Phoebe Wall Howard
Detroit Free Press
The U.S. Post Office on Tuesday awarded Oshkosh Defense a government contract to build the first large-scale fleet of modern delivery vehicles in 30 years. Ford Motor Co. may have a piece of that contract, too.
Early reports suggested the Dearborn automaker would partner with Wisconsin-based Oshkosh by providing Transit Vans. The Free Press learned late Tuesday from sources with knowledge of the situation that is not the case.
In addition, photos released do not resemble the Ford-built Transit.
When pressed for detail about Ford’s role, Oshkosh sent this statement from Tom Quigley, vice president and general manager, government programs: “We have teamed up with industry leaders whose proven sub-systems and components speak to the quality of the Oshkosh Defense NGDV (Next Generation Delivery Vehicles) offering. We will share more information about the supply base in the future.”
Giving the USPS truck even more Pixar vibes pic.twitter.com/ESvmmesmmt— kristian bob (@kristianbob) February 24, 2021
When asked if the “sub-systems” are engines and might Ford have a piece of the contract as an engine supplier, Quigley said, “The vehicle will be built from the ground up by Oshkosh to fulfill the unique needs of the postal service. We will share more information about the supply base in the future. At this time, we are not at liberty to discuss our supply chain for this program.”
Oshkosh did not deny Ford would play a role as a supplier.
Ford declined to comment.
The competitive contract allows for delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles to the post office over a period of 10 years.
“We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come,” said John Pfeifer, president and chief operating officer, Oshkosh Corp. in a news release.
Oshkosh Defense plans to build zero-emission electric vehicles and fuel-efficient low-emission gas-powered vehicles in an effort to lessen pollution from postal vehicles.
The contract announced Tuesday commits payment of $482 million to initiate engineering efforts to finalize the production vehicle design, and for tooling and factory build-out activities that are necessary prior to vehicle production, Oshkosh said.
The total contract has been valued at an estimated $6 billion.
why does the new USPS truck look like a less cartoony version of flint lockwood’s flying car pic.twitter.com/QAZGM875jC— jules (@ffroggei) February 24, 2021
“Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS,” John Bryant, executive vice president, Oshkosh Corporation, and president, Oshkosh Defense.
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Production of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles is expected to begin in 2023. This is part of a multi-billion-dollar investment to replace the delivery vehicle fleet.
The USPS receives no tax money, relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
General Motors also submitted a bid.
Oshkosh Defense is a global leader in the design, production and sustainment of military vehicles and mobility systems.
Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid. Read more on Ford and sign up for our autos newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oshkosh wins big contract to build USPS trucks; a role for Ford, too?
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