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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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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.

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