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AN: Dodge, Ford fight for state police cars

4008 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AHBGuru
During the 1980s, Dodge and Plymouth dominated the police-car scene with their Diplomat; when they stopped production in 1989, Chevrolet’s Caprice 9C1 with the LT1 V-8 ruled the roost. After General Motors stopped producing full-size sedans in 1996, Ford’s Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, or CVPI, the last of the old rear-wheel-drive cars, took over by default until Dodge re-entered the fray with its new Dodge Charger Pursuit, around seven years ago. The Charger easily outperformed the old Fords, but Dodge had some history to overcome, and many fleet managers were comfortable with what they had; but as time went on, fleet after fleet acquired test cars from Dodge and Chargers started to become a familiar sight, easily outselling the smaller Impala 9C1.

When Ford stopped making the CVPI, with Dodge’s bite apparently bringing Ford’s plant below its break-even point, it quickly prepared two replacements: a front wheel drive, Taurus-based..

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· Premium Member
1,750 Posts
Reliability will be the final deal maker IMHO.

· Premium Member
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Relaibility is one factor, but there are so many other factors involved, it's hard to predict what a given department will buy.

Performance, room, comfort, safety, serviceability, durability, fuel economy, ease of upfitting, resale value, dealer and mfr support, bid price, politics ... any combination of these factors can come into play in today's LEV market.

One thing that has changed, and for the better: All of the big 3 are making continuous refinements to their respective police vehicles.

Here in WI, it has become nearly universal practice for a larger department to split the fleet in various ratios (seems to be about 2 Chargers to 1 Exploder) between the Charger and the Exploder. The Taurus and Charger split the state bid, with the Exploder and Tahoe splitting the SUV bid.
The VA here where I live just got 2 fully decked out Hemi Durango Special Service Package. I do not understand why Chrysler has not certified the Durango for pursuit duty.
Several smaller municipalities are using the Ram Special Service Package.

There are only two departments anywhere near me that uses the Caprice, and together there's less than 10 of those. Both departments serve areas with a strong GM presence. I do not see the Caprice program extending beyond the next year or two, and I do not see GM offering anything in a RWD/AWD V8 Police sedan afterwards. They still sell plenty of Tahoes and Impalas, and I think they will continue on with those.

I further predict that Ford will have to rethink its turbo policy, as repair and parts cost are significant, and fuel costs are not competitive with those of the V6/V8 Charger and Caprice.
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