The Australian automotive landscape is undergoing a significant transformation as a new generation of super-sized US-style pick-up trucks gains traction on the roads. While some embrace these imposing vehicles with enthusiasm, others find themselves triggered by the surge of these monster trucks. Regardless of the division they cause, it seems these hulking vehicles are here to stay, as big brands ramp up manufacturing to meet the soaring demand.
According to a report by 9 News, sales of American “pick-up trucks,” including popular models like the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet’s Silverado, have experienced a staggering 85 percent increase in the last year to June compared to the previous year. The surge in popularity has led truck manufacturers to refit approximately 1200 vehicles each month. This is because these trucks are imported as left-hand-drive models and need to be converted to right-hand-drive to comply with Australian road regulations.
In 2021, General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) reported 2118 Chevrolet Silverado sales, and in late 2022, the 5000th locally-remanufactured vehicle rolled off the assembly line in Victoria. Meanwhile, RAM Trucks revealed that 604 units were sold in September 2022, representing a 45 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. Since production began, a total of 17,115 RAM trucks have been sold to Australian customers, indicating the growing demand for these imposing vehicles.
This upswing in popularity has prompted other car brands to take notice. The Ford F-150 pick-up, one of America’s best-selling vehicles, is set to make its way to Australian shores this year, with the Toyota Tundra expected to follow suit in late 2023 or early 2024.
While some drivers like Adam Davey, who owns a Chevrolet Silverado, laud the towing capabilities of these American trucks, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. Social media has become a platform for complaints about these massive vehicles taking up multiple parking spaces, causing inconvenience to others. Many users share photos of these obnoxiously-parked trucks and criticize their owners for their parking habits.
Commentators on Reddit have pointed out that these American-style pick-up trucks are often larger than the Australian standard parking spaces, which were originally designed to accommodate the largest 4WDs or small vans from around 2004. While the classic Aussie ute is associated with tradies and work-related activities, these monster trucks seem to be more commonly used by individuals who might not necessarily need them for their intended utility.
The nickname “emotional support vehicle” (ESV) has been humorously used to mockingly imply that owners buy these cars to compensate for their own shortcomings. Other creatively insulting nicknames such as “Seppo” (derived from “septic tank” rhyming with Yank), “Yank tanks,” and “freedumb trucks” have also emerged. Some enthusiasts, however, praise these pick-up trucks as “the best cars around.”
The love-it-or-hate-it response to these super-sized US-style pick-up trucks has stirred up passionate debates across the country. While some appreciate the power and capabilities of these vehicles, others view them as symbols of excess and insecurity. Regardless of where the road leads, it is evident that these larger-than-life trucks have captured the attention of Aussies and are likely to continue making their presence felt on Australian roads for the foreseeable future.
- Which US-style pick-up trucks have experienced a surge in sales in Australia? American “pick-up trucks,” including models like the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet’s Silverado, have witnessed an impressive 85 percent increase in sales in the last year to June.
- Why do truck manufacturers need to refit these imported pick-up trucks? These pick-up trucks are originally imported as left-hand-drive models and need to be converted to right-hand-drive to comply with Australian road regulations.
- Which Australian states have seen a rise in the popularity of these super-sized pick-up trucks? While Queensland initially had the most significant market for these vehicles, Victoria and New South Wales have since taken over, even in metropolitan areas.
- What are some of the creatively insulting nicknames given to these vehicles on social media? Some of the creatively insulting nicknames include “Seppo” (septic tank), “Yank tanks,” and “freedumb trucks.”
- Are tradies the primary users of these super-sized pick-up trucks in Australia? While the classic Aussie ute is traditionally associated with tradies and work-related activities, these super-sized pick-up trucks are often used by individuals who might not necessarily require their utility.