Topspin, if the state were modifying a car for resale to a local municipality, why would they put their own markings on it, rather than those of the municipality that was buying it? Is it even legal in VA for a private citizen to operate a vehicle that is made deliberately to be indistinguishable from a state police vehicle? And besides, aren't the actual manufacturer's markings still on the cars in any case? There was never any intent by the state to represent itself as the manufacturer of the car, which is the whole point of private labeling. The state may be providing a service to local municipalities by modifying vehicles for their use, but they are not a for-profit sales enterprise and I vey much doubt that they engage in brand promotion. So IMO, the alleged practice you describe has nothing whatsoever to do with either private labeling or manufacturing.The Commonwealth of VA *might* be modifying them for resale... they could be intending to give, lend or sell them to local PDs (to be paid for out of the PD's budget.) In much the same way, a railroad could give, lend or sell watches to its employees.
I don't think it matters.
Picture this - an all-original 1958-model Chevy Impala cop car has just turned up at auction. Wouldn't that be fantastic? I'm sure it would attract a lot of interest from collectors, film studios, & novelty vehicle hire companies alike. I somewhat doubt whether any of them would particularly care who did the conversion / finishing work, who licensed whose patents or who had sold it to who at the time ; indeed, a more recent celebrity owner would be much more of a talking point.
I am about to take off on another trip again now, and won't be back until Tuesday, so I likely won't be able to post again until then. Cheers.