A world leader in the design, engineering, production, technical and parts support of military and special purpose vehicles, AM General is a step above the rest. Its modern, corporate offices are located in South Bend and its production facilities, among the most cutting-edge on earth, are located eight miles away in Mishawaka. AM General was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of American Motors in 1971. In 1983, AM General was awarded a $1.5 billion contract to produce 55,000 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) for the military. It was later increased to 70,000 vehicles at $1.6 billion. LTV Corp. bought AM General from American Motors in 1983. It was later sold to Renco Group, owned by Ira Rennart, for $133 million in 1992. This was also the first year for production of the civilian version of the Humvee called the Hummer. In 1999, AM General and General Motors (GM) agreed to develop the Hummer Brand. GM acquired exclusive ownership of the name brand worldwide and renamed it the Hummer H1. AM General began assembly in 2002 of the Hummer H2, a sport utility vehicle designed by GM and made in Mishawaka. Two years later, GM introduced the H2 SUT, a cross between a pickup and an SUV. The H2 is also made in Mishawaka. There are plans to introduce a smaller-sized SUV in 2005. The Renco Group sold 70 percent of the operation as well as managerial control to MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, but Renco retained limited control rights under the new ownership structure. Ronald Perelman controls MacAndrews AMG Holdings LLC. Jim Armour will remain president and chief executive officer. There are 2,400 employees who work at the facilities in the Michiana area. After the ownership changes, Bruce Schweizer, chairman of the United Auto Workers Local 5, praised management for keeping union leaders informed about the sale and was hopeful the purchase would lead to more jobs.
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