Ford has concluded a deal with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to supply the charity with more than 450 vehicles over the next three years.
The deal follows an evaluation of eight manufacturers by the RNLI over the last year, and will also include Ford providing support for the RNLI’s water safety messaging campaigns.
Nearly half of the vehicles will be supplied this year, with the balance coming into service over the following two years.
The most visible part of the new deal will be 100 Ford Rangers to be deployed on beach patrol duty for lifeguards. Meanwhile, the full range of Ford vans is also being supplied for various other support services. Fiesta, Focus, EcoSport and Kuga passenger cars will also make up part of the total of 450 vehicles.
A prototype Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will be used by the RNLI around the Poole and Dorset areas on the south coast, joining nine other UK fleets evaluating the plug-in hybrid van’s suitability for their day-to-day requirements.
Andy Barratt, managing director of Ford of Britain, said: “Ford as UK vehicle market leader partnering one of this country’s national treasures is a real coup for us. The RNLI does an outstanding job keeping us safe around the coast, which we’re excited to be supporting.”