In the coming weeks, the Ministry of Defense is expected to sign a contract with US vehicle manufacturer Ford to buy tactical vehicles designed to replace the Abir command car. Defense sources told “Globes” that the contract will call for the purchase of thousands of vehicles, spread over more than five years, at a cost of $100 million.
The price includes accompanying costs, such as service, spare parts, training, etc. The contract will be signed directly with Ford in the US and the vehicles will be purchased with US aid money.
At the same time, Delek Motors, which represents Ford in Israel, will work with the Ministry of Defense to carry out the terms of the contract, which includes preparation for delivery, delivery, day-to-day maintenance, driver training, and so forth. This is one of the largest vehicle supply contracts involving importers in the Israeli vehicle sector.
The vehicles are based on the Ford F-350 heavy tender platform. The decision was reached after over two years of tests and negotiations conducted by a Ministry of Defense procurement delegation. Two bids reached the final stage: Ford and General Motors, represented by UMI. General Motors, offered a vehicle based on the new version of its Sierra tender.
Ministry of Defense spokesman Shlomo Dror responded that no procurement contract had yet been signed; several issues were still outstanding, such as preparation of accessories (boxes) for the tenders in Israel.
Delek Motors declined to respond to the report.
Published by Israel's Business Arena on October 3, 2001