Oshkosh Defense will build new mail trucks in South Carolina
OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - After winning a contract potentially worth billions of dollars, Oshkosh Defense announced the next generation of mail trucks won’t be built in Oshkosh. Instead, they’ll be built at a new facility Oshkosh is building in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The United States Postal Service awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract in February to begin replacing its 30-year-old fleet of neighborhood delivery vehicles (see related story).
South Carolina says Oshkosh Defense is investing $155 million to convert a large warehouse facility in a Spartanburg industrial park into a manufacturing plant. When it was awarded the contract, Oshkosh Defense said it was evaluating where the trucks would be built but the manufacturing plant would be in the U.S.
The company expects to hire more than 1,000 people for the factory and create more jobs for supply chain partners and start production in the summer of 2023. South Carolina’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits.
“We’re proud to bring this historic undertaking to Spartanburg County. South Carolina has a skilled workforce and a proven history in advanced automotive manufacturing – it’s the perfect place to produce the [Next-Generation Delivery Vehicle],” Oshkosh Defense President John Bryant said in a written statement Tuesday. “More importantly, we know the people of the Upstate take pride in their work and their community. What we build together here will reach every home in the country.”
“South Carolina’s Upstate has a global reputation as a high-tech automotive manufacturing powerhouse, and the Oshkosh Defense investment shows our region is also a leader in domestic logistics initiatives,” Upstate S.C. Alliance president/CEO John Lummus said.
The initial, 10-year contract is for $482 million for a minimum 50,000 delivery trucks, but Oshkosh Defense says the contract is for “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity.” USPS says its fleet currently numbers almost 229,000 vehicles.
Oshkosh will produce a combination of trucks with electric motors and fuel-efficient gas engines. The battery electric powertrains are designed to be refitted with new electric vehicle technology.
The trucks will carry more cargo than the current fleet and have newer technology like automatic braking, front and rear collision avoidance systems, heating and air-conditioning, and 360-degree cameras.
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