Vauxhall signs Police deal

Vauxhall has signed one of the UK's biggest Police fleet deals with over 2,000 vehicles destined for official Police business.

The deal includes 1,200 Brit-built Astras for Police forces nationwide, with the two-year multi-million pound contract also including Corsas, Insignias and Brit-built Vivaro vans. This order cements Vauxhall's position as the largest provider of low and intermediate performance cars to the UK Police, with a 60 per cent share of competitive markets.

All Astra models can be equipped with OnStar technology which keeps the car connected via satellite and cellular networks, turning the vehicle in to a 'high-speed 4G LTE mobile hub with connectivity for up to seven smartphones or tablets' says Vauxhall. The OnStar system includes a Police-spec ignition block, which can be triggered remotely in the event of a vehicle being stolen.

Procurement for the mammoth sale was led by West Midlands Police with vehicles set to join 28 Police forces. Six fire and rescue services are also included in the agreement which sees vehicles heading to East and West Sussex, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Surrey and Staffordshire.

David Wilkin, West Midlands Police's Director of Resources and the national policing lead for the procurement of vehicles commented: "A vehicle purchasing collaboration between police forces and partners on this scale has never been seen before and I am delighted to say that it has been a huge success in terms of the savings made and how well the organisations have worked together.

"The success of this group builds on the achievements of a large scale vehicle procurement project led by West Yorkshire Police earlier in the year. While cost is clearly a driving factor, the most important aspect is that these vehicles need to be the safest ones available for our staff and the public."

"We are delighted to supply the Police with this huge order," said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. "Efficiency is a top priority for all Police forces and the investment made in these Vauxhalls will mean officers spend more time preventing crime."

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Italian Police chooses SEAT Leon

SEAT has won the fleet contract to supply new Leon cars to the Italian police.

The first 206 vehicles have already started being handed over, with an initial 106 service vehicles being delivered to the Carabinieri and a further 100 to the Polizia di Stato. Overall, the contract includes the option for up to 4,000 vehicles over the next three years. So far, they have taken orders for 925 cars, split between 475 'panthers' (Polizia di Stato) and 450 'gazelles' (Carabinieri).

This marks the first time that both police forces have tendered and selected the same brand and the same vehicle. SEAT says that major factors in the decision included the Leon’s low fuel consumption and emissions figures, as well as its high quality and excellent total cost of ownership.

"We are honoured by the trust given by the Italian police in SEAT and the Leon. And we are very proud to be able to contribute thanks to reliable, secure and high quality vehicles to public safety," says Jurgen Stackmann, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SEAT. 

The new Italian police cars are based on the five-door Leon powered by the 150 PS version of the 2.0 TDI engine. The front end of the cars will be armoured against small arms fire and special safety tyres are fitted, with the suspension adapted to suit. 

Warning and alarm lights, radio and communications equipment, weapons carriers and other items of equipment are also featured and the back seat is laid out as a secure 'prisoner cell', with police officers seated in the front protected by a dividing partition.

Extensive prototype tests were conducted with two vehicles codenamed 'gazelle' and 'panther', while comprehensive endurance testing assured the quality of the vehicles, which will face harsh and demanding conditions in day-to-day use. The armoured door, for instance, was opened and closed 100,000 times and the two vehicles were finally driven continuously for 30,000 kilometres, stopping only to refuel and relieve drivers. 

The base vehicles are produced at the SEAT factory in Martorell near Barcelona, before being transferred to Chivasso, Italy for further adaptation at N.C.T. (Nuova Carrozzeria Torinese), the specialist firm that has converted most of the police cars in Italy since 2003.