AM General to build next generation mail vehicles for USPS

AM General has been selected to build a series of prototype vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service which plans on replacing its aging fleet.

AM General, whose production lineup includes military tactical vehicles like the Humvee, will build postal vehicles for testing that aim for fuel efficiency while providing for a zero emissions option.

“AM General’s advanced postal vehicle is designed to meet the needs of the Postal Service of today and of tomorrow”, said Howard Glaser, executive vice president for commercial business, AM General.  “Our design offers the postal service unmatched innovation and the opportunity for significant savings on costs, maintenance and delivery operations.”

The contract award from the Postal Service is part of the USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle program, under which several prototype designs will be designed, built and tested over an 18-month period. Production requirements and future vehicle replacement award(s) will be determined by the Postal Service after NGDV Prototype testing.

AM General reports that it’s “combining highly reliable, low maintenance, fuel-saving powertrain options and advanced safety systems into a durable, low operating-cost vehicle.” The series of innovations include:

  • Light weight, fuel efficient vehicle technologies
  • Advanced Powertrain with system options
  • Substantial emissions decreases with a zero emissions option
  • Next generation safety systems that provide safe vehicles for letter carriers
  • Reduced maintenance schedule with less complex repairs yields significant savings
  • 20-plus year body durability for long life.

Double digit growth in shipping and packaging services is driving new opportunities and new challenges for the Postal Service. With the dramatic growth in online shopping and e-commerce, the number of packages delivered by the USPS has grown sharply from 3.7 billion pieces in 2013 to 4.5 billion in 2015.

The AM General advanced postal vehicle is designed to grow with the new demands in delivery on the postal service and ensure that the USPS can manage the changing mail mix with improvements in safety, efficiency, reliability and flexibility.

The postal award is part of AM General’s growing commercial business, which was selected by Mercedes-Benz as its only contract manufacturer in the U.S., producing the R-Class vehicle in Mishawaka, Indiana.  Design and development for the postal vehicle will be conducted at AM General’s Center for Advanced Automotive Design in Livonia, Michigan.