Will Mopar fans Down Under jump ship to Chevy and Ford?
Australia has long been America’s "Brother in Arms" when it comes to V8-powered muscle cars. The Aussies get it; tire smoking raw muscle is a wonderful thing. They love Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers with a passion, but unfortunately they can’t have them all at their disposal. According to Allpar, FCA recently announced its Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, will end production of right-hand drive vehicles, specifically the right-hand drive Chrysler 300.
It was the only LX RWD platform model built with that configuration specifically for Down Under. Now that RHD is finished for the 300, this also means there’s no chance FCA will build a RHD Challenger or Charger. Many Australians were holding out hope for a factory-built Hellcat, but now it’ll never happen. Now, Australians will have to privately import the car and have it converted to RHD at considerable expense. Fortunately, Ford already offers a RHD Mustang and Chevrolet is gearing up to do the same for its Camaro. But it was the raw, unapologetic Challenger that Aussie Mopar enthusiasts craved. This decision will also affect South African Mopar fans.
What’s the reason behind FCA’s decision? RHD simply wasn’t financially justifiable, the most common reason given anytime an automaker ends production for nearly all types of cars. The fact that the Challenger was sort of a niche model certainly didn’t help. The Charger and 300, though both sedans, are, more or less, out of date when compared to the competition. Remember, all three vehicles ride on a RWD platform that dates back to the Daimler-Chrysler days. Australia’s Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon RWD sedans have also recently ceased production as the market Down Under shifts towards FWD and AWD sedans and an ever expanding crossover market.