July Newsletter

To our valued clients and friends,

They say that perception is in fact your own reality. This is true but in the case of armoured luxury vehicles, we really wish it wasn’t. Armormax undoubtedly has the reputation in our segment as being the leaders in armouring luxury cars- it has taken hard work and a commitment to a certain standard to get this right. What we have noticed is that people assume that every luxury armoured car out there was armoured by Armormax which is unfortunately not true. There are other options (all of them cheaper but no means the same) and potential buyers are sometimes mislead into thinking the vehicle they are considering purchasing was purchased by Armormax.

The pre-owned market for armoured cars has increased almost ten-fold in the last 4 years. Whereas before there was only really one player who are one of our biggest customers, the landscape now is vastly different. It seems that some dealers have seen a ‘quick buck’ opportunity in selling armoured cars. We know very well that there is no such thing, and we feel uneasy that people in business feel it’s acceptable to sell a product intended to save lives when they are grossly ignorant about what they are dealing with.

It’s part of the reason we launched the Approved Vehicle Sales program and are quite specific about who we work with as dealer partners. A shared vision and understanding of our values are the starting point of these relationships. If it doesn’t say Armormax, it’s not our product and you need to understand what you are not getting, despite some companies charging a premium for a vehicle that is just not at the same standard. And if you do come across one of our vehicles out there, check with us if it has gone through our quality check process as only then will we provide a new warranty to you. Rather be safe than, well, sorry…

We love the fact that what we do saves lives, and in some instances the circumstances are comical. Case in point- last night our own MD was involved in an attempted hijacking in one of our vehicles. Being the responsible man Grant is, he was in the passenger seat and his wife was driving, on their way back from a Precision Rifle Association Protea awards evening. Two assailants approached the vehicle from either side, although the attacker on the left was met by an ever-prepared Mr. Anderson drawing his firearm in a split second, aimed squarely at his target’s eyebrows. Grant’s instincts took over before he remembered he was inside an armoured car and was unable to shoot anyway… Being the chairman of the aforementioned association, there is no doubt that Grant would not have missed, which our would-be hijacker possibly sensed and quickly backed away and bolted into the darkness.

Mrs. Anderson, having received training for these situations was also razor-sharp with her reactions getting the vehicle out of the danger zone as quickly as possible. The couple returned to their home shortly thereafter- unflustered, not traumatised at all, and just happy to live another day because of both our product and the right mindset of how to react. But we think our hijackers may have come off the luckiest of the lot, taking our mantra of saving lives further than we imagined.

Our demo Land Cruiser 300, aka Mufasa is almost halfway through the B6 production process. While we would love to share all the images of the production process with you, it is proprietary information, and we don’t want it getting into the wrong hands. Suffice to say all the ballistic steel work has been completed and we have moved onto the lightweight armouring that goes into the doors, floor and roof. The team working on the car enthusiastically report back to us everyday on their progress. The pride they take in their work is one of the reasons our workmanship is of such a high quality. Their meticulous attention to detail in disassembly and reassembly of components is breath-taking and will assure any would-be owner that their vehicle will operate and perform exactly as it did before armouring. We had secured a buyer for the vehicle before production who sadly is no longer in a position to take ownership. If you would be interested in purchasing Mufasa please get in touch with us soonest.

The recent release of the crime stats has revealed an alarming increase in violent crimes and as always, carjacking and kidnapping just seem to climb unabated. Of particular interest to us is that KZN is becoming an incredibly dangerous province to live and work in. It’s interesting to us because the number of armoured cars on the road in KZN doesn’t nearly match the threat and risk levels. Of the few that there are, it seems that risks were not assessed properly and lives have unfortunately been lost. In the last 2 weeks, we know of two separate incidents where drivers of B4 vehicles were attacked with assault rifles and unfortunately lost their lives. There are a number of possible reasons for this- they were possibly bought or sold in ignorance of what the different ballistic levels are there for; their risk was not properly assessed if at all; information of what level of armoured vehicle they owned and how to defeat it was possibly too easily obtained. Any one of these possibilities are scary and dangerous and the reason we have made such great efforts to establish informed and competent partnerships in the region. We hope that our efforts will lead to more lives being saved in the future.

The hatchback king is back! You might think we are a little bit late with this announcement but we have been waiting since November 2021 to get our hands on the 8th generation Golf GTI to begin development on a bespoke armoured version. You may remember years ago we built a string of Golf 7’s for long-time customers MMI Armoured Cars, from the sprightly 1.4 TSI all the way up to the R models. We developed this armouring package which was adopted internationally and we are doing it again with the new model, along with the trust of MMI Armoured Cars to deliver a quality pioneering project again. On the Golf 7 we added roughly 160 kg on the B4 package so it really made no impact on performance of the Golf at all. We can’t wait to see the finished 8!

You may have noticed we have a bit of a fascination with the Toyota Land Cruiser 300. Well, we are not alone. In the last 8 months, this is the vehicle we received the most enquiries on for armouring. This may be because the 200 Series Land Cruisers made such brilliant armoured vehicles, but we believe it’s because the 300 is just such a brilliant vehicle on all levels. The demand for the vehicle is astounding- with standard models fetching as much as a R500 000 premium over the list price for owners not willing to wait 18 months for theirs.

From an armouring perspective, we have found them to be incredibly well suited to the armour and the armouring process. Because we only believe in bespoke, discreet armour nobody would be any wiser of what lies beneath once armoured. Dynamically this is also true- the new generation engines just don’t sweat the extra weight at all. So for now, the Cruiser is King, but there is a contender on its way to South Africa that wants to steal its armoured crown. Can you guess what it is?

We just received confirmation from Land Rover South Africa that our first two units of the all-new Range Rover Sport have gone into production at Solihull. This means that we will start the worldwide development of the armouring packages for these vehicles as soon as they are delivered to us. We have ordered the 3 litre turbo diesel to build in B4 format, and the new 4.4 litre twin turbo V8 to build in B6 format. We expect that we will be able to turn out the finished product by the end of the year as the first new-generation Range Rover to be armoured globally. Watch this space…

Like we mentioned earlier, the pre-owned armoured car market is expanding but we are all too often seeing owners not realising the true potential value of their trade-ins or armoured vehicles they wish to sell. One of the objectives of our Approved Vehicle Sales program is to ensure that all Armormax vehicles in the market have been through our quality check process, and are being sold correctly to potential owners. That extends to making sure they are being bought properly, which doesn’t seem to be happening. So if you are looking to sell or trade in your Armormax vehicle, come to us first. We know its true value better than anyone and can either purchase from you at the correct price, or at the very least advise you on your sale and next purchase.

Stay safe