GM’s future in military vehicles could mean billions in profit for automaker

Last November, a small group of scrappy executives from GM Defense LLC quietly called for a meeting with General Motors’ board member Wes Bush in a Washington, D.C. office.

The executives of the relatively new GM subsidiary with just 25 employees dedicated to it at that time had a plan to add billions to the automaker’s revenues over the next decade by winning military contracts, mostly to develop tactical and combat vehicles. At the time, GM Defense was barely two years old and had not won a single contract.

But in a massive corporation, there’s always a battle among divisions for resources and these GM Defense execs knew that Bush — who’d spent most of his career at defense technology company Northrup Grumman — would be a powerful ally.