AM General is an American heavy vehicle and contract automotive manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana.
In 1964, Kaiser-Jeep purchased the Studebaker facilities in South Bend , and formed the Defense and Government Products Division in 1967, which after American Motors purchased Kaiser-Jeep became what is now AM General.
AM General's roots (and its location in South Bend ) also lie with the "General Products Division" of Studebaker , which, along with its substantial defense contracts, was acquired by Kaiser Industries in early 1964 after Studebaker closed its U.S. auto manufacturing operations. At the time, Kaiser had been awarded a US$87 million Army truck contract, and under government pressure agreed to perform the work at the South Bend plant it had recently acquired from Studebaker . Subsequently, American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased the Jeep Corporation from Kaiser in 1970 when Kaiser itself decided to leave the auto business.
In 1971, AMC made the General Products Division of Jeep (producing military trucks, as well as contract and non-commercial vehicles) a wholly owned subsidiary and renamed it AM General Corporation .
In the late 1970s, it developed the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, nicknamed "Humvee") for military use as a heavy-duty replacement for the jeep.
American Motors ended its history as an independent automaker in 1982 when controlling interest in the company was purchased by France's Renault. U.S. government regulations at that time forbade ownership of defense contractors by foreign governments, and Renault was partially owned by the French government. Therefore, in 1983, AM General was sold by AMC to the LTV Corporation and it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the LTV Aerospace and Defense Company. (As a result, AM General remained an independent company after AMC was purchased by Chrysler Corporation .)