Volkswagen Group Australia has extended its range of service vehicles to St John Ambulance Victoria; with the order of 40 customised Crafters for their patient transport fleet.

With a total of 59 derivatives, the new Crafter range provides a customer-focused transport solution that meets specific requirements of multiple industries.

Acquiring a mix of Crafter MWB FWD 340TDI and Crafter MWB FWD 410TDI; St John Ambulance are the first ambulance operator to order the newly – developed commercial vehicle for their Victorian fleet.

In adapting the Crafter to meet St John’s requirements, Volkswagen was set with the task of fitting and programming an integrated electric system in the vehicles.

Volkswagen Group Australia worked with its dealer partner, Ringwood Volkswagen, on modifying the Crafter’s systems to provide the necessary functions of an operating ambulance. In a two-stage process, vehicles were fitted with factory-approved options including suspension seats, dual doors, additional air conditioning, lowered floor and a second battery.

The patient transport vehicle conversion was configured by established ambulance converters; Amtek Australia and Mader International.

“Value, drivetrain reliability and the ability to custom-design a vehicle configuration to suit our operational needs are just some of the factors that influenced our decision to source the new Volkswagen Crafter for our patient transport sector,” Peter Ayres, St John Ambulance Australia’s (Vic) Chief Operating Officer said.

James Johnson, Volkswagen Australia’s Corporate Business Manager highlighted the significance of this venture as a “milestone for the new Crafter in Australia.”

“The tri-party consultation process that was initiated between St John, Ringwood Volkswagen and Volkswagen Group Australia took place over a year ago; to see what has been achieved in this time for the Crafter is nothing less of extraordinary,” Mr Johnson said.

Delivery of this project was a collaboration of internal departments at Volkswagen Group Australia and the wider Volkswagen Dealer network. Externally, Amtek Australia and Mader International’s involvement was essential in the conversion build.

The custom Crafters are already in service in Victoria, and the fleet of Volkswagens is set to expand in 2020.