Military

GM wins $214 million contract to build Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle

Thousands of the models will be sold to the U.S. Army.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

GM Defense, a division of General Motors, has won a contact to produce the new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) for the U.S. Army. The deal, with $214.3 million for 2,065 vehicles, also includes fielding and sustaining the product.

"Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers' requirements," said David Albritton, president of GM Defense. "It's indeed an honor to leverage our parent company's experience as one of the world's largest automotive manufacturers to design, build and deliver the best technologies available to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and our allies."

GM Army Infantry Squad Vehicle The model is designed to excel in a number of climates.Photo courtesy of General Motors

The new ISV is designed to be light, agile, and improve rapid ground mobility for the Army. It's all-terrain troop carrier that's designed to seat nine members of an Infantry squad and transport them across a battlefield.

The model's comparatively low weight allows it to be slightly loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. It is compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

GM Defense will build the ISV on the midsize truck architecture of the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Ninety percent of its parts are off-the-shelf from GM commercial models, including Multimatic dual spool-valve dampers and Chevrolet Performance suspension components.

GM has extensively tried the performance components, not just as part of the traditional equipment set of the Colorado ZR2 the average customer buys, but also in the Best in the Desert race series.

Most of the large scale conflicts the military has been involved with in the last two decades have been in areas of the world with desert climates and dirt-filled primitive landscape.

All ISVs will be powered by a 186-horsepower 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Though GM has just won the contract, the project started in earnest 2019 when GM Defense partnered with Ricardo Defense after the U.S. Army awarded three $1 million contracts to competing industry providers to develop ISV prototypes for testing, evaluation and down-selection for the production contract. Ricardo Defense will support key product logistics and fielding requirements of the GM Defense ISV.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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