PHLBOS
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Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Vehicles tested:

Ford CVPI (in both 3.27 and 3.55 axle versions)
(according to the article, Ford will still be taking orders up through March 2011)

Ford T (Taurus) PI (AWD and AWD Turbo (Ecoboost) versions)
Note: Police versions won't be officially available to until December 2011 as a 2012 model.

Ford Explorer (2011 FWD model)
Note: Like the Taurus, police versions won't be officially available to until December 2011 as a 2012 model.

Chevy Tahoe (in both regular and E85 versions)

Dodge Charger (in both V6 and V8 variants)
Note: The Charger for 2011 has been restyled, some photos in the link show the changes.

Chevy (Holden) Caprice (in both regular and E85 versions)

Chevy Impala (in both regular and E85 versions)

http://jalopnik.com/5644083/the-grea...-cop-car-shootout?skyline=true&s=i

In the High Speed testing, the winner was the Caprice.

In the Handling Course testing, the winner was the Ford TPI.

While many liked the new Caprice the one dislike they had for it was the fact that while Holden/Chevy took the time to place the steering wheel and instruments at the opposite side during the Statesman/Caprice conversion, they forgot to replace the floor shifter w/the column-shifter (to allow for greater use of space for their equipment); something that all the other vehicles tested had.

Article exerpt:
All of them also move the shifter onto the column to free up extra space — except the Caprice. There's no off-the-shelf parts for column-mounted shifting in the Commodore, and the engineering necessary to rework the steering column couldn't be completed for 2011. Chevy has a space-saving temporary fix in the works, but according to several shoppers the shifter alone knocks the Caprice off the list.

Another article tid-bit (for critics that wonder why police departments in the U.S. prefer using larger cars vs. smaller ones - Bold emphasis added):
The most precious resource to an officer isn't power or gadgetry, but space. Wearing a utility belt with a gun and radio grabs several inches of hip space; sitting in the same position several hours a day can add a few more over time. The meanest police car in the world won't win many fans among officers if its not comfortable, and every model sported seats customized for police work.

In a nutshell among the newer models, the article towards the end gave the nod to the Charger mainly because the new Fords outside of the CVPI (which only had the advantage in handling) won't be available until the 2012 model year and the Caprice's lack of offering a column-shifter (no doubt, that will be addressed in 2012). Another concern regarding the Caprice (and I mentioned this in the past) is the cost of parts that are exclusively from Australia.

Thoughts and opinions (I am sure there will be several)?
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acidradio
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:05 am

I am excited to see the Caprice return to Chevy's lineup. And the Charger makes a neat cop car. The Crown Vic is THE police car but it needs a redesign. Of course we all know that isn't likely to happen. But what if Ford just made it into a totally specialized car just for use as a cop car? Granted they are doing it now (the Crown Vic is fleet-only going forward) but this is along the lines of the old Checker taxis - they were made ONLY to be a taxi and only sold to taxi operators. The Crown Vic has a substantial following and is on a solid rear-drive platform which is highly sought-after for police work.

As far as the column/console shifter issue they will work it out. Another notable vehicle frequently used in police work which only came with a console shifter was the Jeep Cherokee. Somehow they made it work.
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stasisLAX
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:14 am

Quoting acidradio (Reply 1):
Granted they are doing it now (the Crown Vic is fleet-only going forward) but this is along the lines of the old Checker taxis - they were made ONLY to be a taxi and only sold to taxi operator

Carbon Motors is a manufacturer of police only vehicles - but there seems to be limited interested from the municipal fleets in buying such a specialized vehicle.
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BMI727
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:00 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 2):
Carbon Motors is a manufacturer of police only vehicles - but there seems to be limited interested from the municipal fleets in buying such a specialized vehicle

I don't think it has anything to do with being specialized. It has to do with the fact that it costs far more than existing models.
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cpd
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:17 am

How come Caprice is so slow compared to the original civilian Holden Caprice (with the full luxury car interior)?

The original Holden version I think does the 0-62mph in about 5.7sec - what makes the Police version slower than the Civilian car - is it heavier?

But I will admit that some elements of that article seem a little bit suspect - given knowledge of how the original civilian Caprice (on 19" or 20" wheels) behaves. They are well known to be near fool-proof in their handling.

But it's obvious Caprice isn't suitable for the Police car purpose, so I'm surprised that they are persisting with attempting to sell it. It's a much better machine in its original form as a comfortable luxury car.

[Edited 2010-09-23 21:27:01]
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:25 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 4):
How come Caprice is so slow compared to the original civilian Holden Caprice (with the full luxury car interior)?

2-word answer (guess on my part): Emission-controls. The U.S. likely has more stringent emission requirements (which impedes performance) than in the land down-under.

Quoting cpd (Reply 4):
But it's obvious Caprice isn't suitable for the Police car purpose, so I'm surprised that they are persisting with attempting to sell it. It's a much better machine in its original form as a comfortable luxury car.

Let's be clear on this. The only reason WHY GM (Chevy) is offering the Holden-Statesman-based Caprice to the U.S. police market at all was because it found itself in breach of an agreement (w/Holden) to sell X number of Holden-based cars in the U.S. when it killed off the Pontiac brand and the Commodore-based G8 sedan along with it. Add to that the upcoming higher CAFE standards essentially makes offering the Caprice (at least a gas-powered one) to the retail market and/or the original Statesman is essentially a non-starter. As the standard CAFE figure rises; the probability of those cars having gas guzzler taxes imposed (in either $500 or $1000 increments) becomes greater.

[Edited 2010-09-24 09:28:18]
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falstaff
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:21 pm

There was a report on WWJ radio (Detroit) this morning on the topic of the new Caprice police car. A potential serious issue with sales is that it will be a police only vehicle and parts distribution may be an issue. For the most part you can buy parts for police cars from a variety of places without issue, because most of the parts are the same as the civilian based cars. With this car being police only will police departments have to rely on Chevy dealers for all parts. Also how will parts availability be? For example a police department has a FWD Chevy Impala and it needs an intake manifold gasket. They can get that from NAPA (or similar parts store) or the dealer right away. What if this new Caprice needs a part like that and it isn't in stock, how long will it take to get. What about body parts? There is a body shop near my house that fixed Michigan State Police cars, it amazes me how many get wrecked. The turn around time appears to be rather fast and those cars are back on the streets in no time. With a car that is police only and made outside of the USA or Canada how fast will the turn around time be.

Another thing I was thinking about was resale. Police agencies sell their old cars and I am sure that money goes back into the budget. If these cars are police only will they be able to sell them when they are done. If they can, who would want to buy them if they can't get parts easily at their local auto parts store. I am sure some people would still buy them, but I bet the resale would be lower. I would imagine that any fleet buyer is also looking at resale prices too.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:29 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 6):
There was a report on WWJ radio (Detroit) this morning on the topic of the new Caprice police car. A potential serious issue with sales is that it will be a police only vehicle and parts distribution may be an issue. For the most part you can buy parts for police cars from a variety of places without issue, because most of the parts are the same as the civilian based cars. With this car being police only will police departments have to rely on Chevy dealers for all parts. Also how will parts availability be?

   I have stated similar (but not as detailed) MULTIPLE TIMES every time the subject of the upcoming Holden-Caprice car has come up; and many here (not you, Falstaff) doubted me.

That report further validates/vindicates my earlier-stance on the Holden-Caprice police-only issue car.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:26 pm

Quoting acidradio (Reply 1):
but this is along the lines of the old Checker taxis - they were made ONLY to be a taxi and only sold to taxi operators

Not true you could in the earlier years of Marathon production anyone could buy one.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 7):
I have stated similar (but not as detailed) MULTIPLE TIMES every time the subject of the upcoming Holden-Caprice car has come up; and many here (not you, Falstaff) doubted me.

That report further validates/vindicates my earlier-stance on the Holden-Caprice police-only issue car.

The easy option for Chevy is to also sell the car to the taxi market, it's already widely used in Australia and NZ as a taxi, that would probably add 10's of thousands more sales per year, especially if they put in a nice diesel which they are working on in Fishermans Bend right now.

Chevy could even sell it to the livery market for conversion to hearses and limos, it makes a pretty good replacement for the Crown Vic and Town Car.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:58 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
The easy option for Chevy is to also sell the car to the taxi market

While such would increase the Caprice's numbers; one still has the same problem with regards to the limited size of the fleet-only market (i.e. limited growth). As stated earlier, while the Ford Pathers (Crown Vic taxis and PIs) have been fleet-only for a few years, the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars have been and are STILL available in the retail market.

Additionally, with the higher CAFE standards around the corner; GM (Chevy) doesn't want to inflict any more damage (read: fines) than it has to. Again, the only reason GM's even doing this is to fulfill an earlier-signed agreement w/Holden... nothing else.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
if they put in a nice diesel which they are working on in Fishermans Bend right now.

Increased emission regulations (CARB in particular) makes additional diesel offerings nearly a non-starter.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
Chevy could even sell it to the livery market for conversion to hearses and limos, it makes a pretty good replacement for the Crown Vic and Town Car.

See above. While they technically could; the current economic and political (granted, the latter could change depending on the outcome of this November's Congressional mid-term elections) climate make such a move a non-starter.
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falstaff
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:12 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
Not true you could in the earlier years of Marathon production anyone could buy one.

I think there were "civilian models" sold right to the end. I know some of the last off the line were luxury sedans. A few were kept by Checker which was still an automotive supplier until they went bankrupt in 2008. A few of the last off the line cars that were kept by checker were auctioned in bankruptcy, what they sold for, or even if they sold, I do not know.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:21 pm

The other thing with the Caprice is that most if not all the mechanical oily bits are sourced from the US so you should just be able to go down to the local parts shop and get what you need.

I don't know why they don't just ships completed bodies to the US and install the powertrain in the US, it's crazy if you ask me to ship engines and transmissions down to Australia to fit in a car which you then ship back to the US.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:39 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 11):
The other thing with the Caprice is that most if not all the mechanical oily bits are sourced from the US so you should just be able to go down to the local parts shop and get what you need.


Are those parts commonly used in other US models. Even if they are they may not be all in one car. With the old Caprice you could walk into a auto parts store and say I need a water pump, valve cover gasket, window regulator, etc for a 95 Chevy Caprice. If the US sourced parts come from a variety of models you would have to say. I need a water pump for_____, a valve cover gasket for______, a window regulator for_____. A lot more difficult than the other method. back in the early 2000s I put a Ford AOD transmission out of a 90 Lincoln in a 66 Ford F100. I remember going to the parts store and asking for a pan gasket and filter for an AOD and the guy asks what for, because he has no idea what it looks like. I couldn't very well say a 66 F100.
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rlwynn
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:21 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 12):
I remember going to the parts store and asking for a pan gasket and filter for an AOD and the guy asks what for, because he has no idea what it looks like. I couldn't very well say a 66 F100.

That is why they have part numbers.
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falstaff
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:20 am

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 13):
That is why they have part numbers.


Not everything has a part number stamped on it. A vast majority of the car parts I work with have no numbers on them. If they do that is an OEM number and will be different than the aftermarket part makers number. Also manufacturers supersede part numbers all the time. This is never really an issue with dealership parts, but when buying from and parts store is a different story.

Back when I used to have a couple of old Merceded-Benz I had some books that had exploded views of the car and all of its systems. Each part was numbered, very handy...
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cpd
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:57 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 11):
it's crazy if you ask me to ship engines and transmissions down to Australia to fit in a car which you then ship back to the US.

It was never supposed to be sold in the USA. And besides, building it over their would be a PR disaster here. Americans might buy it, but Australians would deliberately not buy it.

It'd be the same as Mercedes-Benz or Porsche shutting down and closing all factories in Europe and then outsourcing all production to Korea or China. There would be an outrage.

The handy thing with Caprice however is that many of the mechanical bits and pieces are standard parts shared among a number of cars that share the same transmission (GM 6L50 for V6, or 6L80 for V8) and engine (L76 V8 or the 3.6L SIDI V6 from Cadillac CTS)
 
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:01 am

I am still surprised police do not go for the hybrid option. They buy a lot of gas and often sit for hours, using their V8s to power heavy electrics. I drove an Altima Hybrid during the summer. A very big sedan with room probably equal to a Crown Vic, and equal acceleration too. It gets over 30 mpg in pretty much any condition. I know some parts must be hardened for police use. Ford is apparently doing that with the Taurus, but AWD strikes me as overkill and needless complexity. Unless police really need pursuit speed (not sure), hybrid would be a good 24/7 option.
 
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cpd
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:02 am

I guess the hybrid option is too expensive, and don't they traditionally buy only from the big three?

The big three have been pretty slow on the uptake of hybrids. I would have thought that diesel cars would be a better option, although they'd have to get BMW 5 series (eg, 535d) or GM needs to push the case to get the 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel into Holden faster (it's already been tested in the cars already, according to the rumours).

That'd be a benefit for everyone actually.
 
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:55 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 15):
It was never supposed to be sold in the USA. And besides, building it over their would be a PR disaster here. Americans might buy it, but Australians would deliberately not buy it.

Not for all Caprise production only for those units destined for the US police market.

But I'm pretty sure that long term the Australian auto industry will go the way of the dodo, there is no need for local production for a market as small as Australia, we already know the Falcon is for the chop, especially now that Ford have announced plans to drop for 97 separate models worldwide to 20.
 
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:13 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
I am still surprised police do not go for the hybrid option


Maybe one day, but today hybrids tend to be rather small. Police cars need to be rather large. For the most part police officers carry all kinds of stuff. The truck of a police car is usually filled with all kinds of things, plus the front seat has a lot of equipment too. You need a big car to put all that stuff and hauling the weight around. There is also much increased electrical load on police cars, especially at idle, such as on the side of the road. I don't think hybrids could handle the extra electrical load without the engine running, which defeats the purpose of the hybrid to begin with.

There have been small police cars and they generally have not done well in the USA. At one time the City of St. Louis had some Chevy Cavaliers in their police fleet (with flashing lights and everything). They were pitiful and officers hated them.

Quoting cpd (Reply 17):
and don't they traditionally buy only from the big three?


Yes they do and they should. Police cars are paid for by tax dollars and those dollars should be spent on US company products first.
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rlwynn
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:15 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 19):
Yes they do and they should. Police cars are paid for by tax dollars and those dollars should be spent on US company products first.

How is a Chevrolet made in Canada any more American than an Opel made in Germany or a Holden made in Australia?
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PHLBOS
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:26 pm

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 20):
How is a Chevrolet made in Canada any more American than an Opel made in Germany or a Holden made in Australia?

The actual determining factor of what is considered a domestic or imported is based on the PERCENTAGE PARTS content per vehicle not where it's actually assembled.

The EPA standard states that a vehicle containing 75% or greater original parts that were made in the U.S. is considered a domestic vehicle.

Simply put, a Ford assembled in Canada (the CVPI) w/75% U.S. parts is still considered a domestic but a Toyota Avalon assembled in Kentucky w/less then 75% U.S. parts is still considered an import.
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Moose135
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:39 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
I am still surprised police do not go for the hybrid option.

Google "NYPD hybrid"...

NYPD has over 400 alternate-fuel vehicles in its fleet - they introduced their first, 20 GMC Yukon hybrids, in 2008. Last year, they added their first hybrid for regular precinct patrol work when they deployed 40 Nissan Altima hybrids on the street, both as marked and unmarked cars - they now have 76 Altimas in the patrol fleet. This summer, they added the first of some 200 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans and Ford Escape crossovers to the fleet. They also use Prius hybrids for traffic and parking enforcement duties.
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falstaff
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:59 pm

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 20):
How is a Chevrolet made in Canada any more American than an Opel made in Germany or a Holden made in Australia?

I said US based company not US built car. The money goes into the pockets of an American company, which also pay a great deal of taxes.
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Flighty
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:26 pm

Quoting moose135 (Reply 22):
Google "NYPD hybrid"...

NYPD has over 400 alternate-fuel vehicles in its fleet - they introduced their first, 20 GMC Yukon hybrids, in 2008. Last year, they added their first hybrid for regular precinct patrol work when they deployed 40 Nissan Altima hybrids on the street, both as marked and unmarked cars - they now have 76 Altimas in the patrol fleet. This summer, they added the first of some 200 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans and Ford Escape crossovers to the fleet. They also use Prius hybrids for traffic and parking enforcement duties.

Wow, thanks! That is good news (not that the world is saved.... just that NYC is investigating this fleet option). Hybrids are uniquely suited to heavily urban areas. They would also be a good taxicab choice. Over 100,000 miles, a Crown Vic would burn about 7,000 gallons, while a hybrid maybe only 3,000. Saving 4,000 gallons can be real money. Especially for cabbies. Over the life of the vehicle, the savings nearly pay for the _entire vehicle_.
 
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Moose135
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:58 pm

Flighty, according to the initial NYPD press release, the Altima hybrids cost them about $1,500 more than an Impala, but get more than twice the MPG - 35 vs 16 - in their operations. If they put about 100K miles over the lifetime of the vehicle, and gas costs $3/gal, that's a savings of $10K per vehicle in fuel costs. Overall, NYC government operates over 2,000 hybrid vehicles.

Also, there are nearly 1,500 hybrid taxi cabs in NYC (more than 10% of the 13K total cabs). The first batch of 18 Escape hybrid cabs is about to be retired, racking up as much as 350K miles each in 3 1/2 years of operation with no major problems. If you do that same MPG math for 300K miles, you save $30K, which would more pay for the price of the vehicle. From what I've read, the only difference between a hybrid taxi and one sold to the general public is the taxi-specific equipment (meter, lights, partition, etc.) And of course, that cool yellow paint!

[Edited 2010-09-28 09:03:50]
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rlwynn
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:14 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 23):
I said US based company not US built car. The money goes into the pockets of an American company, which also pay a great deal of taxes.

Well, Holden and Opel are just as American as Chevrolet.
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Aesma
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:47 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 19):
Yes they do and they should. Police cars are paid for by tax dollars and those dollars should be spent on US company products first.

But what about free market and let the better win ?

Police cars around here used to always be Peugeots and Renaults and some Citroens, but then it became mandatory to make unbiased RFTs, and so foreign cars began to be used, like Ford Mondeos, Opel Astras and of course gendarmerie Subaru WRXs.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Michigan State Police Car Tests (2011 Models)

Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:49 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
Police cars around here used to always be Peugeots and Renaults and some Citroens, but then it became mandatory to make unbiased RFTs, and so foreign cars began to be used, like Ford Mondeos, Opel Astras and of course gendarmerie Subaru WRXs.

From time to time, Michigan has indeed tested some imports as potential candidates (the Volvo 850 in both the 1996 and 1997 testings come to mind, there may have been others more recently) in the past.

While many of the models tested performed well, the deal-breaker was usually the starting price of the vehicle; the Volvos tested at the time were roughly one-and-half to double the price of most of its competitors. As a result, most import models tested were rarely selected/chosen, if ever.

Similarly, the Chevy Tahoe police package, while being a very competent performer (it was the first (not sure if still the only) SUV to offer a pursuit-rated police package) usually costs/costed several thousands MORE that a comparably equipped sedan like the CVPI, Charger and the Impala; which translated into lower sales numbers. When the Tahoe police package was first launched in 1998; Chevy had hoped it would capture most of its customers that needed to replace their older Caprices at the time. Needless to say, that didn't happen.

Bottom line (and whether one agrees with it or not is irrelevant), the police-vehicle market in the U.S. is a much more price-sensitive than many realize.
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