Article by: Hari Yellina
The Ford F-150 pickup truck, America’s best-selling car, has been approved for release in Australia in the mid of next year. Customers had expressed their wish to see the F-150 in local showrooms, according to Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO Andrew Birkic. This input, along with the rise of the full-size truck segment in Australia, led to the F-150’s return to the Australian market, he said. “Every time I speak with our dealers, they tell me that buyers are always asking about the F-150 and when it will be available, so I am really glad to be able to say it’s coming our way,” Mr Birkic said.
“With such a strong following in Australia and full-size truck sales increasing in recent years, we realised we had to find a way to bring it back.” Ford Australia has enlisted the help of engineering firm RMA Automotive to convert right-hand drive F-150s delivered in Australia to comply with all Australian Design Rules and safety regulations. It will also be sold through a nationwide dealer network and come with a five-year, unlimited-kilometer warranty. For the past 40 years, the F-150 has been a part of the F-Series, America’s best-selling vehicle line, with more than 40 million F-Series Trucks produced to date. The F-150 will be offered at Ford’s nationwide dealer network alongside the rest of the Ford lineup.
The petrol 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine and 10-speed transmission will be offered solely in dual cab body styles in Australia, generating 298kw of power and 678Nm of torque. Natalie Manariti, Ford Australia’s global trucks enterprise product line manager, said the engine was the most popular in the company’s US vehicles and was also suitable for Australia. “When we first started looking at the F-150 for a return to Australia, there was one engine that stuck out for us: the 3.5L EcoBoost, which offers the F-150 enormous power and torque, far exceeding many of its V8 competitors.” For those that are looking at towing, the F-150 offers flexibility with its 4.5 tonne towing capacity. Mr Birkic claimed the F-150 was “part of a new wave,” which could be a hint at what’s to come.
“We’re paying attention to our customers and breaking down barriers to provide them with what they want: the best of our worldwide lineup. There’s more to the F-150 than meets the eye.” Specifications and pricing will be released closer to the debut date, which is set for mid-2023. While Ford’s first utility vehicle was produced in Australia in 1934, the company’s American-style pick-up trucks were introduced in the late 1940s. In 1956, the F-Series nameplate was introduced, and the trucks moved in and out of production in the United States, as well as being exported to Australia. Because the F-Series was phased out in Australia in 2007, customers were forced to import and modify them through engineering professionals.