One of the world’s leaders in military and specialty vehicles is AM General LLC. The company is based out of South Bend, Indiana, and their biggest customer is the United States military. Over the past 40 years, AM General LLC has produced nearly a million vehicles for military and civilian use. Perhaps they are best known for manufacturing the large sport utility vehicle, the Hummer.
AM General LLC got into the transportation business in 1903, as the Standard Wheel Company based in Terre Haute, Indiana. It eventually grew larger and acquired a large automotive company located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The name of the business changed to Willys-Overland Motors Inc., and they produced the popular “Whippet” vehicles. Almost 40 years after the company opened doors, they began designing and manufacturing the Jeep for military use in World War II.
In the 1960s, AM General LLC produced 14,000 half-ton vehicles for the use of the United States Post Office. Over the years, the company has changed names multiple times, including Willys Motors and Kaiser Jeep Corporation, just to name a few. In 2004, the company changed ownership for the most recent time. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and the Renco Group now own and operate AM General LLC.
AM General LLC has made many innovations and developments to military vehicles, including the patented Central Tire Inflation System, which allows the 5-ton truck’s driver to alter tire pressure to suit terrain conditions while the vehicle is still in motion. Business expansion has been a regular function for AM General LLC. In 1999, the company incorporated a company called General Engine Products LLC. This business builds 6.5 liter diesel engines for General Motors, AM General LLC and other customers.
The High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle, also called the Humvee, was born in 1979. AM General LLC began a contract with the United States Army in 1981 to produce more than 70,000 of the vehicles. Humvees are currently used worldwide by the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy. No more than 10 years after the original contract, the United States Army entered into a new contract with AM General LLC, for the production of 50,000 Humvees. Another contract was made with the Army in 1994, and another that spanned from 2000 to 2009 and included the production of 65,000 Humvees.
In the early 1990s, AM General LLC began making Hummers for civilian use, and called it the “world’s most serious 4×4.” Less than a decade later, the company made a joint agreemeng with General Motors Corporation to market and distribute the Hummer product. Soon after came the Hummer H1, the Hummer H2, and the most recent Hummer H3. General Motors became the sole owner of the Hummer brand, but AM General LLC still holds rights to the Humvee, which is for military use.
As one of Indiana’s largest private companies, AM General LLC helps to improve the economy in the Hoosier State. By aiding in military efforts, the company is able to play an important role in the lives of all Americans, including Indianapolis society, community and culture.
AM General LLC
105 N Niles Ave
P.O. Box 7025
South Bend, IN 46617