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C-300 police cars down under?

by David Zatz on

Australian manufacturing has gone from three major players down to none, with GM, Ford, and Mitsubishi all closing down. What are local police to do?

They could go traditional, keeping their favored rear wheel drive V8 powered police cars, which would give Chrysler an entry, according to a CarAdvice report sent to us by Hemi265. The new chief of FCA Australia, Steve Zanlunghi, said that police and fleet companies had asked about special versions of the Chrysler 300, which is sold (in decreasing numbers) Down Under.  Police reportedly were asking for bids.

Currently, most police cars are GM and Ford rear-drive models and Ford SUVs.  While it would be no great trick for FCA to outfit a set of 300s with Dodge Charger police innards, which would likely make for the best equipped police car in Australian history, economics may push many to emulate the Queensland Police Service in their move to Hyundai Sonatas, equipped with the V6 engine for normal duties with a turbocharged four-cylinder car for pursuits. Kia has talked about using the Sorento to replace Ford SUVs, and GM has talked about importing the rear drive Commodore from Europe.

Australia was once a stronghold of American automakers, with GM (Holden), Ford, and Chrysler taking nearly all local sales; but Chrysler was replaced by Mitsubishi due to financial troubles at home, and cheaper imports from Asia have flooded the continent (which is far closer to Japan than the US) since then.

Chrysler has not sold police cars in Australia since the 1970s, when the Valiant was popular.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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