Automotive

Ford to re-establish its presence in UK ambulance market with British manufacturer Venari

Updated on Monday 15 February 2021, 10:39 AM

3 Minute Read

Ford today announced plans to re-establish its presence in the UK ambulance market, with an innovative new Transit ambulance developed in conjunction with industry experts and front-line medical teams under the code name Project Siren.

Scheduled to enter production in mid-2021, the new vehicle’s lightweight design is fully compliant with the national specification advocated by the Lord Carter Report, offering all the equipment and capability of a front-line ambulance within a 3.5-tonne gross vehicle weight. Based on the Ford Transit chassis cab, the body and conversion will be built wholly in the UK by Venari Group – parent company of the UK’s leading ambulance manufacturer, O&H Vehicle Technology.

Project Siren used an agile, collaborative process and direct customer input from NHS Ambulance Trusts to create the new vehicle, which is designed to improve patient treatment as well as safety and ease of use for paramedics. Advanced digital connectivity supports efficient restocking and vehicle maintenance, while the lightweight design helps reduce emissions and operating costs associated with using heavier vehicles.

The vehicle’s launch will follow detailed testing and validation at Ford’s advanced proving facilities. The new lightweight design has been developed to be fully compatible with all-electric powertrains, providing a future-proof solution for ambulance operators looking to transition to zero-emission fleets.

Dr Graham Hoare OBE, executive director, Business Transformation, and chairman, Ford of Britain, said:

“Our exciting new lightweight ambulance is the result of listening to our customers, understanding their needs and finding innovative solutions to meet them. By collaborating with blue-light experts Venari Group for Project Siren, I’m confident that this new vehicle will redefine the blueprint for ambulances and help to transform the productivity of front line ambulance services in the UK.”

Oliver North, CEO, Venari Group, said:

“We’re delighted to have teamed up with Ford in the development of our 3.5-tonne ambulance, which will provide a step change in design for our incredible emergency services. Harnessing the capabilities of Venari and Ford has created an engineering team that is – in my 15-year experience in emergency service vehicle production – the most formidable of its type, meeting the complex requirements of the Carter Report with zero compromise on quality.”

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected services.  Ford employs approximately 187,000 people worldwide.

Venari Group is the largest and most innovative manufacturer of emergency vehicles and equipment in the UK, employing more than 130 people. Formed in 2019, the fast-growing company acquired 32 year-old O&H Vehicle Technology – Britain’s largest and most established manufacturer of ambulances – to re-ascertain its position as market leader within the sector. Led by industry stalwart, Oliver North, the firm has already won and executed prestigious, multi-million-pound contracts within the fire, ambulance, PTS and healthcare sectors and has partnered with some of the world’s most desirable equipment manufacturers to distribute their products.

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