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Holden plotting Ram 1500 rival? Brand evaluating big-truck market in Australia

Holden says it's evaluating the big truck market in Australia.

Holden is keeping a keen eye on American pickup sales in Australia as it evaluates the size of the local market for jumbo trucks. 

The success of Ram in Australia hasn't gone unnoticed at Holden, with the Ateco-imported, Walkinshaw-converted 1500 family experiencing a sales boom Down Under. 

Ram's Victorian production facility (where the re-manufacturing process takes place) has just introduced round-the-clock shifts five days per week to handle a backlog of some 400 orders. At peak capacity, the Ram facility is capable of producing more than 20 vehicles a day.

And Holden HQ has noticed, with executives currently studying the potential of the big-truck market in Australia. Already, HSV sells the Chevrolet Silverado here, which - like Ram product - is imported into the country in left-hand drive and converted locally.

But GM's broader product portfolio is overflowing with truck options, including the Silverado, but also the GMC Sierra 1500 and the GMC Canyon. 

"There is a market, and we are in there with HSV," says Holden sales director, Peter Keley.  "We evaluate lots of things, but we’re not going to talk about specifics."

Asking whether the comparatively small number of truck sales in Australia wouldn't stack up to a business case, he added: "I didn’t say that. At the end of the day, everything is on a business case - we evaluate lots of difference business cases on lots of different products, then it comes out to viability, prioritising, etc.

"At the moment we have the Chevrolet brand in Australia through HSV, and that's where we are at the moment.

"There is a market for large trucks. There’s no doubt about it. But how big is that market, that is really still to be determined.

"We evaluate lots of market opportunities."

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