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Carrick Cook

Officer Carrick R. Cook is the Public Information Officer for the Arizona Department of Public Safety and a former motor officer with that agency.

Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

GM Gives Chevy Caprice PPV Update

Agencies ordering the Caprice PPV should expect a five-month order-to-delivery time.

February 10, 2012  |  by

Photo: Jeffrey Sauger/Chevrolet.
Photo: Jeffrey Sauger/Chevrolet.

Executives with General Motors' law enforcement fleet unit said building their Chevrolet Caprice PPV in Australia doesn't put them at a competitive disadvantage because the vehicle is well-suited for patrol work.

Several agencies, especially on the East Coast, have experienced longer wait times for the patrol version of the PPV, which went into production in April. The detective version was made available sooner, because it went into production in January of 2011.

Earlier this week, Ford touted the Chicago-based production line for its 2013 Police Interceptor while showing the final production version of the patrol car replacing the Crown Vic at the Chicago Auto Show.

GM executives weren't fazed. In an interview with POLICE Magazine, Dana Hammer, GM's manager of law enforcement vehicles, acknowledged that it would take longer for the Caprice to reach agencies. Hammer said the vehicle spends six weeks on a boat being transported from Australia—it's built at the Holden factory in Adelaide, Elizabeth—to the Port of Benecia near Oakland, Calif.

"We have to make sure that everyone understands there will be additional wait times to ship the cars," Hammer said. "Instead of being a three-month delivery, it's going to be a five-month delivery on average."

The Caprice has caught on with fleet buyers, Hammer added, because it's "the right vehicle" for law enforcement. Of all the available patrol cars, the Caprice offers the largest interior and trunk, he said.

The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV is a rear-wheel drive police vehicle available with a standard V-6 engine or an optional V-8 engine that can reach speeds of over 150 mph.

Law enforcement fleet managers use "order to delivery" to estimate the arrival of new patrol vehicles. A typical order-to-delivery timeframe of a GM fleet vehicle would be about 110 days or just under four months.

A vehicle built in Australia faces additional challenges to meet that timetable, including "dwell time"—the number of days a ready-to-ship vehicle sits at the port. Cargo ships leave Australia once a month with Chevy Caprice PPVs, so vehicles that miss the boat sit longer, Hammer said.

Another reason Caprice PPVs have taken longer to reach agencies is due to a process known as "second-stage manufacturing." When the PPVs reach Northern California, a GM-hired automotive supplier adds police-specific equipment to the vehicles before they're delivered to agencies. The supplier installs spotlights and wiring harnesses. The supplier also modifies the rear passenger doors, disabling door handles so prisoners can't escape custody.

GM has taken several steps to deal with the situation, including setting up a surplus inventory of PPVs at the Northern California port known as its E-Fleet. Agencies can acquire E-Fleet vehicles through an alternative ordering process offered by dealers.

Hammer urged agencies to be patient with GM at least initially because the Caprice PPV is being launched for the first time as a police vehicle. The sedan is based on the Pontiac G8, a re-badged Holden Commodore built in Australia until it was discontinued in 2009.

Comments (42)

Displaying 1 - 42 of 42

R Ward @ 2/13/2012 6:48 PM

Or, just make it here...

Brian @ 2/13/2012 7:04 PM

We won't be buying these. Never thought I'd see the day a Chevy police car was foreign made. Also, the price point is too high.

John @ 2/13/2012 7:22 PM

Your bailout dollars at Australia, to send your tax Australia. Talk about crooked...

BOB W @ 2/13/2012 8:29 PM


David Barrett @ 2/13/2012 10:35 PM

So it was fine for Ford to build all of it's Crown Vic's in Canada. No US workers there! That must have been why they came with recalls. Engines, wheels, rearends and don't forget the fuel tanks!

Ray @ 2/13/2012 11:01 PM

John is right!!!!! Our Tax $$$. Should stay here.

I don't know what Bob is talking about, and I don't think he knows either!!!!

And David has got to be a DEM.!!!! Ford can do what they want to do because they did not take one dime of Tax payer money!!! And from a cop for 36 years Chev's in the past have not been worth a crap as a cop car !!!! I have driven many of the!!! So I hope the new ones are better !!!!

Jeff @ 2/14/2012 4:11 AM

Ford did take taxpayer money. Where do you think the money comes from to purchase police vehicles?

Denny @ 2/14/2012 5:36 AM

Our Dept will not be buying them. Not at $5000.00 more than the dodges. Why would we pay that much more for a patrol car and wait all that time. You would thin Chev. would have built them in the USA

Marshal C @ 2/14/2012 6:19 AM

I was very disapointed to see the end of the B-Body (91-96) Caprices. Had about 10 over the years, including the ones I owned. Up until cop car ever. I had words with GM at one of the Mich. trials and was told the (W)impala was all we need. Can't say what I told him except import the (still made) Caprice. HE acted like never heard of it. Was in AU in '03 and loved the Statesman/ Caprice still being made there. The later GTO and G8 were Holdens. Very nice cars. GM and Ford are world wide mfg's with parts from all over. Drivers in AU spend about $7/gal. for gas and love V8 cars. Gotta' respect them for that...still car people. Thank you GM, but bring the tooling here and cut costs. Shoulda' listened to me in the first place............

Larry @ 2/14/2012 6:24 AM

More dollars at work outside U S A

Jim @ 2/14/2012 7:36 AM

Not only is it a foreign made vehicle it is based on a old discontinued Pontiac design and it is STILL nothing more than a family car that has wiring and spotlights added to it once it gets here. It is not a purpose built police car like Carbon Motors E-7 which IS built here in the USA bringing jobs back to Connersville near Detroit. Just saying.

Skip @ 2/14/2012 10:48 AM

We bail GM out with tax dollars so they can build cars overseas, so that out of work Americans can stay out of work , so we can pay more in taxes for unemployment etc. We're having trouble with our current 2012 line.

David Barrett @ 2/14/2012 10:48 AM

When I worked for a DEM in NC I had to be otherwise I would have had no job! Deputy's can not hide behind a union in NC. I still wish for the 92 Caprice that I was issued in 96. It handled so much better then the CV's. And lets not forget the lack of headroom for us taller officers. The seat all the way back and reclined. Good thing that we don't have cages in are cars. The CV were built with a front end that never stayed in line. The rearend felt like it was going to come around and slap you in the face. (The one thing to remember is that FORD is giving GM hell for doing the same thing that it has done for more the twenty years!)

John @ 2/14/2012 12:42 PM

Anyone who would associate Americans with greed has no idea what a true American is. Who can blame them, as there are a lot of posers out there. Just to set it straight: True Americans sacrifice for the greater good. True Americans revolutionize industries to make a profit instead of using gimmicks such as outsourcing, and more recently, insourcing of labor. True American serve their country, whether during peacetime or war. True Americans work hard to maintain their way of life, instead of expecting a welfare check or food stamps. True Americans would see an end to such programs, and the disease they cause within society. Truth of the matter is that those people you call "greedy Americans" hold no loyalty to this country or its people and are simply happy to strip mine it all for personal gain. Think about that the next time you use the words greedy and American in the same sentence, because I have s lot of brothers who have died in gidfirsaken sand pits so that you could have the luxury of sloping their good names by associating them with parasites. I apologize to thevrest of the group, but that had to be said.

John @ 2/14/2012 12:45 PM

Sorry, phone spellcheck is nuts. -sloping + soiling...I think you can figure out the other errors.

John Russell @ 2/14/2012 5:03 PM

I would prefer the Cadillac CTS --?

Marshal @ 2/14/2012 5:14 PM

As a officer that is issued a 2011 Caprice I can tell everyone with certainty that the Caprice would be even be worth a 1 year wait. Yea the car is that good. Yes it may cost more than the Charger or Ford. But it is well known that the Charger is junk and the new Ford is a wimp. The Charger is fragile and very expensive to maintain. We sold our fleet of Chargers and retained some 05 Ford CV's. Yes they are that bad. The new Ford is no where near the CV. The old CV was THE police car for years but for only a couple of reasons. 1) There was really nothing else
2) they are durable,reliable and cheap to maintain. But they did not do anything real well. They were defiantly not high performance as a patrol car needs to be.

The new Caprice is a very high quality, high performance patrol car with modern safety features. While the 94-96 Caprice was an awesome patrol car, the new ones are even better. The new Caprice is the new standard for a patrol car.

M @ 2/14/2012 6:40 PM

The PPV is the first REAL police car in a long time... All the nay sayers apparently haven't seen one, much less driven one yet. I had a 96 caprice and a 2009 Charger as a take homes and now have a PPV (we won't even talk about the wimpala and the crown vics I was forced to endure) . The PPV is hands down the best of the 3 by far. Faster off the line, higher top end, better handling and incredible brakes, not to mention more room in both the passenger compartment, trunk and seats designed for a gun belt. Like I said, a REAL police car.

michael @ 2/14/2012 10:15 PM

Lest we forget about the Plymouth Police Fury with the 400 police interceptor engine! I owned 2 of them and would blow the Chevy police with the 5.7 in the dust. The Fury handled great and was very fast due to the light body,plenty of room and great price too!

michael H. @ 2/14/2012 10:21 PM

Looks very MEAN! Let's see full view at different angles not just the front. How about some interior shots,etc.

Marc Coulon @ 2/15/2012 7:29 AM

About that GM! More unemployed people in the US. thanks, but no Chevy for this department.

Pete @ 2/16/2012 7:29 AM

Let's talk about performance on ice and snow. This vehicle does not have the "right stuff" to handle these conditions. My department is running the same snow tires that have been performace proven on the Ford intercepters. The 8 litre motor is too powerful and the rear weight of the vehicle is too light for proper traction. Vehicle has a greater tendancy to plow thru turns. This vehicle belongs on the interstate highways and not in the inner city.

Also, for the MPG watchers, this vehicle only gets 12 MPG!

nev @ 2/19/2012 3:44 AM

Americans and Australians have been brothers in arms for generations. i understand not wanting imported vehicles from Germany, Japan, China etc, but Americans and Australians support each other and the Caprice PPV is a fine vehicle.

Matthew E @ 2/21/2012 10:46 PM

While i respect your desire to have the vehicle intended for US use to be built in the US, Lets have a look at what happens in the world of trade, In 2007 America exported $31 Billion with while we only exported $15.8 Billion.. America gets more job's and benefits from Australia then we get from you.. So get real, If we are your friends and allies treat us as such.

R Sutton @ 2/22/2012 3:59 PM

We just took delivery of a Chevrolet 2012 PPV. The cost was about the same as the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoes. No complaints yet.

Brandon @ 2/22/2012 4:42 PM

Yea... I thought they were going to be built at the same canadian plant the G8s were built at which I believe also builds the impalas. Guess that was not the case. Not sure about other agencies but the ones I have experience with, you wait about 4 to 5 months to get new vehicles fully equipped at one and the other you wait about 2 or 3 months to get an unequipped car and can wait anywhere from 2 or 3 months to a year depending how badly the brass wants them put to use. The first agency mentioned has much better and smarter command people.

Frank @ 2/22/2012 4:52 PM

Years ago when American corporation built anything for the US Military the contracts had a clause that required all items be built in this country. That clause has been since been removed. We should insist that all products be produced in this country again. Ford and Chevrolet should have kept the 2000's Crown Vic and 90's Caprice line going. Anyone 6'3" large frame knows what I'm talking about.

Next it will be the Volt for patrol.

Nick @ 2/22/2012 7:33 PM

Australian's buy a ton of American Products. What selfish bunch of nonsense. Great way to treat a great ally and a great trading partner that pays us more money than we pay them in the balance of trade. Don't you guys have a greater concern with China. In a time when the
Federal Govt is buying Chinese Steel to build the new Oakland Bridge for mega bucks, as the most expensive govt project ever in our history. Hating Australia for building nice cars that an American company likes more than union garbage is misaligned. Selfish...

John @ 2/23/2012 4:45 AM

We have a newer Impala cruiser and an older Crown Vic with 160,000 miles. If I get on duty first, I'd rather drive the Crown Vic. The Impala isn't made for anyone over 6'2" with those little doors you have to squeeze through with your duty belt on. The Dodge we just purchased (Chief's car) seems to be the new choice. I don't think Mad Max would drive the Caprice today if he had a Charger.

Marshall K. @ 2/23/2012 4:57 AM

I have embraced the Chevy police unit for many years. However, the newest version with a console is not at all public friendly. That said, chief exectives like myself may look elsewhere for a vehicle to satisfy our current needs. Does GM include police exectives who have risen through the ranks to discuss the logistics of a respective police unit before, during and after a model is rolled out of the factory?

rob @ 2/23/2012 5:25 AM

Ford and GM performance innovation lived on in Australia long after smog motor mandates, insurance premiums, liberals, and bean counters killed off American performance cars in the 70s. The Aussies refined motors such as the 351C and built straight 6s with cross flow heads. While it makes since in a global economy for an automaker to use an existing platform to fill a nitch somewhere else, being able to supply a product to LE in a timely manner is something that GM should consider. I'd like my pareol vehicle and my sidearm to be American -made, but dead-end thinking and other factors have taken their toll over the years. At least half of my sidearm dul is US-made again thanks to S&W's attention to quality control once again.

Annette @ 2/23/2012 6:17 AM

I think if you are purchasing a vehicle on a grant you should be required to purchase American made. Out Gov't tax dollars should be putting Americans to work and supporting the American economy, not Autralias!

Chief Davis @ 2/23/2012 6:30 AM

where are photo of the side, back and inside?

Tim Mullins @ 2/23/2012 4:13 PM

Michigan S/P did not go with the Caprice because each vehicle was 4,000 dollars more due to the cost of shipping from Australia and it did not justify the added expence.

imccowan @ 2/24/2012 5:36 PM

Not to point out the obvious, if if you are looking for a U.S. assembled squad car, better look at a Subaru or Toyota made in Indiana and Tennessee gentlemen, Ford & Dodge are made in Canada. Hrad to define whats made in America these days.

Aaron @ 2/25/2012 4:27 PM

@Pete: first of all, it's a 6 liter V8, NOT an 8 liter....secondly, it's rated at 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, and achieved 18.9 mpg combined...and those are just averages

DOUG @ 3/7/2012 10:18 PM


James from Australia @ 3/20/2012 8:17 PM

A bit more open mindedness about free trade and competition could suggest that this is a good thing for American cars. An athlete always runs fastest against the best competition, and so it is for car manufacturers. We Aussies have triumphed today, but I'm sure it won't take Americans long to surpass the Caprice tomorrow, and then all American car buyers will be able to benefit.
I would also point out that a lot of Australian tax dollars are spent on imports from our good friends the USA, and I'm very happy about that.

Ike @ 3/22/2012 7:00 PM

For what it's worth, neither the Impala nor the Charger are built in the US either. The Taurus...ahem...Police Interceptor is.

Max @ 4/10/2012 8:55 PM

Hi Guys, get your story straight, the Caprice is a modified version of the Oz Statesman not the Pontiac G8 or an Oz Commodore. Why didn't they build them in the US? Because GM stopped making large rear wheel drive cars whilst we in Oz haven't. Why reinvent the wheel when there is a perfectly good vehicle being made by a GM subsidiary in Oz and guess what, the profits end up back in the US not in Oz. Besides, we have been making better handling and performing family sized cars for years in Oz. Take a look at the performance vehicles from Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) and Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) we get the fun cars and you get the dull front wheel drive commuters.

Adrian @ 6/3/2012 6:11 AM

I do not understand the way America works. Australia buys many American built cars and yet australians never complain about the amount of jobs that could have been created if they only ever brought cars built in Australia. So why not just purchase the best car and give the police the tools they need?

matt @ 8/16/2012 7:54 AM

The funny thing is back in 1948 the Australian government loaned GM the money to set up Holden. GM paided the loan off from profit within a few years. All the profit from Holden goes straight back to USA (and there has been a lot of profit)

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