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by Tim Beissmann

Holden has released a behind-the-scenes video of a Chevrolet Caprice PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle) test day as its nationwide US roadshow enters the final stages.

The clip shows the Holden Caprice-based police vehicles undergoing testing by law enforcement officials at the Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona, earlier this month.

Holden commenced building the rear-wheel drive V8 WM Caprice for export to the US law enforcement market last year and is currently taking orders for the vehicle.

Holden spokesman Jonathan Rose today confirmed orders have been placed by a number of police departments, but declined to release specific numbers for competitive reasons.

The Chevrolet Caprice PPV faces an uphill battle against homegrown competition in the US, including the ageing Ford Crown Victoria, its replacement, the Ford Taurus, and the Dodge Charger.

The US law enforcement market is a highly lucrative one for Holden, with around 60,000 to 70,000 vehicles purchased annually. Chevrolet will not sell the Carpice to civilians, preferring to manufacturer it in only patrol and undercover detective specifications.

Mr Rose said it was difficult for Holden to set sales forecasts for the Caprice PPV, but said it was steadily gaining support among US officers.

“It’s very much a wait and see process,” Mr Rose said. “Demand is increasing on a daily basis as the roadshows continue.”

“The feedback has been very positive. The cars have been well received and have tested very well in high-performance and braking tests.”

He said the extensive roadshow had allowed most agencies to get behind the wheel of the Caprice PPV, which is built alongside the rest of Holden’s vehicles at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia.

The current parity of the Australian and US Dollar could hurt initial sales, however. The Caprice’s $30,995 starting price in the US is around 10 percent higher than its locally produced competitors.




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