Police cars are mainly purchased from manufacturers and distributors as standard production models, then converted by local distributors. Only heavy-duty suspensions or higher-output batteries are likely to be installed at the factory.
Motorola in Wiesbaden, Germany, says it is the European market leader for police radio and communication equipment. Bosch used to be a competitor, but Bosch sold its police car radio equipment activities to Motorola. Motorola says it does not want to disclose its market share for competitive reasons.
The supply of flashing light systems and sirens is confused.
Police in some countries such as France, Germany and Switzerland require equipment that meets an international standard called UN65. In others, such as the UK and the Netherlands, police just buy what is available.
'This makes the market very diverse,' says Hans Kret, European manager of US Federal Signals in Sassenheim, the Netherlands, which has taken over Vama, a Spanish supplier of police equipment. 'Just imagine, every European country requires different sirens and dual-tone horns.'
Kret also points out that since no European statistics of police car sales are kept and purchasing depends heavily on government budgets, there is no indication of how annual police car sales will develop.
European police equipment manufacturers rule the market. They are numerous. Two are based in France, three in Germany, two in Sweden, one in Spain and several in Italy.