DEARBORN - Ford Police Interceptor gained 9 points of market share in 2013 as sales rose 48 percent, according to Ford analysis of Polk registration data. Demand for Ford police vehicles outpaced overall industry sales, which rose 22 percent last year.
This sales growth comes two years after Ford introduced two new body styles, including a popular utility vehicle, made all-wheel drive, a full-time system, standard equipment across most of its lineup, and rolled out high-performance, but efficient EcoBoost® engine options.
“We revolutionized our police vehicle lineup with three key changes that differentiate us from the competition,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, police marketing manager at Ford. “The new utility vehicle body style meets officers’ growing storage needs; standard all-wheel drive for most models is an industry-first that provides greater mobility and security; plus, expanding the range of EcoBoost engines gives law enforcement agencies more options to suit their needs.
“Together, these three ingredients are driving sales growth and market share gains for Ford.”
‘We need the space’
After decades of success with its reliable Crown Victoria – a V8-powered, body-on-frame large sedan – Ford made a strategic decision to modernize its Police Interceptor with not one, but two distinct body styles: a traditional, pursuit-rated large sedan and a new, pursuit-rated utility vehicle.
“Many officers told us, ‘We need more space, but we also need performance’,” said Honeycutt. “We knew with the amount of equipment officers now have to transport that our utility vehicle would be a hit. Within two years of reinventing the category with an all-new sedan and utility vehicle, we’re approaching nearly 50 percent market share. It’s remarkable.”
In 2013, Ford’s police utility vehicle represented 60 percent of all Ford Police Interceptor sales, and was the best-selling police vehicle in the country.
The new norm: Standard all-wheel drive
Another decision also has paid dividends – both for Ford as well as the safety of its agency partners: In an industry-first, the company now offers standard all-wheel drive for Police Interceptor utility and sedan models, on vehicles equipped with a 3.7-liter or 3.5-liter EcoBoost.
Police agencies have taken notice. Approximately 90 percent of all Police Interceptors sold come equipped with standard all-wheel drive.
“It’s a matter of officer safety, public safety and performance,” Honeycutt explained. “It’s not just the snowbelt, not by a long shot. Wet pavement, dry pavement, chases that lead off-road, traction in all conditions – our all-wheel-drive technology, a system that operates full-time, can help shorten pursuits, which protects everyone involved.
“Officers immediately grasp the advantages of the technology,” he added, “and the response has been phenomenal.”
The final piece of the company’s reinvention of the police vehicle market is its introduction of fuel-efficient, yet powerful EcoBoost engines.
Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle can be equipped with Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which makes 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
In recent Los Angeles County Sheriff Department testing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle were fastest in both 0-100 mph acceleration runs and average lap times for a third consecutive year.
In addition to world-class power and pursuit capabilities, these EcoBoost engines – like the 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter non-turbo offerings – provide increased fuel economy ratings over outgoing models, helping municipalities with potential savings on fleet fuel costs.
The latest addition to Ford’s police lineup – the 2.0-liter EcoBoost Special Service Police Sedan – offers an impressive EPA-estimated rating of 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. This Special Service vehicle combines the durability of Police Interceptor sedan with the efficiency of a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which can help save fuel even while delivering 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2.0-liter Special Service vehicle comes with many of the same features and technologies as Police Interceptor sedan, such as a 75-mph rear crash test rating, two times durability testing, police-tuned suspension, police brakes, steel wheels, police interior and upfit options.
“As agencies look to replace older, V8-equipped cruisers, Ford is at the ready with highly capable, full-size police vehicles that offer great fuel efficiency for agencies around the country,” said Honeycutt.
For more information on Ford Police Interceptor, visit www.FordPoliceInterceptor.com.