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William Maley

Industry News: Police Departments Not Immune To Crossover/SUV Wave

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More and more police departments are going towards crossovers and SUVs for their fleets. According to Automotive News Canada, police departments are going with these vehicles over their sedan counterparts as they are able to fit all of their equipment needed on a daily basis. Officers like them as crossovers and SUVs are easier to get in and out.

“We’re all dealing with the same issue, and that is the vehicles are getting smaller, yet there’s still demand for more gadgets and equipment put into those cars. It’s always a bit of a tradeoff and a challenge to make it all fit,” Julie Furlotte, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's national mobile assets manager.

The RCMP's current fleet is made up of around 1,200 to 1,300 police package sedans and 1,600 police package utility vehicles. 

There is also another plus point for utility vehicles, durability. 

“I’m hearing from my customers anyway that when they look at the sedan versus the SUVs, the SUVs are a little bit more expensive (but) they actually get better durability out of them,” said GM Canada’s manager of fleet marketing and government sales.

There is the question of the performance gap. Pursuit vehicles are mostly sedans as they offer better than their utility counterparts. But that is changing.  Sgt. Michael McCarthy of the Michigan State Police (MSP) precision-driving team - they're the group behind the annual test of pursuit-rated vehicles - says the performance gap is shrinking.

“LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) are buying a larger percentage of SUVs than they are of the sedans. They are very capable. They have a fairly short turning radius. They’re deceptively fast.”

Source: Automotive News Canada (Subscription Required)


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It is scientifically proven that crossovers are more durable than cars.  Ford Escapes typically run for twice as many miles and with fewer repairs than a Ford Focus on the exact same chassis with the exact same engine and transmission.  It just makes sense that higher roof line = greater durability.  

 

But in all seriousness, it would make sense for GM to do an Equinox or Acadia police package vehicle.  Ford just has the whole market right now.

 

“LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) are buying a larger percentage of SUVs than they are of the sedans. They are very capable. They have a fairly short turning radius. They’re deceptively fast.”

^ as far as that goes, I'd give my car to any cop in a police crossover that could outrun me.  Not that I make it a habit of speeding or running from cops, but come on, an Explorer police car has to be slow as molasses, not deceptively fast.

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I have a Sheriffs Explorer sitting next to my house. My neighbor serves and the department as well as most other near by departments are going to the Ford Explorer in various styles. 

They still have some cars but there is just so little room in them anymore it is difficult to operate in them. Add to it the ground clearance for jumping curbs. The price is in line with the cars so it is a better deal for them in the long run. The cars are cramped and now they not only have weapons and radios but now they have computers laser  etc. 

As for Durability... Even an idiot would understand in many cases the suspension are a little heavier and larger on the SUV vs a sedan in most cases even with the same engine and transmission. 

They are also buying a mix of FWD and AWD also a couple Turbo's for pursuits. Even a local tuner has offered to boost them up for more power. 

GM should look for an answer but I am not sure what. The Nox is not a prime player for this with no V6 and  the present Traverse is too large and expensive. A short wheelbase models similar to the Acadia in a Chevy would be prime as it would better match the Ford in price, weight and size and still offer the V6.

We also have a number of Tahoe's here too but mostly with State Troopers. The local departments can get the Fords cheaper. 

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Note too Ford low balls the price on the police feet sales and makes profit on volume. This makes it hard for others to get in. 

 

Department also tend to stick with on brand so they only have to stock parts for one brand.

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GM really doesn't have an answer to the Fords for the moment.  I would have thought the Durango would have made a good police vehicle comparable to the Explorer, but Dodge never really ran with it..... and really... who knows what's going on with the braniacs in FCA upper management these days.....

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