Demand For Armored Vehicles Booms Among Uber-Wealthy
Bloomberg reports that Texas Armoring, a San Antonio-based company specializing in armoring vehicles for the super-rich (the biggest in the world), is enjoying an unprecedented sales boom.
Currently, they armor about 200 vehicles per year. In the next five years, the company's CEO, Trent Kimbell, expects that number to double.
"If you’re rich and need protection, you are going to come to us to armor your vehicle," Kimbell says. The part about being rich makes sense. Including the vehicle, the low-end cost is $80,000, the high-end is $500,000. Protection itself ranges from being fortified against handguns all the way up to repelling an AK-47 and M-16.
Not surprisingly, politicians and celebrities are a large part of the clientele, including Steven Segal and Mel B (aka "Scary Spice"). Not every customer lives in the United States. Executives who fear kidnapping in places like West Africa are also clients.
Kimbell says his company offers what he describes as "James Bond-type accessories." These include smoke screens and electrified door handles.
Kimbell says the increase in demand for his product is connected to an increase in the perception that threats are on the rise.
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