As part of a $36.4 million development contract, GM will produce 10 made-to-order Suburbans over the next two years. For the Diplomatic Security Service, the SUVs will be built (DSS).
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If $3.64 million per Suburban seems excessive, GM Defense claims that the SUVs require a new and unique body-on-frame chassis that is specifically developed to satisfy increasing government vehicle requirements with larger payload capacity and ground vehicle weight.
The body, motor system, brakes, and other components of the Suburbans will be off-the-shelf. To achieve greater manufacturing efficiencies, GM Defense will employ modern manufacturing techniques such as fixtureless assembly and flexible fabrication. According to the corporation, this also means that the Suburbans’ prices are lower than they would have been otherwise.
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“We’re pleased to be working with the US Department of State to produce a fully integrated, purpose-built HD Suburban,” said Steve DuMont, president of GM Defense. “Since 1935, the Chevrolet Suburban has been a household name in business transportation. Our development contract victory reflects our long history of outperforming transportation capabilities, and our new HD Suburban will provide DSS with government-specific advanced mobility solutions.”
As the first step in GM Defense’s collaboration with the DSS, the first ten vehicles are being produced. Following their completion, the division intends to be awarded a contract to produce approximately 200 HD Suburbans every year for the next nine years, beginning in May 2023.
Although GM Defense has not specified the mode of propulsion, the Biden administration has stated that the government fleet will be electrified. It will be interesting to see if this includes these cars, but GM Defense has created both electric and hydrogen vehicles.
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