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GM Defense recently inked a deal to build heavy-duty Suburbans. So, what are the details?

Only the State Department gets this HD Suburban

Chevy Suburban HD
GM Defense HD Suburban | GM

The HD Suburban was designed for the US State Department to help protect diplomats. In fact, GM just inked a $36.4 million contract to build more for the Diplomatic Security Service. That’s the enforcement and security side of the State Department. The HD Suburban order was handled by GM Defense. 

GM Defense will build 200 heavy-duty Suburbans a year over nine years. Regular Suburbans will be built with Silverado 2500 components to build the vehicles. The body-on-frame chassis and suspension will be the main areas that will change over a standard Suburban 1500. 

“Our development contract win speaks to our long-standing legacy of exceeding transportation capabilities and our new, HD Suburban will deliver government-specific advanced mobility solutions to meet the needs of DSS,” Steve DuMont, president of GM Defense, told the Detroit Free Press.

Contracts like the one for the HD Suburban are handled by GM Defense

GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Concept
Chevy Colorado ISV | GM

GM Defense has been inking contracts with the federal government since its inception in 2017. Just last year it was contracted by the US Army to build Infantry Squad Vehicles from 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 pickups. These are being built for rapid ground mobility and can carry up to nine soldiers in battle. 

The first of 650 ISV Colorados was delivered to the Army almost a year ago. Another 2,065 will be produced after the initial batch is built in 2024. These government contracts are expected to bring in billions of dollars as production and orders ramp up. 

Obviously, the only reason GM won’t pull the trigger on building Suburban HDs for the public is demand. It doesn’t see there is a demand relative to what it would cost to assemble and sell them. But what is puzzling is that everything GM would need to manufacture them it already makes for the Silverado 2500.

GM used to make a heavy-duty version, but not since 2013

Blue-gray 2021 Chevrolet Suburban parked next to a lake
2021 Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

The previous generation of Suburban based on the GMT-900 architecture did offer a 2500 HD. From 2007 to 2013 anyone could order one from Chevy. But when the new GMT-K2 trucks were introduced in 2015 the HD had been dropped. 


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