Ford F-150 confirmed for Australia
April 1, 2022
The hulking Ford F-150 is officially returning to Australia next year under a factory-backed local remanufacturing program that will convert the iconic US-built full-size pick-up truck to right-hand drive.
The news confirms months of rumours that Ford was preparing a local conversion program for the world’s top-selling ute in an effort to get in on the fast-growing and lucrative US pick-up market Down Under.
The latest F-150 continues the F-Series’ reign as the United States’ top-selling vehicle for 40 years and its favourite pick-up for 45 years. Since 1948, Ford has produced more than 40 million F-Series trucks, which are currently produced at four US facilities, earning the Blue Oval brand billions in revenue.
The F-150 will be shipped from the US and remanufactured by RMA Automotive, which has plenty of experience modifying Ford vehicles but has never undertaken a RHD conversion program.
RMA is headquartered in Thailand and has offices in Australia, but will set up a dedicated facility in Mickleham, north of Melbourne, in the same precinct as Ford’s local parts supply and logistics hub and a short distance from Ford’s Asia Pacific Product Development Centre (APPDC) in Campbellfield.
Ford says its Aussie engineers are working closely with RMA in the RHD conversion to ensure the F-150 program meets the car-maker’s global quality standards, and a development vehicle is already on the road ahead of launch by mid-2023.
This is also the first factory-backed facility of its kind in the Ford world, so there’s intense interest in the Aussie program across the globe.
V6 petrol engine, 4500kg towing
The Australian-market 2023 Ford F-150 will be offered at launch only in Crew Cab body configuration, in two model grades (XLT and Lariat) and with just one powertrain – a 3.5-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol V6.
So there will be no V8, but the F-150 will be backed by Ford’s standard five-year/unlimited-km factory warranty and supported by Ford’s national dealer network.
Described by Ford Australia as the “tow and haul engine of choice” from the F-150 portfolio, the engine combines with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and will enable a 4500kg maximum braked towing capacity.