Carat Duchatelet to supply armored sedans to the Belgian police

The Belgian company has signed a big contract with the Belgian federal police to provide armored sedans, reports the Belgian financial newspaper L'Echo. This is a seven-year contract to supply approximately seven cars a year, starting in 2019, to replace the aging armored sedans. Carat Duchatelet has won against international players following a call for tenders.

A Mercedes S Carat like those that the Belgian police will receive is worth between 400000 and 500000 euros 2
 A Mercedes S Carat like those that the Belgian police will receive is worth between 400,000 and 500,000 euros (Picture source: Carat Duchatelet)

Carat Duchatelet is known for its armored and luxurious vehicles that it sells for example to heads of government in the Middle East. But this business had a weakness: it often only depends on a few casual customers. Thus, the company went from a turnover of 4 to 10 million euros, before seeing it fall very severely and now back up.

On the ten cars in the workshop, the price of each modified vehicle varies from 100,000 to 1,2 million euros. "An exceptional car takes from 6 months to 1 year. It's interesting to have projects that end in 3 or 4 months," says Vincent Lambert, CEO. On a Rolls-Royce, a customer could for example want to completely redo the interior, without touching the outside.

Carat Duchatelet can also work on projects exclusively dedicated to security. This is the case of the contract with the Belgian Federal Police, where the Mercedes-Benz S Class will be armored by Carat Duchatelet, who will also take care of installing all the other security elements and intervention equipment. These cars of the federal police represent a considerable cash-flow. "This allows the company to meet 40% of its annual needs," says Vincent Lambert. One must notice that an S Carat class like those that the police will receive is worth between 400,000 and 500,000 euros.

The other interest of this type of contract is operational. By supplying the same car in several copies, Carat Duchatelet will be able to set up a certain industrialization of the production, once the top of the series achieved, L'Echo reports. "When employees work a week on a Mercedes, then a Rolls-Royce, then a Toyota, they must each time get back in sync with the project." This translates into significant costs.