Ford Motor Co. has been working diligently to keep its place as the primary provider for the nation’s law enforcement fleets after the iconic Crown Victoria ceases production next year. Now the automaker is developing a second vehicle for police departments: a pursuit-ready SUV.
The new SUV model is based on the same platform as Ford’s new Explorer model.
“When you own 70 percent of the market and you understand your customers, they tell you what their needs are,” said Lisa Teed, brand marketing manager for Ford’s police vehicle program. “They need flexibility, and that’s what this second vehicle brings.”
Ford is relying heavily on input from its advisory board of law enforcement officials to develop the new vehicle. The most important lesson learned from this process is that the needs of agencies vary by region, which Ford is working hard to accommodate.
The new SUV will be pursuit-ready and comes with four-wheel drive, and will also feature a modified version of the Ford SYNC system, specially modified for law enforcement needs. Many parts will be interchangeable with the new Police Interceptor, making maintenance much more convenient and cheaper for budget-stretched departments.
Each year, law enforcement agencies in the United States purchase about 75,000 police vehicles.
“Their job is to protect and serve us,” Teed said. “Our job is to serve them.”
[via The Detroit News]
Photo courtesy of conner395 under the Creative Commons License