Print 69 comment(s) - last by rbuszka.. on Mar 17 at 10:42 PM

GM has provided presidential limos for 30 years

The president of the U.S. rides as a passenger around the county (and the world) in the back of a highly armored limousine called "The Beast." As formidable as this current limo is, the U.S. Secret Service is seeking bids for firms to build a next generation limo to protect future presidents.
Last week a contract proposal was posted on the government contract site announcing that the Secret Service plans to award the contract by August 29 based on "the best value to the government."

President Obama's "Beast"
The project includes four different phases. The first phase of the project is armor development and is already underway. Phase 2 will include the integration of the armor with final automotive components. Phase 2 also requires the selection of chassis, interior, exterior, and test vehicle fabrication and automotive component testing.
The third phase of the project will be the automotive validation with the final phase focused on production of vehicles. The contract proposal is limited to major domestic automakers with headquarters based primarily in the U.S.

The current version of "The Beast" is capable of surving brutal assaults (although it can be tripped up by driveways) [Image Source: The Daily Mail]

General Motors currently has been the primary contractor The Beast and has provided Cadillac presidential limos for 30 years.
“There’s more security around the development of a presidential limo than any of our products,” GM vice president for design Ed Welburn said in a Detroit News interview in September. “It takes a number of years to develop the car. It’s a great project to work on. This particular one, more so than any of them in the past. In the past, they were retrofitting existing vehicles — with this, this is really from the ground up a new vehicle, and we really do it right.”

Sources: Detroit News, Time Magazine,, The Daily Mail

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By Khenglish on 3/12/2014 11:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
There's no way this only costs 300,000 pounds. I would expect at least 10 times that.

RE: cost
By Spuke on 3/12/2014 12:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
I believe they're using an existing truck chassis. That would save tremendous costs.

RE: cost
By Brandon Hill on 3/12/2014 12:06:04 PM , Rating: 2

Unlike any presidential state car before it, The Beast shares little in common with a standard production car. Its chassis, diesel engine and transmission are based on those used in the Chevrolet Kodiak, a rugged commercial vehicle used as everything from a dump truck to a U-Haul truck.

RE: cost
By Mr Perfect on 3/12/2014 12:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds slightly more impressive as USD. The current exchange rate makes that $498,540.

That's just the bid price though, it'll no doubt go up from there.

RE: cost
By superflex on 3/12/2014 3:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
Once they beef up the suspension for Chewbacca, add the choom stash for Barry and extra anal lube for Reggie, the price will double.
Adding the prayer rug was already factored in.

RE: cost
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2014 12:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know how expensive it is to take something that heavy and fit 26" Dubs on it? Come on!


RE: cost
By sorry dog on 3/12/2014 4:15:25 PM , Rating: 4
I wonder if Clinton's model had extra padding on the floorboard for the backseat...ya know, for extra padding for knees.

RE: cost
By Spookster on 3/12/2014 5:22:49 PM , Rating: 3
Naw they saved money by just buying kneepads for the female interns.

RE: cost
By Spookster on 3/12/2014 5:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
and male interns depending upon who is in office.

RE: cost
By inperfectdarkness on 3/13/2014 4:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
Half a million dollars US each? I believe it. I believe that as a per-unit cost--not factoring in all of the R&D costs.

What I want to know is why is Honda/Toyota/Hyundai excluded? They have more factories in the USA than GM/Ford/Chrysler at this point. All "Buy American" means at this point is that I want my goods manufactured overseas and I want the fatcat CEO to reside in the USA making at least 10x what any of his contemporaries in other countries would be making.

RE: cost
By Kazinji on 3/13/2014 6:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
Agree on the "American" part. Lot of "foreign" cars are designed and made in the US. Which creates jobs. Non-union, which they usually pay a decent wage. Most "American" auto have moved to Mexico or even Canada, to get rid of the Union which is basically making it harder to compete in the US market with bloated wages. Back in the day when their wasn't any competition from foreign autos, getting a job at GM would mean you were set for life. Not anymore. Regan was the one to set it up that if they wanted to sell cars in the US they have to make them in the US(BMW makes all SUV's in NC). And that profits of said big companies just goes to the 5%ers, which isn't much of a impact for most of us. I say buy that car that makes the most US jobs, if that car happens to be a Honda/Toyota/BMW than so be it.

RE: cost
By djc208 on 3/13/2014 8:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
Security. The details on many of the design elements of this vehicle will require some sort of classification, building a tank is useless if the weak spots are public knowledge.

The foreign car companies are an unknown security threat. How do you know the plans aren't going to be leaked to their parent government, or the highest bidder? Is Toyota going to let the American Government audit their records to verify nothing has been leaked? Any personnel working with classified information have to have a security clearance, which could be harder if the designers aren't US citizens.

Then there's the espianage aspect. Even if the vehcle were built in the US, where are all the parts manufactured? If parts are built in China/Japan/Korea and just installed in a factory here then those parts would have to be inspected to make sure they are not compromised from a security standpoint. And if you think that's crazy just go research the spy world. Start with the US consolate in Russia.

Same way, GM is probably forbidden from commercializing aspects of or possibly the entire design. Don't want anyone to be able to reverse engineer the protections by purchasing a duplicate.

RE: cost
By rbuszka on 3/17/2014 10:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
Because "Buy American" really always meant "Buy Union". The UAW is as American as apple pie.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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