Demand for armoured vehicles is growing because of increased criminality, wars and the fact that certain people are fearful for their safety.

According to dpa, the more serious the security situation, the more demand there is for armoured vehicles, which carry high levels of profit for companies.

According to a BMW manager who works at a plant producing special protection vehicles in Mexico, demand for additional security is high, even just in countries where there is a high level of stree crime.

BMW adapts its 5-series and X5 for an add-on price of EUR49,000. This involves dismantling cars and rebuilding them with the addition of more than 200 steel plates, as well as carbon fibre panels and special glass.

Audi and Mercedes also offer high security versions of the A6 and E-Class respectively.

According to dpa, all three manufacturers consider the demands of special security versions when the models are being designed. Additional models are being added to the range including the Audi A8, BMW 7-series and a Mecedes-Benz G-class and S-class.

In addition to armour plating other features of special security vehicles include run-flat tyres, secure telephones, sirens and flashing blue lights. In the case of Audi, if the car is in an accident the doors are blown off automatically by in-built pyrotechnics. Fire extinguishers automatically fight fires in the engine. Furthermore if a dangerous gas is sensed, all air from the outside is sealed off and oxygen is delivered into the passenger compartment.