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11-Nov-2014 19:28

To start, we actually need to ask what is being sold?Ten billion dollars is not an order for cargo trucks; it’s clearly an order for armored vehicles meant for combat.The deal spans fourteen years, with billion guaranteed, and up to another billion in options.

The huge news in the industry last week was huge contract that General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Canada won in Saudi Arabia.

Only governmental announcements and filings in Canada and the US have revealed the identity of that buyer, as the terms of the contract preclude such an admission directly from GDLS. But even a quick analysis tells us how useful this deal will be to sustaining the industry in North America.

We further can surmise that the order is for large, wheeled armored vehicles, and for four reasons: That deliveries will not begin until 2016 suggests that some modest development work remains, so most likely, the winning product is some extension on GDLS’s Piranha V prototypes.

With that in mind, we can next ask where is this money going?

A wholly new equipment set will require a large expenditure on upfront training, followed by a recurring investment as the ranks turn over. All of this explains why the production price in deals like this often amounts to less than half the total, as may be the case here.

The vehicles will be built from 2014 through 2019, which suggests about five years of serial production.

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