Brighouse-based Venari Group and Ford have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a new alliance to take cooperation between the two businesses on emergency vehicles to the next level.
The Ford Venari Alliance brings the two companies together in plans to manufacture the all-new, lightweight frontline ambulance – unveiled by Ford and Venari earlier this year. Based on the Ford Transit chassis cab and developed under ‘Project Siren’, the lightweight ambulance was designed with input from industry experts and frontline medical teams.
The Ford Venari lightweight ambulance is intended to be produced at a new facility in Ford Dagenham from 2022, utilising an existing, non-production location that will be refreshed to accommodate its manufacturing requirements. It is anticipated that the new business will create around 100 new jobs once production begins in 2022.
Integral to Ford Pro, Ford’s new business for distribution and services, the Ford Venari Alliance marks the start of plans to grow and develop opportunities with key conversions partnerships, ensuring customers from every vocation have access to specialised vehicles.
“The Ford Venari Alliance builds on Ford’s plans to re-establish its presence in the UK ambulance market by working with the UK’s leading ambulance builder, and supports our wider ambition of growing Ford’s market presence through strategic alliances with key vehicle converters,” said Paul Baynes, Manager, Marketing and Sales – Ford Pro Vehicle Solutions, Ford of Europe.
Venari Group CEO, Oliver North, added, “Following the truly incredible engineering achievements displayed by Ford at the Dagenham facility during the Ventilator Challenge UK project, the next chapter for Dagenham provides a continuation in production of life saving machines, with our next generation ambulance. The Ford Venari alliance will drive efficiency in production of the Transit-based front-line ambulance, whilst essentially creating new jobs.”
Project Siren used an agile, collaborative process and direct customer input from NHS ambulance trusts to create the Ford Venari Lightweight Ambulance, which is designed to improve patient treatment 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 all-new, lightweight ambulance design is compliant with the national specification advocated by the Lord Carter Report, offering all the equipment and capability of a frontline ambulance within a 3.5-tonne gross vehicle weight. The lightweight design also has been developed to provide a future-proof solution for ambulance operators looking to transition to zero-emission fleets.
More details concerning the Ford Venari Alliance will be announced in due course, with the all-new Ford Venari lightweight ambulance on display at The Emergency Services Show, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham, from 7-8 September.