Three weeks after Humvee maker AM General announced a five-year, $2.2 billion contract to build the vehicles for other nations, it has received orders for one quarter, or $550 million, worth of trucks and parts from nine countries.
AM General President and CEO Andy Hove told reporters at the company’s South Bend, Indiana, facility this week that the company may need to look at raising the $2.2 billion ceiling on the contract to meet demand.
Governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Jordan, Slovenia, Bahrain, Columbia, Bosnia and Kenya have made orders, according to AM General.
The contract is run through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program and required approval to move the “rolling chassis” or complete base of a Humvee on a commercial sales approval list for sale to other nations. It currently allows for production and sale of 11,560 Humvees.
The change opened new ways for AM General to market and supply the versatile vehicle, officials said.
The company took Washington, D.C.-based defense media, including a Military Times reporter, on a trip to its headquarters, providing a tour of its manufacturing assembly line and rides through its nearby all-terrain driving course.
International sales have comprised half of AM General’s sales for most of its history, Hove said, not including production for the U.S. military for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
The company lost its bid to build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to Oshkosh two years ago and has since focused its efforts on increasing its share of the international market.
AM General isn’t done with the Humvee, which is expected to fill out the U.S. military ground vehicle fleet for the next two decades. It also expects to compete in various future vehicle projects.
“We feel confident competing in any weight class,” Hove said.
The announcement falls in line with the company’s campaign to tailor the vehicle to meet niche market needs, offering more than 22 variations from the traditional body design as well as only selling the chassis to be coupled with other exteriors.
Hove gave the example of the Turkey vehicle the Cobra, which has the chassis of the Humvee but with a different body, giving it essentially the same off-road and maneuver capabilities as the Humvee.
There are 250,000 Humvees currently operating in 50 countries, according to AM General data. Nearly half of those are in the U.S. military fleet.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.