Ford will replace the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) fleet with more than 450 vehicles over the next three years.
It will deliver 210 new vehicles to the RNLI this year, followed by a further 120 in 2020 and again in 2021 – including 100 Ford Rangers total as beach patrol vehicles for its lifeguard service.
Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: “Ford as UK vehicle market leader partnering one of this country’s national treasures is a real coup for us.
“The RNLI does an outstanding job keeping us safe around the coast, which we’re excited to be supporting.”
The 2019 fleet of RNLI Fords will include 10 Fiesta, 10 EcoSport, 80 Focus, 10 Kuga, 80 Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Customs, as well as 20 four-wheel-drive Rangers to be deployed on beach patrols.
A Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will also be used in Poole and the Dorset area to test the suitability of the electric/petrol hybrid for the RNLI’s needs.
The RNLI becomes Ford’s 10th fleet partner testing Transit Custom PHEV prototypes in real-world, everyday applications ahead of the vehicle going on sale later this year.
Last year vehicles from eight manufacturers were tested by the RNLI in all conditions to ensure the life-saving charity had transport it can depend on, suitable for both the beach and inland.
Nick Saunders, RNLI senior procurement manager, added: “We’re delighted that Ford is able to supply vehicles so well-suited to carrying out our life-saving work. The RNLI is excited to be working with such an iconic brand in a relationship that goes beyond supplier status.”
Ford will also be collaborating with the RNLI on water safety messages to raise public awareness of risks around the water to help people enjoy coastal and inland waterways more safely.