While GM Defense began delivering the first examples of the ISV to the U.S. Army last fall, those vehicles were built at a temporary plant in Michigan whilst construction work on the Concord facility was being completed. The ISV is based on the Chevy Colorado and is designed as a faster and more maneuverable method of transportation for infantry. GM competed with other defense companies to win the ISV contract, with the U.S. Army selecting the ISV over other similar design proposals from Oshkosh and Polaris. The Army has set an acquisition objective of 2,065 vehicles for its Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, with the first batch of 649 units provided at a cost of $214.3 million.
The 75,000 square-foot facility in Concord “includes some of the latest manufacturing tools,” GM Defense says, including Bluetooth-enabled tools that will help the company meet stringent U.S. Army requirements for manufacturing. The facility is just a short drive away from NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsport’s shop, which will weld the steel exoskeleton for the ISV on behalf of GM Defense. The company has also entered a teaming contract with Ricardo for the ISV program, which will handle the technical manual development for the vehicle, along with personnel training and field service support.
The ISV contract is the first major job awarded to GM Defense since the automaker reestablished the specialized engineering division back in 2017, and the first Infantry Squad Vehicle was delivered to the U.S. Army back in October 2020. In addition, GM Defense sees the potential to leverage the automaker’s advanced battery-electric vehicle technology and autonomous driving technology to win future military contracts.