The demand of armoured vehicles is growing in India - Markus

Markus Rubenbauer- Head of Mercedes-Benz Guard Division came down to India to share some information about the new M-Guard vehicle that got launched in India at the Auto Expo. Mercedes-Benz is one of the oldest car makers to have armoured vehicles and we speak to the man you heads this division for the German luxury car maker.

The demand of armoured vehicles is growing in India - Markus

Q) Which all vehicles are available in the armoured list?

Markus: We have the E-Class, M-Class, GL-Class, S-Class and the S Pullman limousine. We have the widest range of armoured cars in the world. Our vehicle resistance begins from level 4 to the 10.

The demand of armoured vehicles is growing in India - Markus

Q) When was the first car made?

Markus: Mercedes-Benz started in 1928 begun armouring vehicles, for the Japanese Emperor and since then we have been making such vehicles. Today, we have the largest portfolio in the world and the most preferred one.

The demand of armoured vehicles is growing in India - Markus

Q) How does this work?

Markus: The driver’s cabin is protected. Be it the doors, glass, the roof, the top and bottom of the car is protected. The tyres are special run-flat that can work about 80 kms at a speed of 80km/hr. So, even if the bullet hits the tyre and the air comes out, it can still run for the same distance.

Q) Who tests these cars?

Markus: We don’t alone test the cars ourselves. It is done by the Ballistic Testing Authorities in Germany. So, they take the car and they shoot up to 350 shoots in the car, especially the parts that are difficult to armour and they do intensive testing. They have shooting robots. Even if one bullet goes into the cabin, then it is a fail and we haven’t failed even once in the tests conducted last year. The other test is against explosion also.

Q) These cars are heavier than the regular armoured cars, what all changes are made to them?

Markus: These cars aren’t made of aluminium but of special steel. Even the brake callipers are more as the cars are heavier. We do not have less than 75 black boxes in the car that are reprogramed for ESP, ABS etc that are re-programed for the increased weight of the car. We also train the drivers of these cars a special training on how to handle these cars.

Q) How many years does it take to develop these cars?

Markus: It takes two more years to develop these cars after the new models are ready in the market. So, the new S-Class Guard isn’t yet out in the market yet.

Q) How much bigger is the fuel tank on these cars as it is heavier?

Markus: We do not change the fuel tank capacity of the car. It is mostly highway driving and the chauffeur generally will ensure the car is brimmed up, always.

Q) How is the fuel tank protected from an explosion?

Markus: The fuel tank is very well protected from explosions and even the cabin is secure from any kind of explosion. It depends on the level of protection that you have opted for.

Q) Which are big markets for these kind of vehicles?

Markus: Latin America, Eastern Europe, Japan and some other parts of Asia form the majority part of our sales. Indian market is growing too.

Source : CarDekho - The demand of armoured vehicles is growing in India - Markus