By late 2018 AM General, the Indiana-based manufacturer of the US Army’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, Humvee) and a major military vehicle producer, is looking for a new owner. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles appeared interested.
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.
- 1903: AM General began when the Standard Wheel Company expands to manufacture motor vehicles, starting with the Overland “Runabout”.
- 1940: AM General precursor develops Willys Jeep, America’s first 4-wheel-drive tactical utility truck, designed and manufactured for the U.S. military.
- 1960: Bid is won to develop and produce a half-ton delivery van for the U.S. Postal Service, followed by a contract to produce more than 150,000 “Dispatcher” vehicles for USPS, police departments, utility companies and small package delivery firms.
- 1964: AM General produces nearly 112,000 5-ton and 150,000 2 1/2-ton trucks for the armed forces of the free world.
- 1983: AM General wins initial Army contract to produce 55,000 HMMWVs over a five-year period. More than 280,000 HMMWVs are produced by 2012.
- 1992: AM General introduces the HUMMER as “the world’s most serious 4×4”.
- 1999: The HUMMER brand is acquired by General Motors. AM General continues to assemble and maintain parts, training and warranty support.
- 2002: AM General begins assembling the HUMMER H2 for GM in a new, state-of-the-art commercial manufacturing center in Mishawaka, IN.
- 2007: In a first of its kind public-private partnership, AM General provides upgraded and enhanced capability HMMWVs for National Guard units nationwide.
- 2008: AM General and General Dynamics joint venture, General Tactical Vehicles, wins contract to develop the next-generation JLTV.
- 2013: AM General forms “Mobility Ventures LLC” to produce the world’s first vehicle built from the ground up for wheelchair accessibility.
- 2015: Mercedes-Benz selects AM General to manufacture the Mercedes-Benz R-Class luxury vehicle.
AM General has the only full-scale contract assembly facility in the United States with ample capacity to serve as the production partner for yet another OEM. The military business is expanding with increased international sales of HMMWVs and the need to modernize and maintain more than 160,000 HMMWVs still employed by the U.S. armed forces, including the National Guard. AM General has the experienced management team, adaptable workforce and nimble business model to take full advantage of these and other opportunities ahead.
AM General LLC has a strong legacy of designing, manufacturing and supporting iconic, high-quality military, commercial and consumer vehicles, an experience born from our ability to respond to customer needs in a world of constant technological innovation. With more than a century in operation, these consistent threads have stood the test of time: talented, motivated people; leading-edge engineering; high-quality products, on-time production; a full range of technical and logistical support; a strong supplier base and the flexibility to meet changing customer requirements.
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