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InspectorJavert

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InspectorJavert

Saw this on twitter the other day, and was wondering what people reckon. (Mods, know it's a news story, but it seemed to fit better here- feel free to move as appropriate). Not so bothered about where they're made, more interested in whether they're fit for purpose. Only ones we use are the Vivaro vans, which are pretty decent tbf- the 15 plate one that my station got recently feels more purpose built rather than having EWE and radio just bolted into the cab.

SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11804048/Ministers-under-fire-for-allowing-half-of-Britains-police-forces-to-order-3000-foreign-made-vehicles.html
 

Ministers under fire for allowing half of Britain's police forces to order 3,000 foreign-made vehicles

Police forces said they were powerless to offer the contracts to British car factories because European Union procurement rules meant they had to go to the cheapest bidder

A West Midlands police patrol car in Birmingham city centre
A West Midlands police patrol car in Birmingham city centre  Photo: Alamy
 
Christopher Hope

By Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent

6:00AM BST 16 Aug 2015

Comments22 Comments

 

Ministers are under fire for allowing a multi-million pound contract for thousands of new police vehciles to be handed to foreign car firms which will make them outside of the UK.

The deal is the first time that so many police forces have joined together to buy cars at the same time to try to secure a cheaper deal for taxpayers.

It will see Ford, Peugeot, BMW and Vauxhall provide 3,000 new vehicles worth tens of millions of pounds for over half of Britain’s police forces over the next two years.

Police forces said they were powerless to offer the contracts to British car factories because European Union procurement rules meant they had to go to the cheapest bidder.

Mike Penning, the Policing minister, said he would examine whether more could be done to encourage British police forces to buy British-made cars.

The news has come just as the Metropolitan Police – the country’s biggest force – is running its own procurement process to replace thousands of police vehicles.

The deal – worth £34million – was announced without fanfare last month by West Yorkshire police, which was the lead force in the negotiations. Buying in bulk saved the forces £5million.

The main vehicle supply contract was awarded to Peugeot, while Vauxhall was awarded a separate deal to supply vans using the same process.

It includes for Peugeot’s 208 and 308 cars, and the Partner, which are made in France, BMW's 3 and 5 series, which are made in Germany.

police2_3408454b.jpgThe Peugeot factory in Sochaux, France

Also included in the deal are BMW's X5 which is made in Spartanburg, USA and Ford's Kuga, which is made in Valencia, Spain.

The only British-made cars in the deal are for the Astra 1.6 diesel, made by Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port, and for the Vivaro van, which is made in Luton.

The 22 forces involved in the deal include the British Transport Police, Cleveland, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Police Scotland, South Wales, Surrey, Sussex and West Yorkshire.

For years British police forces would only buy British cars until concerns about reliability crept it.

But there was controversy when 1965 the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary put an order for Volvo estate cars from Sweden.

That was followed by a decision by Thames Valley police to order BMW cars in 1972.

Labour criticised the decision pointing out that police and France and Germany are never seen driving around in British-made vehicles such as Nissan’s or Toyota’s models.

Jack Dromey, the shadow policing minister, said Home Secretary Theresa May “must not let London down” and intervene to ensure the vehicles were British-made.

He said: “The Government is guilt of a lamentable failure to use taxpayers’ money to buy British for British bobbies.

“No French police minister would ever buy British cars for French gendarmes. Buying British would also boost British manufacturing.”

Chris Matheson, Labour MP for the City of Chester, accused the Government of “betraying” the British car industry by not buying British-made cars.

He said: “No other major EU country would betray one of its leading industries in this way.”

It was very hard “to go to Germany and find a police car that is not an Audi, a Mercedes, or a Volkswagen or to go to France and find a police car that is not a Peugeot, a Citreon or a Renault”.

Britain is the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the EU, producing 1.6million cars and commercial vehicles every year.

Mr Matheson said awarding the contract to Peugeot was a “double insult” because the French car maker had closed its plant near Coventry in 2006, with the loss of 3,000 British manufacturing jobs, and outsourced the work to Slovenia.

He added: “In times of austerity it cannot be right that we are potentially taking millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ cash and posting it across the channel. Does that really represent value for money for British taxpayers?”

“I simply cannot understand why the Government, or other public authorities such as the consortium or police and crime commissioners, are so keen to open the doors to foreign corporate bidders and hand over huge public sums to globalised companies that hold no loyalty to the UK.”

A UK motor industry source said forces were unable to choose to buy British-made vehicles now because of the UK’s literal interpretation of European Union procurement rules.

The source said: “In the old days a lot more police forces tended to buy British.

“Other countries can opt out from EU procurement rules to support their local manufacturers, but Britain does not. In the old days a lot more police forces tended to buy British.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council, which sets policy on policing matters, said that it could not choose British manufacturers over foreign ones because of EU procurement rules.

David Wilkin, the Council’s lead for Vehicle Procurement and Standardisation, said: “The vehicle purchase consortium contract was awarded after suppliers were invited to bid under European procurement laws.

“The award criteria looked at the whole life cost of vehicles rather than just the purchase price; taking into account ongoing costs such as fuel usage and servicing to ensure police forces get the best value for money.

“The police are committed to getting best value for money for the taxpayer while obtaining high-quality goods and services to keep officers and the public safe.”

A spokesman added that the cars would be converted into police cars in the UK, so that would ensure that British workers benefitted more from the contract.

Mr Penning promised to examine British treatment of EU procurement rules to see whether forces could demand to buy British made vehicles.

But he said: “The key is having the right vehicles for the right people doing the right jobs.”

Mr Penning pledged that more forces will be combining in the future on large procurement programmes to save money.

Mr Penning added: "There remains more to do. That is why I have decided to publish key police procurement information on the prices that forces currently pay for the most common items of uniforms and equipment, like shirts, handcuffs, batons and helmets."

Manufacturer Model Where are they made?

Peugeot 308 Mulhouse and Sochaux, France

Vauxhall Astra 1.6 diesel Ellesmere Port, UK

Peugeot 208 Poissy and Mulhouse, France

Vauxhall Vivaro Luton, UK

BMW 3 series Munich, Germany

BMW 5 series Dingolfing, Germany

BMW X5 Spartanburg, USA

Ford Kuga 4X4 Valencia, Spain

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The issue has always been there, but we just ignored it and relied on the we're exempt because we're the police. A few incidents later and we are where we are.

New toy for the TFL and BTP joint Emergency response units   Photo from @BTPNetworkResp There are 5 of these new trucks joining the 4 already in service on 57 plates, plus 2 05 plate R

You say that, but looking at most police cars in the US, I'd consider them luxury! Pretty much every police cruiser seems to be a high-powered vehicle. The vast majority of our vehicles are 1.6l diese

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Interesting - this issue cropped up in the context of the last lot of major train orders that were placed in this country, and the problem was less EU law but more that the tender hadn't added a factor of supporting local economy or similar as something the state was looking for. Another problem which that the UK produces relatively few cars compared to what it used to and that factories tend to specialise in particular models. Looking at the cars made in the UK it seems like the only options available were: Minis, Hondas (Civic, CRV, Jazz), Toyota (Auris or Avensis), Nissan (Juke or Qashqai), Jaguar Landrover (all models).

In the big old world of motoring that's a relatively small list and there may be good reason why the models above were considered less suitable. In these constrained economic times, price is likely to be king and many of the brands above are more premium then a panda car is going to be considered meriting.

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In the current state of affairs, we should be going for the cheapest bidder.  Another damned if you do/don't story - if they'd gone for more expensive, but British-made models, then they'd be getting slated for not going for the cheapest.

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TheFlomeister

I think there's a careful balance between getting the cheapest option but it being reliable. Forces certainly don't want to be lumbered with vehicles that cost little to procure but cost a fortune to maintain as they're not robust enough for the job of response driving.

I'm not too fussy which country our vehicles are made in, I just don't want it breaking down!

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Shmook

Our force HQ has become an official BMW dealer to get them cheaper.

According to one source, it would be cheaper for us to use BMW 3 series as panda cars instead of the hyundai i30s we have now, but public perception would be "ooh look at the cops wasting money on new beemers", so we don't do it..

 

Damned if you do etc.

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Burnsy2023

Our force HQ has become an official BMW dealer to get them cheaper.

According to one source, it would be cheaper for us to use BMW 3 series as panda cars instead of the hyundai i30s we have now, but public perception would be "ooh look at the cops wasting money on new beemers", so we don't do it..

 

Damned if you do etc.

I've seen the figures and generally my force was buying vehicles at about 66% of RRP + kit - and that's without any dealer agreement.

On another note, why don't forces use more Japanese cars such as Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans?  I don't know of any force using these.

Edited by Burnsy2023
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BlueBob

I've seen the figures and generally my force was buying vehicles at about 66% of RRP + kit - and that's without any dealer agreement.

On another note, why don't forces use more Japanese cars such as Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans?  I don't know of any force using these.

Why not Honda, Toyota etc, if you see the furore of going EU and not buying british and the image (not necessarily reality) that Honda etc are seen as outside the EU and a Japanese car then its quite obvious. There is also the obvious question of whether they have appropriate models to put into the fleets.  In many ways its funny how the news is saying how important it is to stay in the EU and yet they then get upset if we trade within the EU!

The purchase price has fairly little to do with the cost of the vehicles - its the add ons and maintenance issues that reflect the real overall cost, and unless someone can suggest otherwise, the resale value is fairly immaterial. Then there are the hidden factors such as environmental impact of emissions and such like.  I'm sure there are some tpt managers who will say otherwise, but it seems the cars are brought to the same standard, rather than having some vehicles that brought in as low cost, high turnover that are used and abused and then those of a higher cost, longer in service, more robust.    

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BlueBob

I've seen the figures and generally my force was buying vehicles at about 66% of RRP + kit - and that's without any dealer agreement.

On another note, why don't forces use more Japanese cars such as Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans?  I don't know of any force using these.

Why not Honda, Toyota etc, if you see the furore of going EU and not buying british and the image (not necessarily reality) that Honda etc are seen as outside the EU and a Japanese car then its quite obvious. There is also the obvious question of whether they have appropriate models to put into the fleets.  In many ways its funny how the news is saying how important it is to stay in the EU and yet they then get upset if we trade within the EU!

The purchase price has fairly little to do with the cost of the vehicles - its the add ons and maintenance issues that reflect the real overall cost, and unless someone can suggest otherwise, the resale value is fairly immaterial. Then there are the hidden factors such as environmental impact of emissions and such like.  I'm sure there are some tpt managers who will say otherwise, but it seems the cars are brought to the same standard, rather than having some vehicles that brought in as low cost, high turnover that are used and abused and then those of a higher cost, longer in service, more robust.    

Its a bit like the transport sector where vehicles like a Hino were brought cheap, known to have a limited life compared to the big makes (Volvo/Scania etc) but by renewing on a regular basis lots of companies managed their vehicle budget quite effectively.

 

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Our force HQ has become an official BMW dealer to get them cheaper.

According to one source, it would be cheaper for us to use BMW 3 series as panda cars instead of the hyundai i30s we have now, but public perception would be "ooh look at the cops wasting money on new beemers", so we don't do it..

 

Damned if you do etc.

Funny you say that I was speaking to somebody in my force who spoke about how our force apparently sorted a good deal with BMW to kit out the whole force...and it was significantly cheaper than what Vauxhall were offering. However the idea was binned due to 'public perception'

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Funny you say that I was speaking to somebody in my force who spoke about how our force apparently sorted a good deal with BMW to kit out the whole force...and it was significantly cheaper than what Vauxhall were offering. However the idea was binned due to 'public perception'

Funny how everyone seems to have a story like this when it comes to vehicle selection.

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Burnsy2023

Why not Honda, Toyota etc, if you see the furore of going EU and not buying british and the image (not necessarily reality) that Honda etc are seen as outside the EU and a Japanese car then its quite obvious.

 

The Honda Civic is made in Swindon.  The Toyota Avensis is made in Derbyshire.  The Nissan Juke, Qashqai and Note are all built around the UK.

These are all British built cars.

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Interesting thread. Nissan could be a good option, I think Spain use the Qashqais as police vehicles. Also there's the Pulsar, although not sure where they build that.

http://truthvoice.com/2015/08/woman-in-spain-fined-for-posting-picture-of-police-car-online/

 

RE the EU countries wouldn't buy British, the Italians have just awarded a major police contract to Seat. Not British I know, but not Italian either!

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BlueBob

The Honda Civic is made in Swindon.  The Toyota Avensis is made in Derbyshire.  The Nissan Juke, Qashqai and Note are all built around the UK.

These are all British built cars.

appreciate that, but it's a very small details of options for a fleet manger and still leaves lots of slots for non UK models.  

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Shmook

Funny how everyone seems to have a story like this when it comes to vehicle selection.

Mine came direct from the lead specials trainer at HQ. Can't see a reason for him to fib :)

also, our traffic and firearms vehicles are BMWs.

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Couple of articles in the paper about 'Bmw saving the police and public money' and having them kit out the force would be greatly appreciated. Along with appreciation from my back and head, because our panda cars are awful. 

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