January 23, 2003

Lincoln to build bullet-proof Town Car

Washington, D.C. – Lincoln is entering the rapidly growing armoured vehicle market with introduction of the Lincoln Town Car Ballistic Protection Series. Scheduled for production in mid-2003, the Lincoln Town Car BPS will provide a high level of armoured protection at a competitive price.

“For more than eighty years, Lincoln has symbolized American luxury and elegance,” said Al Kammerer, executive director, Lincoln Mercury Product Development. “Now, those who travel well can travel well protected in Lincoln’s first armoured vehicle, the Town Car BPS.”

A key goal of the Town Car BPS development process was to build a vehicle that sets a new industry benchmark in the areas of protection, affordability, driving dynamics, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The vehicle is designed, engineered and tested by Lincoln to provide protection from powerful handgun and high-power rifle rounds. Historically, the top original equipment manufacturer (OEM) competitors in the U.S. commercial armoured vehicle industry have only offered handgun-level protection.

“About 300 OEM tests will be performed on Town Car BPS, including crash tests, which will make it one of the most thoroughly tested armoured vehicles in the world,” said Lauren Schafer, director, Lincoln Special Engineering Operations. “Additionally, we’ve conducted extensive ballistic testing at independent labs to validate the ballistic performance of our materials.”

The global market for armoured vehicles has grown rapidly in recent years. But nearly all protection vehicles in the marketplace today are up-fitted on an “aftermarket” basis often resulting in poor quality, vehicle dynamics and customer satisfaction.

“Town Car BPS customers can be assured they are getting a high-quality product which is proudly backed by an OEM,” said John Jraiche, operations manager, Lincoln Special Engineering Operations. “We’ve developed this product with the right blend of luxury, security and discretion.”

Although the U.S. currently accounts for a relatively small percentage of the global market, demand is growing. Prospective customers include corporate executives, political dignitaries, government agencies, private citizens and leasing agencies.

It’s expected that the vehicle will introduce new customers to the Lincoln brand. “We believe Town Car BPS will bring a whole new set of clientele to Lincoln that most likely would not have purchased a Lincoln before,” said Mark Bentley, marketing manager, Lincoln Special Engineering Operations.

“This vehicle has been under development for nearly two years and addresses the growing global demand for armoured protection products,” added Schafer. “With its body-on-frame construction and higher gross vehicle weight capabilities, the Town Car was a natural first choice for Ford Motor Company.”

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