GM Defense LLC is about to become a thing.
Only a few days ago General Motors revealed its new fuel cell autonomous platform, called the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS). With the capability of being adapted to many configurations, including for the military, GM is already presenting it at the Association of the United States Army this week, which made us wonder whether the automaker is keen to get into the military hardware business. Turns out it is. Automotive News reports the automaker not only has this platform but also defense projects in the works.
Even more interesting is that GM will soon be launching GM Defense LLC, set to become part of its Global Product Development organization. GM was last involved with military projects with its General Dynamics Corp., but sold it in 2003 for $1.1 billion. But GM senses a new business opportunity here and the new division, according to officials quoted by Automotive News, will help "GM better anticipate and react to the diverse needs of global aerospace and defense customers." Global Product Development is led by Mark Reuss, who’s also conveniently GM vice president of Global Product Development.
Aside from the SURUS platform, which is still undergoing development, GM currently has its Chevrolet Colorado-based ZH2 military truck, which has been on US Army bases since last April. The US Navy will also soon begin testing a GM fuel cell-powered unmanned submarine. Chances are the SURUS platform, which can also underpin non-military utility vehicles, is only the start of many more future projects. GM has declined to go into detail about anything else it’s planning military wise, but it’ll definitely be interesting to see what it comes up with (assuming it’s not top secret) in the years ahead.