DuPont car armour's a hit in Brazil

DuPont-logo-main As they grapple with high rates of kidnapping, murder and robbery, Brazilians are starting to turn to an option formerly reserved for diplomats and rap stars — armoured cars.

DuPont in 2008 introduced its bulletproof Kevlar fibre and SentryGlas car kit, Armura, to middle-class Brazilians for installation on their Chevys, Hondas and Kias.

Now, the chemical company wants to bulletproof taxis that will shuttle visitors between events at the 2014 World Cup soccer championship and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The Brazil-only Armura protects against bullets up to .38 calibre; sales in Brazil were up 70% in the first quarter this year over last year. DuPont says its annual sales of Armura amount to “tens of millions” of dollars, but didn’t offer more specifics.

Armura sells for about $12,000 and weighs about 90 kg. DuPont-approved technicians replace the car’s windows with SentryGlas and put Kevlar panels behind the door panels. It’s currently available on 11 models including the Toyota Corolla and Chevy Cruze.

The largest private guards’ union in Brazil estimates that residents spend about $8 billion on private security each year.