Military

First GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle delivered to the U.S. Army

The initial allotment of 646 ISVs will now begin heading to their assigned bases and regiments.

Photo courtesy of GM Defense

General Motors isn't just about electric vehicles, massive family haulers, driverless technology, and trucks. They're also in the defense business. Today, GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, delivered its first Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the U.S. Army.

In June, the military awarded GM a $214.3 million contract to manufacture 649 ISVs with an additional authorization for up to 2.065 over eight years. This is the first major award and delivery for GM Defense since it was reestablished as a subsidiary in 2017.

"One hundred and twenty days from contract award to delivery is a significant milestone, and I am very proud of the team for this accomplishment," said David Albritton, president of GM Defense. "We're leveraging General Motors' engineering prowess and immense manufacturing capabilities to bring transformative solutions to the military vehicle market. Our initial success with the ISV shows our commitment to our customer and highlights our unique right to win in the military mobility market."

GM Defense's Infantry Squad Vehicle for U.S. Army

Photo courtesy of GM Defense

The ISV is a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier. It's designed to transport a nine-soldier infantry squad and their equipment in a variety of theaters. It is based 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. This fits with the terrain the infantry frequently finds itself in. 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.

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.

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

GM Defense has a teaming agreement with Ricardo Defense, which will lead the Integrated Product Support for the ISV, including technical manual development, new equipment training, provisioning, total package fielding and field service support.

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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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