Confirmed: Skoda to replace Holden as NZ police car supplier
After lengthy discussions with multiple brands, the New Zealand Police have confirmed that Czech carmaker Skoda will be its new primary vehicle supplier following the exit of Holden.
Local police will utilise the Skoda Superb, directly replacing the Holden ZB Commodore. Unlike the Commodore, which was used locally as both a liftback and a station wagon, local Superb police cars will only come in the form of wagons. Roll-out for the new cop cars will commence next April.
NZ Autocar understands that the likes of Kia and Toyota were also under consideration for the position. A new Camry dressed up as a current police car has been spotted recently on the back of a flat-bed truck, while there has also been rumours of a kitted out Stinger GT being under evaluation.
“With more than 2000 primary response vehicles currently in action, selecting a new supplier provides an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and ensure value for money across our fleet,” says New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
“Frontline staff said [the Skodas] handled well and they felt confident and safe driving the vehicle. They liked the large doors with a wide opening range, easy-to-read instruments, front and rear visibility, and the spaciousness of the rear passenger area.”
Skoda may not be the most mainstream of brands in New Zealand, but is a commonly chosen marque for police and emergency services in Europe, including in Austria, France, and the UK. Along with its proven track record, Commissioner Coster also says reduction of emissions was another key motivator behind the decision.
“These new vehicles will deliver significant reductions in our fleet’s carbon footprint. When compared to our current fleet, C02 emissions per kilometre could be reduced by up to 38.6 per cent per vehicle, depending on what is being replaced,” he says.
“While incredibly promising, electric and hybrid technology are not yet a viable option for our patrol vehicles. However, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and have outlined a ten-year plan to an emissions-free fleet.”