By on November 12, 2011

When American cops drive around with expensive iron, they claim they impounded it from a drug dealer fair and square, and all is good.  For some odd reasons, China hasn’t come to the level of vehicular expropriation yet. Their police gets its car the old fashioned way: They buy it. Imagine the consternation of the people in the port city of Tianjin, when they spotted a new Mini Cooper in police livery.  That car is imported, and a basic version starts at around $45,000.

Carnewschina reports that angry citizens asked the police why a Mini Cooper when the standard issue Santana would have done nicely. The received the runaround first, then were told that the car was a “gift from the factory.” There is no Mini Cooper factory in China. In the meantime, the small car went viral in China.

Police in Fengchenggang tried to avoid similar run-ins with the citizenry, and stuck a Honda CR-V emblem on their Mercedes-Benz ML350. The Chinese know their cars, and that picture went viral also.

 

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26 Comments on “Cool Cop Cars Drive Chinese Citizens Crazy...”


  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    The Chinese have more scorn for wasteful government spending than we do? We really are screwed aren’t we?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It’s like the Chinese government is as given to corruption and self-aggrandizement as the Obama regime is, but the Chinese people are better than our complacent sheep.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The reason that there is not more scorn in the US is that criticising the HUGE amount of waste, fraud and abuse in the military and in police forces is “un-American”, so all we can do is diddle with the absolutely trival amount of money involved in things like NPR.

      It crosses both parties, Obama is just being a political sell out for trying to solve the jobs problem by adding more cops. The last thing that the country needs is more impossible to fire unionized government workers with huge pension liabilities.

  • avatar
    RayH

    A local suburb around Dayton mixed a few Volvos into their police fleet around 1985. I guess the public outcry wasn’t the cars being more expensive, it was that they weren’t American cars. It might’ve been Centerville? Can’t remember for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      RedStapler

      In the Late 90s the California Highway Patrol had a trial run of Volvo S70s.

      http://articles.latimes.com/1999/apr/18/news/mn-28701

      IIRC they passed on them for not having enough interior room.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Chances are that the police chief’s “2 nai” (second breast, i.e. mistress) demanded it.

  • avatar
    redliner

    A Mini Cooper S as a police car?! I could see maybe a base stripper model for running errands, but an S? The Mini is too small to carry much of anything, be it police gear, police officers or perps. Being relatively small and insubstantial, not to mention, low to the ground, it is also not an ideal pursuit vehicle. Having a fleet of mix-and-match imports can’t be good for fleet operating costs either.

    The fact that they changed the badge on the MB shows that even the police know that it’s an inappropriate choice .

  • avatar

    China isn’t the only place where taxpayers pay for cops’ cool rides. I spotted an unmarked HEMI Challenger at the Cruisin’ Hines event in suburban Detroit. Cops were cruising on the taxpayers’ dime.

    Post here:
    http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=4431

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Seems the new Wayne Co. Sheriff is no better at safeguarding taxpayer loot than the old W C Sherrif (Robt Ficano) now is in his current gig!

      • 0 avatar

        At a ceremony when Changfeng first exhibited at the NAIAS, Ficano and the CEO of the Chinese automaker exchanged gifts. After the ceremony I asked the county executive:

        “Mr. Ficano. How many Changfeng employees live and vote in Wayne County?”

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Are you sure it actually had “a hemi in it”? A friend of mine saw a police Charger in the shop, and it had all the badges, but a V6 under the hood. Most police forces buy on price, but they’ll pay a little extra for those hemi badges.

      • 0 avatar

        It was a full SRT8 Challenger and the sherrif’s deputy was bragging about doing 120 on non-emergency runs.

        The unmarked cars are used for nothing other than revenue enhancement. Since much of that revenue ends up in the cops’ own pockets, let the police union pay for their toys, not the taxpayers.

  • avatar

    Well, shouldn’t taxpayers be happy? At least, government procurement shows some style.

    Of course, they could have bought Ladas, instead. On the pro side: no social envy, slightly lower maintenance cost in the long run. On the contra side: no happy police, the saved money wasted in Italian or Greek junk bonds instead.

    What is better? Decide yourself.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    The fact that they sprang for chrome mirrors just ices the cake. I guess they’d have pissed off the party big wigs if they went with Union Jacks.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Mini cooper.. pfft.. no big deal.

    You should see the BMW 5 and 7 series police cars I’ve seen here in Shanghai. Or the Audi SUV’s, and the list can go on and on for overpriced luxury cars as police cars.

    Most of the cars here in Shanghai are vw santana’s but there are a number of new passats and other vw’s.

    But pictures like this one and other examples is why the Chinese government is putting in a policy to restrict government vehicles to Chinese companies only.

    How that is going to work with all the Joint ventures I have no idea. But if I was to bet on this, the policy will mean nothing to the joint venture vehicles, VW, Buick etc. (and yes I’ve seen buick police cars too)

    It should be interesting next year, we’ll see if a lot more Chinese manufacturers cars show up as police cars.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Well of course they should be outraged. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good locally built counterfeit version the police could have bought…

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Do government agencies have to pay the taxes and tariffs that make a Mini Cooper S cost a Chinese citizen $45,000? If not then the Mini Cooper S is actually not a horrible patrol/pursuit car for the ~$25,000 it costs without taxes and tariffs. It gets great fuel economy.

    The Mercedes M-class is pure waste, fraud and abuse, as the cops have admitted to by putting a Honda logo on it, but at least it is a US built car imported to China.

    There is no excuse for the civil forfeiture cars that US cops prance around in. Without getting into the abuse of the Constitution that civil forfeiture law is, only complete economic ignorance with regard to opportunity cost justifies using seized exotic cars. If, for example, a used Lamborghini is worth $90,000, then there is no difference between the cops buying a used Lamborghini for $90,000, and the cops failing to sell a seized used Lamborghini for $90,000 (make it $85,000 to account for some transaction costs).

    • 0 avatar

      racer-esq, you expect politicians and members of public employee unions to actually care about economic consequences?

      Your point about prancing around in hot cars (and motorcycles) is spot on. Access to hot cars is part of the mentality of cops and other public employees as being supercitizens, with perks and privileges not available to regular folks. I wrote about it here:
      Jolly Coppers On Parade: Cops Cruising on the Taxpayers’ Dime

      Did you see the 400 NYPD officers that showed up at court to intimidate reporters trying to cover the big police union involved ticket fixing scandal? Apparently it was only political pressure from the mayor’s office that prevented the prosecutors from filing RICO charges against the union.

      It’s hilarious to watch cops try and rationalize “professional courtesy” i.e. two sets of laws, one for cops and one for everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        I just read it, nice detailed coverage of the taxpayer financed police prancing – I recommend people read it.

        I imagine the sheep and holster sniffers see this as some kind of F-you to the “bad guys”, but the bad guys don’t pay taxes. This behavior is just an F-you to hard working people with real private sector jobs that pay taxes.

        Since we’re talking police abuse I will drop links for Radley Balko, who (I’m sure you’re aware but for anyone reading) has done amazing coverage of police abuse for Cato, Reason and now (at least he gets a large audience with this) HuffPo.

        http://www.theagitator.com/

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/radley-balko

        http://reason.com/people/radley-balko/articles

        http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6476

        My solution, since it’s not good to complain without a solution, is that police shouldn’t be allowed to have unions. It works for the military.

        There is no more evil organization in the US, in terms of its effect, than the Fraternal Order of Police. RICO is completely appropriate, it is a criminal organization involved in cover-ups and shake downs. Every time a prosecutor is in the position to stop or punish criminal behavior by cop(s) the police union (most likely FOP) reminds that prosecutor of his next election, something an organization like the FOP can easily swing.

        That right-winger FDR (I’m probably more of a fan than you, but we can probably agree here) knew the danger of letting public employees unionize against citizens.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Ronnie, last year the state of Fla bought 10 Hemi Challengers for pursuit on the Fla turnpike, but they are all R/T’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe it’s just me rebelling against authority but I’ve started questioning almost the entire traffic enforcement apparatus. Very little seems to be focused on actual safety.

      I’m just as concerned about road safety as anyone but I’d rather that cops spent their time looking for drunk/impaired and reckless drivers than folks who drive 5-10 mph over the legal limit.

      It’s not about safety. It’s about revenue. Period, full stop.
      Safety. Safety. Safety. Safety. Safety. Safety.
      Revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Revenue.

      Look at how almost all jurisdictions enforce stop sign usage. They park on a side street so you can’t see them. Then, gotcha. When I asked our local chief of police that if the goal is keeping people from running stop signs, why don’t they park the cruisers right where people can see them? Then for sure they’ll stop. I asked him about this after watching a someone get ticketed for rolling a stop sign in front of a school. It was almost as though the cop wanted someone to run that sign in front of a school. His answer was that then people will assume that if there isn’t a cop there, they can get away with rolling the stop. But if the idea of stop signs is traffic safety, parking the cop car so people will see it, will mean fewer people will run the sign – but also fewer tickets and less revenue.

      It’s almost all a racket.

      Even drunk driving enforcement.

      If 400 NYPD cops will publicly support ticket fixing for cops and friends and families of cops, how many off-duty cops do you think get a courtesy ride home instead of a DUI?

      I’d say that the cops and courts and cities and counties and states even want people to drive drunk. A DUI is a financial windfall for whatever jurisdiction gives out the ticket. Thousands of dollars for each case, with very little expense involved.

      FWIW, almost all speed limits in Michigan are illegal. The legislature passed statutes that say that all jurisdictions that enforce speed limits must set those limits based on engineering studies. Since those studies are based on real world driving, that means most speed limits will go up, and revenue from speeding tickets will go down. To avoid losing that revenue, most cities and counties have simply not done the engineering studies.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Pigs will be pigs eating all they want from the public troughs no matter what country they are in.

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