With the new Vauxhall Astra set to go on sale this winter, Vauxhall is already gearing up to be inundated with orders - but what about the law and its orders?
As some of the company's most prolific and visible customers, GM UK Fleet has pulled out all the stops to ensure that versions of the all-new Vauxhall Astra for major police forces will be available to coincide with the launch of the new car in late 2009.
And unlike many police cars, the Vauxhall Astra is a 'turnkey' offering, built by Vauxhall at GM Millbrook, one of Europe's leading automotive test and development centres and offered very much as a complete car, with a single invoice rather than being sold as a base car plus conversion. After all, when it's public money being spent, it's best to keep the cost as transparent as possible.
Fully type approved and tested to meet the same stringent safety demands as the Vauxhall Astra road car, along with the demands placed upon them by the daily demands of emergency services, the police-spec Vauxhall Astras are covered by the same warranty as the base vehicle, with all conversion parts covered to match the same period.
Usually, to bring such a vehicle to market would take around six months from the car's actual launch, but because the new generation Vauxhall Astra is built here in the UK - at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire - GM Special Vehicles' engineers were able to work closely with the factory to bring the converted police car to market within a similar timeframe to the road car.
GM UK Special Vehicles manager Dick Ellam said: "The Astra is the backbone of many UK police fleets and has proven itself fit for purpose time and time again. With the introduction of the new Astra and the innovations this model brings we can offer even more to the police and emergency services."
Over 900 police Vauxhall Astras were sold last year, so to bring the new model to market quickly is imperative, as is ensuring the newcomer is ready to go right from the start.
Three high visibility livery options are available, half, three-quarter or full to meet customers' needs. As well as this, the lightbars (available in three widths) feature advanced LED technology, while all PTT (Push-to-talk) 999 and at-scene functions have been incorporated into the steering wheel to maximise safety. The police Vauxhall Astra can be ordered with all communication equipment already installed, with a neat 8.4-inch mobile data terminal screen neatly incorporated into the fascia, making defleet easy without impacting the residual value.Published 9 September 2009