General Motors is planning to establish a new military defense division to grow its defense industry business. The new division will focus its efforts on expanding GM’s business relationship with the U.S. military, which has not been a focus for the company in recent years.
Automotive News has learned GM Defense, LLC will be formed as a new subsidiary under GM’s product development organization. The new unit will be led by Charlie Freese, who currently leads the company’s hydrogen fuel cell business. Selecting an executive from the fuel cell side of the business sheds light on what GM Defense is planning to pitch to the military.
Last week news broke that GM is in talks with the U.S. Army regarding adopting its new hydrogen fuel cell platform for military use. GM revealed the new platform named SURUS last week, which is a platform that features reconfigurable cab/bed configurations and autonomous abilities.
GM has also been testing hydrogen fuel cell products with the U.S. military in recent years, including the Colorado ZH2, which is found on several U.S. bases right now. GM is also supplying hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for some unmanned vehicles utilized by the military.
The uptick in military business certainly seems focused around hydrogen fuel cell products. It also marks a reestablished focus on the defense industry by GM, which sold its General Dynamics defense division way back in 2003 to raise cash.
Despite the heated up talks with the military, GM is not confirming what the timeline is for its SURUS platform to head into production.