A new kind of 'cager'....

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by eddiec, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. eddiec

    eddiec New Member

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    From Today's Age:

    Street cred drives a bulletproof business

    In a world of certainties it used to be that private jets, mansions and yachts were the ultimate in status symbols.

    Now it is the armoured limousine. In a post-9/11 world, the last word in such things is the German-made armoured runabout, and demand is outstripping supply.

    While they are undoubtedly lifesavers for the ruling class in Russia and the entrepreneurs in Iraq, sometimes they are merely projections of what their owners would like to be.

    As Johann Ackermann, purveyor of armoured limos to the rich and famous, puts it: "One-third of the buyers are under threat, one-third of the buyers think they're under threat and one-third of the buyers would like to be under threat."

    Mr Ackermann must be unique among car salesmen in that he shows prospective clients bullet-riddled, bomb-twisted, smoke-blackened wrecks outside his premises near Munich. He shows them off because they were damaged in roadside attacks but their occupants were not.

    "Increasingly, businessmen want an armoured car and they want it from Germany," said Mr Ackermann, 57, who, before September 2001, sold one to Frank Sinatra and one to magician David Copperfield, two names among a star-studded clientele. Most don't want their armour-plated doors and bulletproof glass advertised to the world.
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    All three big German car firms offer a discreet service to buyers of their top-end vehicles to customise the armour and glass for them. It's not talked about often but it is there. But Mr Ackermann and others like him thrive because customers want so much more than the manufacturers can offer.

    He says the Iraq war has "turbocharged" his business. Customers want plating that can stop rocket-propelled grenades, systems that can detect incoming missiles, bullet-resistant tyres, storage racks for weapons and armoured cages around the driver so he can keep going even if ordnance penetrates the vehicle.

    Mr Ackermann, boss of Alpha Armouring, said: "Demand is outstripping supply. Mercedes is still the vehicle of choice but BMWs and Audis are close behind. Booming markets in dangerous places have made the vehicles a necessity and a curious status symbol for some who think being seen in one adds weight to their reputation.

    "We know that demand is so high that there is even a black market business of armoured vehicles going into Iraq right now, and these vehicles don't match European and US armouring standards."

    The big three German firms produce special models - which can add up to $A600,000 to a car's price - on guarded production lines.

    Alpine Armouring in the US specialises in customising Cadillacs, Lincolns and sports utility vehicles for government heads and Wall Street big shots. It, too, has seen a huge upturn in demand after 9/11 and believes the global business playing field means that demand will grow, not lessen.

    The company has a deal with the US military: it provides discounts on cars while the army provides ammunition to throw at test models before they are released for service.

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    Charming... But I bet they'll still be terrified by the sight of a lycra clad whippett knocking on their window :)
     
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  2. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    Phaaah!

    just means when you play drums on the roof the occupant gets better base

    F"subwoofer"Dutch
     
  3. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "eddiec" <[email protected]> wrote
    > From Today's Age:
    >
    > Street cred drives a bulletproof business
    >
    > In a world of certainties it used to be that private jets, mansions
    > and
    > yachts were the ultimate in status symbols.
    >
    > Now it is the armoured limousine. In a post-9/11 world, the last
    > word
    > in such things is the German-made armoured runabout, and demand is
    > outstripping supply.


    What we need to entice VIP's to become VIC's (Very Important Cyclists)
    is a bullet proof bicycle, and bullet proof lycra.

    Theo
     
  4. On 2005-04-14, Theo Bekkers <[email protected]> wrote:
    > What we need to entice VIP's to become VIC's (Very Important Cyclists)
    > is a bullet proof bicycle, and bullet proof lycra.


    Oh $DEITY, here we go; somebody's getting a Superman complex...

    --
    My Usenet From: address now expires after two weeks. If you email me, and
    the mail bounces, try changing the bit before the "@" to "usenet".
     
  5. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Stuart Lamble wrote:
    >
    > On 2005-04-14, Theo Bekkers <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > What we need to entice VIP's to become VIC's (Very Important Cyclists)
    > > is a bullet proof bicycle, and bullet proof lycra.

    >
    > Oh $DEITY, here we go; somebody's getting a Superman complex...

    -->geek!
    Tam
     
  6. On 2005-04-14, Tamyka Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Stuart Lamble wrote:
    >>
    >> On 2005-04-14, Theo Bekkers <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> > What we need to entice VIP's to become VIC's (Very Important Cyclists)
    >> > is a bullet proof bicycle, and bullet proof lycra.

    >>
    >> Oh $DEITY, here we go; somebody's getting a Superman complex...

    > -->geek!


    Never denied that particular charge. But it sums up so many
    possibilities in such a simple way...

    --
    My Usenet From: address now expires after two weeks. If you email me, and
    the mail bounces, try changing the bit before the "@" to "usenet".
     
  7. alex

    alex Guest

    Like the kevlar goodies that motorcyclists get ? :)
     
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