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Secret Service shopping for new presidential limo

General Motors is frontrunner since bid restricts vendors to domestic automakers with U.S. headquarters.

By Douglas Newcomb Mar 13, 2014 1:16PM

Presidential limo. Photo courtesy of the White House.The Department of Homeland Security is shopping for a new presidential limousine for when the next chief executive enters office in 2017.

The current Cadillac limousine that made its debut just before President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, nicknamed "The Beast,” replaced the 2006 Cadillac DTS limo that President George W. Bush had used since his second inauguration in 2005.


President Obama typically rides in the Beast for official business while stateside. When he travels abroad, it’s in an armored Chevrolet Suburban.


The bid restricts the vendor to major domestic automobile manufacturers with headquarters in the United States. So this means that bidders will likely include veteran presidential limo builders General Motors and Ford. GM has built the Cadillac presidential limousine for more than 30 years, while Ford built presidential Lincoln limousines decades earlier. The Detroit News reported that a Ford spokeswoman didn’t comment on whether the Dearborn automaker planned to bid on the project.


The current presidential limousine, which is based on GM's medium-duty truck platform, is fortified with armor that’s five inches thick. It has run-flat tires, bulletproof glass and, in case of a chemical attack, a completely sealed interior. Although the vehicle’s curb weight is classified, based on earlier models, it is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

“There’s more security around the development of a presidential limo than any of our products,” Ed Welburn, GM vice president for design, told the Detroit News. “It takes a number of years to develop the car.”


Of course, the car also has significant electronic communications equipment, and Obama’s directive that all federal vehicles purchased in 2015 be advanced-technology models will definitely influence the next POTUS set of wheels. According to his campaign fact sheet, another Obama decree was that “within one year of becoming president, the entire White House fleet will be converted to plug-ins as security permits; and half of all cars purchased by the federal government will be plug-in hybrids or all electric by 2012.”  But currently no vehicles in White House fleets have ever been converted.

We suggest that a Tesla armored limo be considered since it would meet Obama’s plug-in mandate and satisfies the domestic requirement, although Tesla is not yet a “major” automaker. Hyundai’s Zombie Assault Vehicle could also be a great contender if it wasn’t from a foreign company.


[Source: Detroit News]

Mar 13, 2014 2:08PM
Don't need to waste money for a new car. Do like we all do. make do with what you have!!
Mar 13, 2014 2:01PM
just keep the current Cadillac ,they spent millions on it and its hardly ever used except for BS  parties &political gigs
Mar 13, 2014 2:12PM
What's wrong with the one they have? Do they think that the taxpayers are a bottomless pit of money?
Mar 13, 2014 2:10PM
Considering our national debt, why is it necessary to replace the 2009 low miles vehicle? My 2003 Toyota looks and runs fine. But of course the new car will be paid for by taxpayers
Mar 13, 2014 2:27PM
The price of a limo pales in comparison to the price of hauling all this equipment everywhere he goes , all you hear about is Air Force one landing . There at least two more large cargo planes in his entourage and an advance team there for at least two weeks . He flies to California for a fund raiser and gets a few million while it cost the taxpayers millions of dollars . It would be cheaper to just donate the money and let him stay in Washington . 
Mar 13, 2014 2:03PM
I think he should ride in his favorite vehicle - the Prius!  Nuff said.
Mar 13, 2014 2:13PM
Welcome to Obamaville, Mr. & Ms. Taxpayer.  Congratulations!
Mar 13, 2014 2:19PM
Have they reopened the White House for tours or are they still hampered by the sequester?
Mar 13, 2014 2:03PM
Yeah well, let's spend another few millions for a vehicle that is not needed. The old one is adequate since Obama is not worth assassinating, just stick a couple more of electronic dodads in it and it should make him happy!
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