Vauxhall’s new police car factory in Luton is the largest of its kind in Europe and brings 50 new jobs to the town.
The site will convert 2,500 vehicles per year for police, fire and ambulance duties, having moved from its previous location in Millbrook, Bedfordshire. Vauxhalls being lined up for ‘blues and twos’ duties include the Corsa, Astra, Insignia and Mokka, along with vans such as the Combo, Movano and Vivaro.
Vauxhall claims to be the only carmaker to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for emergency vehicles, with everything handled at the Luton plant. This includes testing, conversions and even the remarketing of vehicles retired from duty.
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Today’s police cars are a far cry from the days of The Bill and Juliet Bravo, with new vehicles equipped to battle modern threats, such as terrorism. Connectivity is key, with some Vauxhall patrol cars featuring 4G wifi and Toughbook tablets.
Dick Ellam, manager of special vehicles, said: “Through our flexible production facility, Vauxhall is able to offer a one-stop shop purchasing experience to UK emergency vehicles.
“We can deliver a wide choice of car and van models, specifically designed and rigorously-tested to meet the stringent demands of our emergency services. We can also supply turn-key vehicle solutions that enable rapid turnaround of replacement vehicles, plus we can now offer a unique in-house de-commissioning and re-marketing service.”
Last year, Vauxhall signed a deal to provide 2,000 police vehicles to 28 UK forces, including the supply of 1,200 new Astras. The company claims to enjoy a 70% market share in the UK.
In pictures: the Vauxhall police car factory