Jeep, Mercedes will stay committed to RHD | Daily News


Jeep, Mercedes will stay committed to RHD

Jeep Gladiator
Jeep Gladiator

US car giant Jeep says it has no plans to walk away from right-hand-drive (RHD) markets – even though its rival General Motors will retreat from Australia, Thailand and New Zealand by the end of 2021 after getting out of the UK, South Africa and India over the past three years.

The man in charge of Jeep in Australia, Kevin Flynn, said he has been advised by parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that it is committed to right-hand-drive production, Car Advice reported.

“We are utterly committed to right-hand drive,” said Flynn. “That is the reason why there is so much focus on Australia now, and we should be playing a bigger role.”

Mercedes-Benz too has confirmed its long-term commitment to right-hand drive vehicles.

Although not all models will be built in right-hand drive – the company’s top executive has nonetheless labelled right-hand drive production as a cornerstone of the Daimler group’s strategy, Motoring reported.

Speaking via a teleconference in the wake of the Geneva motor show’s cancellation, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler boss Ola Kallenius made it clear that right-hand drive and his company’s fortunes were linked.

“Right-hand drive remains a cornerstone of our strategy and we have no plans to not serve our friends and customers around the world,” he stated. “Absolutely, the right-hand drive markets are very important to us around the world,” Kallenius said.

“In Europe, of course, the UK is a hugely important market – being the second biggest of our markets in Europe,” he explained.

Ford is waving its hand in the air for a right-hand-drive version of the next F-150. Ford is currently hard at work on the next-gen F-150, expected to arrive in the United States  in 2021, with international reports suggesting the key engine would be a new 4.8-litre V8 good for around 315kW and 570Nm, and that it would partner with a 10 speed auto. 

Rumours have been swirling that the next F-150 will be a global product with the potential for a steering wheel on both sides of the car. And that’s something Ford in Australia is hoping for, describing “commercial and trucks” as one of its strengths in this market. 

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