German emergency services opt for luxury

Last updated 10:00 11/09/2008

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Emergency patients in the German city of Stuttgart will be rushed to hospital with extra speed and style after the fire brigade added two custom-made luxury Porsche cars to its fleet.

Each Cayenne model, a SUV worth about €70,000 (NZ$149,658), is equipped with a siren which Porsche says can be better heard by drivers and pedestrians and clears the roads faster.

"It was a difficult process; the interior had to be completely changed," Porsche spokesman Heiner von der Laden said on Wednesday.

"We had to equip a standard model with ECG, defibrillator, oxygen supply and other medical apparatus."

Many other German cities use Mercedes and Volkswagen for their emergency medical services. Porsche said its reputation for quality and speed helped it win the deal in Stuttgart, where the company is based.

Porsche executive Thomas Edig said the company does not plan to pursue more business in the medical emergency services sector. Moscow is the only other city to use the prestigious luxury brand as an emergency vehicle, Porsche said.

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- Reuters

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