The Jeep Gladiator is already gaining a lot of attention, and Jeep isn’t done yet. The American automaker is already busy making new models of the Gladiator, including a military model known as the Jeep Gladiator XMT.
Jeep isn’t doing it alone, however. It has teamed up with AM General in order to make the XMT.
While this may seem like a reason to celebrate for many Jeep fans, the Gladiator XMT hasn’t even hit the streets yet, and people are already complaining about it.
Car and Driver recently added photos of the Gladiator XMT, and commenters already have a lot to say. Most think that military-grade equals cheaply made. So is there any truth to this statement?
Who exactly is AM General, and why does the company want to work with Jeep on the Gladiator XMT?
AM General’s about page states:
“At AM General, we combine unmatched experience with a culture of forward-thinking vision to bring innovative solutions to the defense and automotive industries. As a diversified, privately-owned company, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, we design, engineer, manufacture, supply, and support high-quality specialized vehicles for military and commercial customers worldwide.”
Sounds impressive, but is this for real or is it a sales pitch cleverly designed to lure in potential victims?
On Indeed, workers gave AM General four out of five stars. Most seemed fairly happy working there, and some retired employees said they would like to come back. Edmunds has a little more to say when it pointed out that AM General was the original manufacturer of the Hummer.
If you thought that GM produced the Hummer, you’re partially right. GM bought the name rights, but AM General continued to produce the Hummer until production ceased in 2009 due to GM declaring bankruptcy.
Perry King wrote an article for Motor Trend, and had a lot to say about the 2000 Hummer.
“I’ll happily concede that, militarily, the vehicle is probably perfectly suited to its various search-and-destroy tasks. But in the real (read civilian) world, it’s a pain in the butt and doesn’t do anything special enough to make up for it.”
King went on to point out that the Hummer couldn’t top speeds above 75 mph. Not to mention, it was a pain to drive on city streets and didn’t have a smooth ride while going off-road. But for military purposes, it did what it was supposed to.
In his article, King added, “All of this machine’s specialty equipment could come in handy during World War III or a major natural disaster, but would go unappreciated during a trip to Kmart.”
Given all this information, it’s safe to say that AM General is not a stranger to building military-grade vehicles and that it does not cheaply make vehicles.
Jeep and AM General’s plans for the Gladiator XMT
Unlike some Instagram commenters, Maxim appears to be very excited about the XMT. There are going to be quite a few changes specific to the military, according to Maxim, and they all sound really cool.
Since the military likes choices in what it uses, that’s exactly what it’s going to get. The first major choice will be a gasoline or diesel engine. It will also have skid plates, locking differentials, and tow hooks.
“Whether the need is to have a rugged personnel transport carrier or a command and control truck, the company has demonstrated through the Enhanced Tactical Kit (ETK) offerings on Humvee, its ability to deliver solutions that are customer-driven, and cost-effective.”
While civilians won’t have the option of an ETK, the Jeep Gladiator XMT is most likely not going to be cheaply made, no matter what consumers may think.