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Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
Between the Taurus-based Police Interceptor, the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility and the F-150 and Expedition special service vehicles, Ford has no lack of offerings for law enforcement. And now it has one more in the form of the new Transit PTV.
Based on the fullsize Transit van, the Prisoner Transport Vehicle can move as many as 12 prisoners in three separate compartments between detention facilities. Created in collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Havis Prisoner Transport Solutions and with input from Ford's Police Advisory Board, the Transit PTV takes advantage of the Transit's considerable configuration options that include three roof heights, two wheelbases, three lengths and four body-styles - not to mention engine options that include the flex-fuel 3.7-liter V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel.
"Transit PTV is the latest example of Ford's deep commitment to helping provide law enforcement agencies with capable vehicles. This concept proves Transit is upfit-ready and designed to Built Ford Tough standards," said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford police marketing manager. "Many Police Advisory Board members have had the chance to drive this vehicle and they are excited about it. This new vehicle is tough, smart and efficient - ideal for the needs of law enforcement agencies."
In recent months, rumors had been flying about Ford CEO Alan Mulally potentially leaving the company to take a position at Microsoft. Last we heard, Mulally was planning to stick around at Ford through at least 2014, and in an interview today, that bit was confirmed by the CEO himself.
According to the Associated Press, in a report from The Detroit News, Mulally said he will not be leaving Ford for Microsoft, and reiterated that he will remain at the Blue Oval through 2014, if not longer. Mulally has "no plans other than to serve Ford," according to the report.
Mulally did not say whether or not he had been in talks with Microsoft at any point. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he plans to leave the software company sometime this year.
There's no doubt that Ford is taking a risk in producing the body of its upcoming new F-150 pickup truck in aluminum. What is up for debate, however, is whether aluminum was a wise risk to take in the first place. Wards Auto took the opportunity to poll some experts on the subject of aluminum versus steel in the automotive sector, with somewhat unsurprising results.
Richard Schultz, a project consultant at Ducker Worldwide, which bills itself as "a leading aluminum industry consultant (though they also deal in steels), suggests that the potential drawbacks to aluminum - higher costs, lower supply - aren't really impediments to the auto industry's increased acceptance of the lightweight metal.
Similarly, Randall Scheps, global automotive marketing director for Alcoa, a massive aluminum producer, counters claims that aluminum is less safe for vehicle occupants, suggesting that the use of aluminum can actually increase safety as it could potentially allow for larger vehicles with more crush space than steel.