Performax to develop RHD Ford F-Series Super Duty truck
Mary Lorenzo (left) and Oliver Spiess (right)
2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch (US-spec)
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24th December, 2013
Two former GM Holden engineers with wide international experience have
been appointed to develop the Ford Super Duty pick-up truck for full-volume right-hand drive production by a leading
independent American vehicle importer Performax International.
Mary Lorenzo and Oliver Spiess have begun work on the mechanical and interior conversion designs that will be needed
to build up to 300 RHD Super Duty F-250 and F-350 trucks in series production from next year.
Performax International, which already manufactures around 320 American cars and utes in RHD a year at its factory in
Gympie, north of Queensland's Sunshine Coast, recently won Federal Government approval for full-volume (unlimited)
production of the Ford Super Duty.
The Ford will join the Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Dodge RAM utilities, which are already in limited-volume
production at Performax.
Ms Lorenzo and Mr Spiess have worked with vehicle makers and component suppliers in Germany, the United States and
Spain, as well as Australia.
In Australia during two stints at GM Holden, Ms Lorenzo contributed to the interior engineering of the Holden
Commodore and Pontiac G8. She worked as a design engineer on the Holden Cruze and earlier was employed by seat supplier
Air International (now Futuris), with project engineering responsibility for Holden, Ford and Mitsubishi seating.
Mr Spiess joined Performax from Ford Australia, where he worked on safety systems for the Ford Ranger ute. Previously,
at Holden, he undertook similar work on the Colorado and other projects.
Throughout a career of more than 20 years he has worked extensively on safety, occupant restraint systems and product
development. He was responsible for vehicle safety systems on GM's global rear-drive platform, used by the Commodore,
Chevrolet Camaro and other derivatives.
Mr Spiess's experience in ensuring vehicles achieved safety compliance in diverse markets around the world will be
valuable in bringing the F-250 and F-350 to market in Australia.
"Mary and I will take our experience from large-scale manufacturing systems and apply them to the Performax
International operation," he said.
"Performax is a small company that has done a brilliant job over the past 20 years and which now wants to move
forward with significant production volume of the Ford Super Duty."
"We will focus on three areas - compliance, designing the vehicle for right-hand drive and production systems to
ensure consistent quality and conformity, including spare parts."
Ms Lorenzo said she had started work on developing new parts for the F-250 and F-350, after completing an initial
assessment of the project.
"Oliver and I are delighted to be on board for this exciting project. A relatively small company is a new
environment for us, but we're confident we can bring the benefit of our experience to help produce an outstanding new
vehicle for the Australian market." she said.
Performax International General Manager Glenn Soper said the appointment of two such experienced mechanical engineers
from the mainstream vehicle manufacturing sector showed his company's determination to build the best quality products to
"The Ford Super Duty project is aimed to eventually double production volume at Performax International to around
600 vehicles a year and to achieve this we need to install the latest factory systems," he said.
"Performax is placed to not only consolidate itself as the industry leader in Australia but also to seek new
"The F-250 and F-350 project has been a long time coming, but we know there is enormous interest in these products
from business and private users in Australia."
"When we're in full production later next year, we will be able to offer customers an unrivalled line-up of the
latest American pick-ups (utes) ready for Australian roads - the Ford Super Duty, Chev Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Dodge
Performax International has almost 25 years' experience importing and re-engineering American vehicles to full
Australian Design Rule compliance, with work completed to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards.
Hi-tech practices such as computer-aided design, 3D-printed parts prototyping and injection moulding ensure right-hand
drive vehicles are manufactured factory-original engineering, fit and finish quality.
Performax vehicles are available around Australia at several dealership locations.