People who are into little run-arounds that’s light on fuel – might struggle to get their head around the Aussie romance with heavy-duty American pickup trucks. But when all’s said, the average compact car isn’t a vehicle one gets passionate about. It’s for errands like taking the kids to school, and the driver might even be pleased enough with the tight parking spaces they’re able to nab at the shopping centre to claim bragging rights, but not romance. No. It’s a car. It does what it says on the label. Dad might have trouble with head and legroom, and rest stops might be the highlight on long trips, but it gets him there.
American pickups, on the other hand are built for cruising cross-country, and the family isn’t the only load it can comfortably carry. There are also horse trailers, those fun but definitely not for the road dirt bikes, the boat that takes a person where the big fish are, and the caravan that’s the home-away-from-home in the truest sense of the word.
So says Ann Anderson, co-owner of Maracoonda Automotive, a company that imports, converts, and offers powerful American pickups like Ford and RAM for sale in Australia. “It’s a niche market,” she says, “but it’s a growing niche that’s passionate about outdoor living, adventure, and all the accoutrements that go with that. Needless to say, there’s also a love-affair with the big horsepower vehicles that get clients to the scene of the action.”
Growing Demand, but it’s Still Import and Convert
“If we look at vehicle sales records, then you don’t have to take my word for it,” says Anderson. “There was a definite downward trend in passenger car sales in 2019, and SUV sales followed that curve. But converted RAM trucks sold nearly three times as many as they did in the previous year. Figures for everything are weird this year, but I think 2019 reflects the reality of what we’d choose to do when things are normal.”
With so much interest in big American pickups in Australia, it’s still a case of import and convert. “A lot of things are different here,” explains Anderson. “It’s not just a matter of converting left to right hand drive. Australia have different emissions regulations, the standards for design and road safety differ to those of the US, and despite growing demand, it’s still seen as a niche market. As a result, American manufacturers are still leaving compliance and conversion to companies like Maracoonda Automotive.”
No Shortage of After-Sales Support
Romance isn’t always practical, so to tackle the “elephant in the room.” The issue of parts, repairs, and the nitty-gritty of keeping up a down-and-dirty but surprisingly luxurious ute, must be raised. But Anderson is adamant that a good importer’s service doesn’t end when the client signs the cheque. “It’s one of the factors that some importers overlook, but it gives companies like Maracoonda Automotive the edge.”
“We know our clients are looking forward to years of service from their towing vehicles, and no matter how tough the truck, repairs and maintenance are a given. Buyers in this niche want after-sales support, and we’re there for them every step of the way. We stand by our clients, and that’s why we get a substantial amount of repeat purchases over the decades. Our trucks are a dream on the long roads, and we’re the practical team that keeps the dream alive when the chips are down.”
A tour of the showroom floor tells all. There’s a lot to love about these luxurious yet practical imports, and it’s impossible to see that they were ever altered for Australia. The interiors are as luxurious as the engines are powerful, and although one might never have thought of calling a pickup “beautiful,” they will be quick to change their mind when they view the latest Ford and RAM trucks to enter Australia. The open road is calling, and this is the way to travel it!
For more information visit Maracoonda Automotive | American Pickup Truck Imports Queensland website or call Ann and her team of experts on 07 5496 7773.