200 Dodge and Ram models might be sold in Britain each year via a planned expansion of the UK dealer network
Dodge and Ram models could become a more common sight on UK roads if expansion plans for official FCA importer AGT Europe go ahead. The European importer is seeking to partner with British dealers who presently import American cars, pushing the annual import number up to 200 models and making it easier for UK buyers to get their hands on machines like the 797hp SRT Hellcat Redeye and 485hp R/T Scat Pack.
Currently, only a small handful of Dodge and Ram dealers exist in Britain, like David Boatwright, which is one of the latest to add products from the American brands to its stock list. But as reported by AM-Online, AGT believes there’s a significant portion of untapped demand for American-built metal, so it intends to add three of four more dealers to the UK supply stream.
AGT has form in this area as it already sells 20,000 cars per year on the continent, via a long list of specialist US car dealers. That would mean the anticipated UK expansion would represent a tiny portion of its total sales, but with British buyers so often going for high-spec and high-performance variants, the business model might yet prove significant. The firm believes wealthy entrepreneurs and business owners would be among its main customer demographic – and you'd imagine quite a few PHers, as well.
Giovanni De Luca, AGT Europe’s network development manager, told AM-Online that existing UK Jeep dealers stand out as strong potential first candidates for AGT’s plans, because “the tools and hardware [in the cars] are the same or very similar”. Indeed, the dealers have recently been buoyed by a strong boost in Jeep sales, following the new Wrangler’s introduction in 2018. According to JATO figures, Jeep sales grew by 56% last year with 166,500 European sales, placing it about 16,000 cars ahead of Land Rover.
I never knew David Boatwright was ‘official’ - I had assumed it was a grey import - anyone know if the cars need IVA and conversion this end or is it done in the factory?
Truckosaurus13 Aug 2019
When you say '200 models' do you mean '200 combinations of vehicle and trim levels will be available' or 'a total of 200 RAM trucks in total will be sold a year in the UK' ?
tvrolet13 Aug 2019
Rather than engaging only with dealers who already import American cars why not just use the Jeep dealer network? My RHD TrackHawk came from an official Jeep dealer and shares the motor with the Challenger HellCat, so Jeep dealers already have to be up-to-speed servicing HellCat (and Hemi) motors (although there's not a lot to actually service).
I almost bought a Challenger Hellcat Widebody but the idea of LHD and tales of being unable to get the power down put me off. The TrackHawk is a glorious thing though, and low-key enough to blend in with all the other SUVs until you choose to floor it. And it can put every one of its 710hp down...even in less than ideal conditions!
Roo13 Aug 2019
Last time it was tried in 2004/5 Dodge UK didn't have a clue what they were doing, panicked when they hadn't sold a years supply of Rams which they'd had to order in one lot and sold them off cheap.
They had no clue about getting the SVA conversion work done properly, it was budged at the Bristol import centre, and left the dealers to sort out how to get them tested and registered.
Oh, and no Boatwright aren't an official dealer. All their stuff is grey imports.
RB Will13 Aug 2019
Id say its mostly the price jump that puts most customers off. Not sure on current figures but its a bit galling when you see in the US a Ram is about £30-35k but same one over here is £50-60k. I get that the importers have to make money.
If I could get a new Ram for £30-40k Id be all over it but when I'm being asked for £50k+ its just too much for what is essentially a toy.
I don't know if things have changed in the dealer network since I left but When I was working at a Jeep dealer we had no problem getting parts and servicing Dodge models, even the rarer ones. When I had my Ram a few years later the Jeep dealer I used to work at still had no probs looking after it and were more helpful than the Importer I bought it from.