You may not think of this as anything but over the top. Tell that to those people living in countries where the risk of getting kidnapped or a criminal pointing a gun at you to steal your car, or your money, or even to kidnap you, is several times higher than getting into an auto accident.
Places like Mexico and Brazil are seeing a larger number of citizens turning to this form of protection and for good reason. Bulletproofing cars has been around for years. But usually it was the rich and sophisticated that indulged in this luxury. It may have also been used for armor cars for protection of large sums of money.
But more and more of the everyday types are protecting themselves against bullets, robbery, kidnapping and even murder. So again, it boils down to where you live.
What is bulletproofing
The company that really put this on the map was DuPont. They provide a kevlar fiber that covers the car and a SentryGlas which covers the glass. Together this kit could be added to hundreds of cars. The first large experiment was in 2008.
Types of cars that are currently using this bulletproofing are Chevrolets, Hondas, and even the Kia.
The kit costs around $12,000 dollars and is called Armura. It weights 200 pounds and takes over 2 weeks to install. A technician replaces the front windshield with a SentryGlas. The next step is to get Kevlar panels behind the door panels.
Armura is a direct product of Dupont.
The 2014 World cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games are on the cusp in Brazil. The government and many of the towns folk are demanding that taxis are covered with bulletproofing to protect the citizens and visitor to both of these large sporting events.
Protection does come at a cost, but some visitors are thinking of avoiding Brazil because of the risk of damage and robbery. The overall view of this country is that robbers are on the loose everywhere. Would protection if the form of a car help change this viewpoint?
In 2012 the sales of this kit went up almost 70% in the first quarter and are expected to continue to rise. This is a profit of almost 10 million dollars or more.
Currently in the third largest city of Brazil – Salvador – the crime wave have erupted. The police are currently on strike. Murder rates have doubled in the last few years.
$8 Billion dollars are spent each year in Brazil on private security. This is the same amount of money that the US spent on security contracts for the first 4 years of the Iraq war.
The same thing is happening in Mexico. The bulletproof industry is turning from a luxury to almost a requirement.
One of the top business that is profiting from this is the Mexican Association of Automobile Armorers. This group has seen a growth rate of 10%. Right now they are on a 6 month waiting list to have the cars done. It takes almost 2 weeks to get the job done.
Other companies in the US are seeing a large number of sale increases. Texas Armoring Corp in San Antonio reports a 4 times increase in sales from Mexico.
In some countries, things are really getting out of place. Violence is on the rise and the local government or police may not be able to protect you. In these cases, and in these places, it is up to the citizens to take matters into their own hands. Bulletproofing your car doesn’t solve all the problem but it can protect you or your family in most cases.
This doesn’t even begin to look at the lost to car insurances, personal time, medical bills, and much more as a result of the violence in these countries.
Personally, I’d hate to live in an area where this was the case, but if I did, I would definitely be getting myself a bulletproof car.