Editor's note: GM Defense has not yet executed contracts. An earlier version of this story misstated the entity that has executed military contracts for GM.
DETROIT -- General Motors says it's putting the final touches on a new defense industry unit, which it expects to have fully operational this year.
GM incorporated the division as GM Defense in October, followed by registering it to do business in January. It marks a major growth area and return to defense work for GM after a previous defense unit was sold to General Dynamics Corp. for $1.1 billion in 2003.
Charlie Freese, who is expected to oversee the operations under GM product boss Mark Reuss, said GM Defense will leverage GM's r&d resources for military applications. GM previously executed contracts that support military programs through a predecessor entity called GM LLC.
"Like any start-up, we are not waiting to begin developing solutions with our Defense Department partners," he wrote in an email to Automotive News.