Walkinshaw partnership, American Special Vehicles) and by the Chevy Silverado, which is converted in Australia by HSV.
If those models prove Australia's full-size truck market is growing, then Ford in Australia could push for the F150 to debut here.
"I think if customers go that way, we’d absolutely bring one in. We've had full-size pickups here before, when they were available in right-hand drive," says Ford Australia's marketing manager, Danni Winter. "There is no right-hand drive full-size pickup available, but if there was, we’d look at it and see if there was demand here.
"We always research before we bring a product in. We did that with Mustang, and even though we researched it, it still blew our minds away, how much we were able to grow the sports segment overall."
It's a thought echoed by Ford's group vice president, and president, International Markets Group, Peter Fleet, who told media at last year's Detroit Motor Show that the Mustang was a "terrific example of the success you can have".
"When you look at the success of Mustang, what did we do there, we took one of our iconic North American brands and globalised it. There is a lesson there. Those kind of things work," he said.
"I am a big advocate of trying to make more of these iconic brands within the company. If I have any opportunity to bring those vehicles to Australia, I’d be at the front of the queue.
"It's all about scale, and RHD, that's the tricky bit. It's about can you have enough scale to warrant the engineering cost and then which plant do you put it into production."
When the F150 was last sold in Australia, in 2007, it was converted from left- to right-hand drive in a Ford factory in Brazil before being shipped to Australia. Asked whether a conversion program could be the answer for the new model, too, Winter said: "I think we'd consider whatever we could work on with the global team."
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