Originally posted by LRRP:
Anyone read in the straits times today?
do you think SUVs are as rugged as a macho landrover ?
i think i can abandon my thread
alrd. 870 Ford Everest SUVs to replace Mindef's ageing Land RoversStraits Times, The (Singapore)
Home, Pg H4
December 3, 2007
Author: Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent
A FAMILIAR sight in military camps and training grounds here, the Land Rover Defender will be making way for a new generation of sports-utility vehicles, the Ford Everest.
The Ministry of Defence has placed an order for 870 Thai-made Fords as part of a programme to renew its ageing fleet of some 3,000 Land Rovers.
The recently sealed deal with Sime Darby's Regent Motors - the Ford agent here - is said to be worth around $85 million, with an option for 500 more vehicles.
The Straits Times understands that more than 50 Everests - painted in the army's camouflage green - have already been delivered.The purchase comes after plans to launch a novel scheme - to have civilians co-own and drive military SUVs during peacetime - was shelved.
The Everest is Ford's made-in-Asia, made-for-Asia product, based on the Ranger pickup truck. It is assembled in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In civilian form, it is marketed as a seven-seater SUV. Regent Motor had wanted to add it to its passenger car range two years ago, but decided against it as it felt Singaporeans might want a more refined vehicle.
But the robust SUV is expected to be a hit with the military.
Mr Lee Nian Tjoe, editor of Torque, a motoring magazine published by Singapore Press Holdings, said: 'The Land Rover Defender may be cool, but from a practical point of view, the Ford Everest is better.'
Mr Lee, an avid off-roader, said being an Asian car, the Everest is 'easier and cheaper to maintain'.
The SUV is also more user-friendly for our soldiers. It has a three-litre diesel engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It can be driven as a four-wheel or two-wheel drive - hence saving fuel when it is not required to negotiate rugged terrain.
Most of the Land Rover Defenders here are 2.5-litre diesel manuals with permanent four-wheel drive.
The purchase represents Mindef's first major move away from Land Rover.
Mindef spokesman Colonel Darius Lim said: 'After an extensive evaluation, the Ford Everest was selected...to replace the ageing Land Rovers, some of which have been in service for more than 20 years.'
Besides meeting 'operational requirements'. he said the Everests were 'more cost-effective than the Land Rovers'.
Copyright, 2007, Singapore Press Holdings Limited