GM Defense Makes Clever Sourcing Decisions

One of the interesting aspects of the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), a nine-soldier all-terrain troop carrier that GM Defense will be providing to the U.S. Army as part of a $214.3-million contract received in June 2020, is that it is based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

Rather than engineering something from the ground up, GM decided that it would work to further capacitize the Colorado ZR2—which has outstanding off-road capabilities straight off the showroom floor–for military operations.

GM Defense ISV: based on the 2020 Chevy Colorado, which you can get in your local Chevy dealer. The Colorado ZR2, not the ISV. The U.S. Army is getting that. (Image: GM)

For example, even the most enthusiast off-road driver isn’t likely to have their Colorado sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter or fitted inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Similarly, when looking for a place to build the ISV—the initial order calls for 649 trucks—rather than going completely greenfield, GM consulted its real estate holdings and identified a building it has in Concord, North Carolina.

Initially the building was to be a tech center, but then COVID-19 hit and GM put the idea on hold.

It has selected the building to house the 75,000-square-foot manufacturing operation to produce ISVs.

Another advantage of this site is that it is close to Hendrick Motorsports—yes, the one you may associate with NASCAR—which is providing the chrome-moly steel exoskeleton of the vehicle frame.

Again, using an existing supplier—albeit a somewhat non-conventional one when it comes to non-racing applications.

What’s more, the ISV makes use of 90% of commercial off-the-shelf parts, such as a 186-horsepower, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, and six-speed automatic transmission.

This overall approach is commendable for its development speed, execution and, let’s face it, undoubted savings to the U.S. taxpayers.