RAM, LDV importer mounts big accessories push

Big suppliers sign on to Ateco’s new Upfitter outlet for RAM, Chevy, Ford trucks and more

More than 40 aftermarket accessory brands have signed on to a new initiative from RAM and LDV importer Ateco Group, which has developed an online store called Upfitter that is targeting Australian ute and SUV owners.

Whether it’s bull bars or spot lights, roof racks or suspension lift kits, big-name brands such as Warn, Husky, WeatherTech and many more are involved in the new e-commerce site, which is designed to cater for not only Ateco brands – vehicles such as the RAM 1500 and 2500, and the LDV T60 ute – but others including Ford and Chevrolet.

The move is clearly designed to cash in on the booming aftermarket accessories sector in Australia, as well as direct more business through Ateco’s 170-strong dealer network and servicing points which can fit the accessories.

Ateco claims its research and development team spent the past two years in the US to better understand the scale and capabilities of existing accessories before it decided to launch locally.

Upfitter’s chief operating officer, David Smitherman, says gaining local traction for Australian accessory manufacturers can be difficult.

“Upfitter allows them to have national exposure and significant fitment coverage, so we welcome the opportunity to represent them,” Smitherman said.

“Camping, off-roading, road trips and fishing adventures – these are all activities rooted deep in Australian culture and require fit-for-purpose accessories. If the product comes from Upfitter, it means it’s an accessory we’ve tested and loved.”

Ateco said the business is split between interior, exterior and performance hubs, covering “everything from antennas to fuel locks, floor mats to bed steps, lighting to suspension lifts” and that “this range is being added to daily”.

The company said that alongside universal fitment accessories, there are specific products for Ford, Chevrolet, LDV and RAM vehicles, with additional brands and vehicle types to be added early in 2021.

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