General Motors may be the largest automaker in the United States, but they aren’t just in the business of selling cars. GM Defense is a subsidiary of the automaker, and is responsible for cranking out machines that will be utilized by our nation’s armed forces. In fact, the U.S. Army recently bestowed a $214.3 million contract onto GM Defense to build 2,065 units of their Colorado ZR2-based Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). In order to support this endeavor, General Motors has just finished construction of a new 75,000-square-foot facility in Concord, North Carolina. They’ve also brought on a new president, who the automaker turned defense contractor hopes will help the team take on Oshkosh Defense in an upcoming contract competition for the JTLV.
The New GM Defense Facility
In order to highlight the speed and technical capability of the global automaker, GM Defense constructed and outfitted this new facility in just 90 days. This facility is going to play a major role in this latest military contract, and could potentially help expand their defense-based operations. The plant is also located just minutes away from Hendrick Motorsports, who provide the chrome-moly exoskeleton GM Defense designed for the ISV. This will help to expedite the production on the ISV and keep everything on schedule.
While celebrating the new Concord facility, GM Defense has confirmed that Steve duMont will serve as the company’s new president. No stranger to this business, duMont previously spent over 13 years over at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. Before that career stint, he also served as an aviation officer and attack helicopter pilot in the Army, as well as a systems engineer and program leader at BAE Systems and Boeing. It is safe to say then that duMont has a solid idea as to what it is going to take to make GM Defense a standout competitor in the space.
Taking On Oshkosh Defense
That is going to be important moving forwards, as GM Defense attempts to dethrone Oshkosh Defense as the military starts to consider other companies for the contract for the JTLV next year. The JTLV is a crucial vehicle in the United States’ arsenal, and was designed and constructed by Oshkosh Defense from the start. That said, the federal government owns the Technical Data Package surrounding the vehicle, and can give that data to anyone they’d like. This is where GM Defense comes in, as the automaker-backed contractor tries to undercut Oshkosh’s prices to score the new contract. Unfortunately for General Motors however, the government doesn’t own the data that tells folks specifically how to build the JTLV. According to Breaking Defense, GM Defense is actively disassembling and reassembling these seven-ton armored vehicles to learn all of the ins-and-outs of production.
Everyone knows that there is a lot of money involved in the world of military contracts, and therefore it isn’t surprising to see GM Defense getting in on the action. That said, the automaker’s efforts are still relatively new, especially compared to the likes of Oshkosh Defense. Undercutting their rival’s own in-house design will be a huge challenge for GM Defense, but one that could earn them quite a bit of monetary love from the Feds. For now however, the brand will be focused on cranking out the GM Defense ISV troop transport down in North Carolina.