Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My Other Car Is An Oshkosh, b'gosh!

I always think of Northrop Grumman as a bus company that makes weapons. And giant space telescopes. I found this pretty curious.
The Los Angeles defense contractor, in its most recent move to broaden its business beyond its aerospace and naval lines, is expected to announce today that it will compete for a chance to build as many as 140,000 vehicles. Northrop is teaming up with Oshkosh Truck Corp., which has extensive experience making military trucks.
The Pentagon's solution is what is called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, a family of three vehicle types capable of performing missions from reconnaissance to cargo hauling. The vehicle's target weight is below 20,000 pounds, about half the weight of the heavier armored vehicles now being rushed to Iraq. At less than $300,000 each, the JLTV would also be half the cost.
Which is to say, given the poor adoption of the H2, the government feels it has to subsidize the development of the next SUV brand. Maybe they've just given up on American car-makers altogether, and feel that maybe Oshkosh can save the industry. Recall that International Harvester made the first SUV, but President Carter managed to put out that fire. This time, maybe we'll get a truck manufacturer into the car industry.

In any case, I'll wait for the hatchback.

Update: Reading this post, I don't think it's clear that the thing I find curious is that a bus company is reaching out to a truck company to make its vehicles. Oshkosh does have an existing business, but you'd think NG would be able to disintermediate them. Coömpetition at its best, I guess.

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