Choctaw Defense Manufacturing branches out with Zeus Electric Chassis

June 24, 2021

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By Chez Oxendine with Tribal Business News

MCALESTER, Okla. — Choctaw Defense Manufacturing LLC will soon begin building assembly kits and chassis for startup electric truck maker Zeus Electric Chassis Inc.

Owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the McAlester, Okla.-based Choctaw Defense will help build electric work vehicles intended for a range of uses, from garbage pickup to repair work. The first units, which have already been purchased by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, are planned to enter production in August.

Those units will be used to train Choctaw Defense Manufacturing on their production, and the tribal enterprise will join in the operation from there.

Sarah Curtis, CEO of parent company Choctaw Global, said the understanding between the two firms represented an opportunity to diversify Choctaw Defense’s portfolio without a “significant” capital investment.

“To start off our assembly work for Zeus, we might add a piece of a crane lift or extend our crane line, but nothing significant,” Curtis told Tribal Business News. “I’ll count myself very fortunate if production gets to where we need more equipment.”

Wayne Kugel, CEO of White Bear Lake, Minn.-based Zeus Electric Chassis, said Choctaw Defense’s readiness to produce the work vehicles made the tribally owned firm an ideal partner.

“Choctaw Defense Manufacturing has a skilled workforce, they have the tools available, they have the processes. Working with the team at Choctaw Defense just made sense.”

Zeus Electric Chassis CEO, Wayne Kugel

Read the entire article at Tribal Business News below.