General Motors' Fleet and Commercial division has stepped up the campaign to make a heavy duty version of the 6.0-litre V8 Statesman the No1 choice of law enforcement agencies across America. It has released a 12-page brochure with detailed specifications of the car, which will be a rebadged version of the Statesman Caprice, called the Chevrolet Caprice.
The car will be available in two police packages, a "black and white" patrol car and a "detective" police version. GM-Holden spokesperson, Emily Perry, says although the company does not yet have confirmed orders the specifications are "the next step in getting the cars into North America".
"It's a specification manual to provide a guide for the police forces," she says. Perry says GM-Holden will not begin exports "until we get confirmed orders".
She says if orders start flowing through soon, exports will happen later this year. GM-Holden is aiming to export upwards of 20,000 police cars and is confident the powerful rear-drive V8 will win over the good guys.
The deal could also renew the export potential of Holden's large car line-up to the US. After unveiling a concept police car last year, GM-Holden has taken on board the specific needs of the police cars.
Among the options are hard-wearing vinyl seats and floors as well as "stealth" mode lighting. Each will also be built with beefed up electrical systems to cope with on-board computers and the emergency sirens and lights, as well as an optional remote start function.
The "stealth" function allows police to close and unlock and lock the car doors without activating exterior lights or making any audible sounds. However, in keeping with its domestic duties the "black and white" the car has optional vinyl rear seats and floor coverings. The cloth-covered front seats are moulded with heavy duty foam and sculptured for gun belts worn by officers.
GM-Holden has had some export success with the Commodore, which was sold as the Pontiac G8 until the American brand sank under the weight of General Motors' bankruptcy last year. The police deal comes after a successful pitch last year ago by a Holden team led by former president Mark Reuss, who is now president of GM North America.
The sleek 6.0-litre Caprices are likely to replace the Los Angeles Police Department's ageing fleet of Ford Crown Victoria sedans. The deal means GM-Holden also stands a good chance of becoming a global supplier of cop cars for other countries. Canada's police departments have already expressed interest.