An official state car is a car used by a government to transport its head of state or head of government in an official capacity, which may also be used occasionally to transport other members of the government or visiting dignitaries from other countries. On a state visit, the official state car might be transported for official use by the head of state upon their arrival. It also may serve as an automotive symbol of the head of state and their country. Part of the criteria for an official state car is to have adequate security, capability and stateliness for its duty. A limousine, executive car or sport utility vehicle is usually selected.
Due to the high security risk for the passengers, these vehicles are often heavily secured and protected. Vehicles may be armored by the manufacturer or an after-market specialist. (In this article the term "armored car" invariably means a reinforced civilian vehicle, not the military vehicle often so named.) When carrying an important passenger, state vehicles may be surrounded by a motorcade consisting of police or military personnel. The vehicle's driver might also be from the law enforcement or military pool; the driver of the United States Presidential State Car is an experienced agent from the Secret Service, and the British Prime Minister is driven by a specially trained military SAS driver.
In countries that have indigenous automobile manufacturers, the government will usually commission one of the national automakers to provide a state car, or allow several to provide cars for an official state fleet. It is considered an honour for a car manufacturer to be selected to provide a state car for their respective country and a demonstration of the confidence of a government in their national industry. For example, the President of the United States rides in the domestic Cadillac, the Emperor of Japan uses a Toyota, the Prime Minister of Italy uses a Maserati, the President of the Czech Republic rides a Škoda Superb and the British monarch uses a Bentley. The President of France can choose from cars manufactured by Renault or PSA Peugeot Citroën, and all major German manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen Group) are represented in Germany's pool of vehicles available for use by state officials.
For countries without indigenous manufacturers, an official state car may be purchased from a suitable manufacturer in a nation with strong economic and diplomatic ties. Canada exclusively uses state cars manufactured by the Detroit Three, many of which are made in Canadian factories, with the United States and American car manufacturers having a historically strong relationship with Canada. The Canadian government also holds shares in General Motors and Chrysler following their restructuring in the economic downturn of 2008.
In some cases state cars may bear standard number plates; in others special or no plates are used.
The following information lists some state cars and their users; the list is likely to be out of date in some cases as incumbents and cars change.
Read more about Official State Car: Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, East Germany, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Luxemburg, Malawi, Mexico, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Republic of China (Taiwan), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zambia, See Also, Notes and References
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