MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 17th , 2023: Ford Australia and engineering specialists, RMA Automotive Australia (RMA Automotive) have kicked off re-manufacturing Ford F-150s for customers, with trucks now being converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive at the RMA Automotive facility in Mickleham, north of Melbourne.
Located in the same precinct as Ford’s new parts supply and logistics hub, and close to Ford’s engineering head office in Campbellfield, the 21,000m2 facility sees engineers from Ford and RMA Automotive collaborate to ensure the ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150s are reengineered to Ford’s high standards.
“Our work with RMA Automotive to bring the iconic F-150 Down Under is the only one of its kind for Ford globally, reflecting just how great a fit the truck is for Aussie customers. Since we first announced the F-150 for Australia, we’ve had an overwhelming response from customers across the country. With re-manufacturing now well underway, these customers will soon be getting behind the wheel of this iconic truck,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Australia.
Local Engineering Expertise Meets Global Collaboration
The first batch of around 100 left-hand drive F-150s specifically manufactured for Australia at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Detroit, recently arrived in Melbourne. These trucks will now join other units to undergo an uncompromising and detailed remanufacturing process, requiring around 500 new parts and realignment of key systems to suit Australian driving needs, including the steering, climate control, lighting and instrument panel, as well as software upgrades. The facility will see up to 20 trucks remanufactured a day, on an assembly line covering 65 stations, with each vehicle taking around 22 working hours over three days to undergo the full process.
“We have a long legacy to uphold when it comes to the F-150 – for 75 years, the truck has captured the hearts of drivers with its unbeatable capability, convenience and comfort. The F-series has also been the highest selling vehicle line in the U.S. for over 40 years. To be able to offer this iconic vehicle to drivers in Australia is a privilege, and it speaks to Ford’s engineering prowess in the country. With the re-manufacturing process in full swing, our Product Development team is collaborating closely with RMA Automotive to bring drivers the same ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150, re-manufactured to meet applicable local design rules and regulations,” said Tom Dohrmann, F-150 Assistant Chief Program Engineer, Ford Australia.
RMA Automotive has more than 30 years of engineering expertise and is considered one of the world’s leading suppliers of modified vehicles, with over 100,000 modified Ford vehicles delivered globally to date. As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, Ford’s relationship with RMA dates back to 1997, with projects in markets from Europe and North America to Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.
“As a long-term partner of Ford, at RMA Automotive we are both proud and excited to extend our relationship into the Australian market with the F-150. As the first customer F-150s roll off the line, we are delighted to be an integral part of the project that enables Ford to set yet another standard when it comes to offering drivers Down Under the very best vehicles to suit their specific needs,” said Trevor Negus, General Manager RMA Automotive Australia.
Re-engineered for Convenience and Safety
Stepping into the Ford F-150, customers will immediately notice a few details that make the truck a standout, including:
- New instrument panel, including topper panels and decorative trim.
- New right hand drive transmission shifter assembly and console bezels.
- New brake pedal assembly and brake lines.
- Modified exterior mirrors with new wedges and bezels.
- New wiper linkages and blades, with matching new cowl grille
- New ADR-compliant towbar assembly, plus 4.5T hitch and 70mm ball.
- New ADR-compliant child restraints.
- New carpets with driver footrest
- Modified seats, including driver’s memory, and door switches.
- New Australian-specific software for Sync, instrument cluster, audio and climate control systems.
- DAB radio tuner.
- New Australian owner’s manual.
Under the skin are more changes engineered to ensure the right hand drive F-150 is truly equivalent to its left hand drive sibling:
- New cast magnesium cross car beam and injection moulded instrument panel carrier.
- New dash & cowl sheet metal in-fill panels.
- New major electrical harnesses – instrument panel, engine, body, trailer, seats.
- Modified P703 Raptor right hand drive steering rack, new intermediate shaft assembly and recalibrated steering feature software.
- New climate control air handling unit, ducting and heater hoses.
- Modified ADR-compliant headlamps.