The move, which replaces a semi-official operation, means that all blue light fleet vehicles ordered through GM UK (Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet) will be built to order and carry the same warranty and peace of mind cover as any regular model coming down the production line.
Officials at the newly-formed GM UK Special Vehicles division also hope it will raise customer service levels and cut waiting times for deliveries of new vehicles and parts.
The new service, which will be offered to police, fire, ambulance and government departments, will work in the same way as a private buyer going into a showroom and designing their car from the options list – although in this case the options will include items such as prisoner cells for the back of vans and flashing light bars on the roof.
All vehicles offered through the new department are taken from the regular production line and then converted at Millbrook. The work and parts are treated as original equipment by GM and are covered by the same warranty. This process also means fleets receive a single invoice for the vehicle, rather than two – one for the vehicle and one for the conversion work.
All conversions are also crash-tested at Millbrook to ensure they comply with regulations.
To back up the service is a new website – www.gmuksv.co.uk – where all the vehicle options are available to view.
As well as providing an improved service, GM is also claiming financial benefits with reduced servicing time and costs and easier decomissioning of vehicles as all items are designed around a plug in and out system which virtually eliminates the need for drilling holes in vehicles – thus making the cars easier to sell on to the trade or public at auction time.