General Motors' GM Defense unit will develop and validate a series of large SUVs for the U.S. State Dept.’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) under a two-year, $36.4-million federal contract. Working from GM’s commercial-vehicle architecture for full-size pickup trucks and large SUVs, the manufacturer will build 10 HD Suburban vehicles, for future fleet production.
The HD Suburban will have a new body-on-frame chassis and suspension, specifically designed for increased government vehicle performance requirements, with a higher payload capacity and greater ground vehicle weight.
The design also will incorporate a high number of off-the-shelf parts, GM said, including the body, exterior, propulsion, interior, and brakes.
According to GM, the project will use advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, including fixtureless assembly and flexible fabrication, to promote efficiency and quality in low-volume production of the new chassis and frame. Such manufacturing techniques will reduce overall program costs and promote flexibility and responsiveness to future customer needs, the manufacturer claimed.