Ram Trucks Australia will be rolling off their Melbourne production line 24 hours a day, five days a week from 1 June 2019 to meet growing demand for the RAM range in Australia and New Zealand and, in particular the RAM 1500 which, with its unique 291 kW V8 engine and towing capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes, has set a new benchmark in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
“This is not just great news for RAM, it is also a fantastic achievement for the Australian Automotive industry and shows the world our automotive and engineering industry is open for business,” says Alex Stewart, General Manager of RAM Trucks Australia. “Since we started production we have cut by more than two thirds the time it takes to remanufacture a RAM Truck for our market, we use up to 400 components, the vast majority produced by Australian companies and, by the time we go to three shifts working, we will be employing more than 160 people directly and many more indirectly across the country.”
The RAM Trucks Melbourne Manufacturing Facility, which is based in Clayton South, provides the advanced design and engineering facilities that enable the RAM Trucks to be re-manufactured from left to right-hand drive and so that they meet full factory approval. They operate the production lines to produce the vehicles and provide a comprehensive aftersales parts service to 37 RAM dealers in Australia and 15 dealers in New Zealand.
The new production line is 130 metres long and 21 vehicles are worked on simultaneously, with it taking less than 24 hours for each vehicle to run the length of the production line, down from more than three days when RAM Trucks Australia started RAM remanufacturing in Australia. Each vehicle uses between 350 and 400 new parts in the process, the majority of which are Australian-produced.
Employee numbers on the production line will lift from 110 to more than 160 with the arrival of triple shift working with additional workers already employed and undergoing both classroom and practical hands-on training in preparation for round clock production. In addition, another 20 staff work in design and engineering preparing the next generation of RAM vehicles for Australian production as well as team members in parts supply and administration.
The local companies involved in parts supply for RAM Trucks include Socobell, which produces the all-new dashboard, and Hi-Spec Australia for brake line components, air conditioning lines and high- and low-pressure fluid transfer hoses and tubing. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC and, in particular, the RAM International Team have also provided invaluable support and assistance, as has AusIndustry with its programme to assist companies and staff as other car makers ceased Australian production.
“The entire RAM Trucks project was set up, engineered, designed and developed in Australia by Australian experts, it shows what this country is capable of and how we can produce a world-class product,” says Mr Stewart. “In short, it is clearly something of which everyone involved should be extremely proud and which, in the form of the RAM 1500, 2500 and 3500, has provided Australians and Kiwis with a new and unique choice when it comes to vehicle buying.”