General Motors Company and the U.S. Army officially opened GM’s new vehicle testing facility in the southwest on the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground this week. The ceremony marked the end of major construction activity and the beginning of a cooperative arrangement established 2 years ago. The agreement provides GM with an Arizona test facility following the closing of its long established Mesa Proving Ground.
In the agreement GM has leased a portion of the Yuma Proving Ground from the government. Several test roads and support facilities were then built. Both the Army and GM will have access to the new road systems.
GM sold the Mesa Proving Ground when residential and commercial building encroached on what was once a rural area. As property values increased, the Proving Ground became more valuable for development than for testing.
The new proving ground has 40 miles of roads, and covers 2400 acres of property on the Yuma site. It is much smaller than the old Desert Proving Grounds since GM, like many automakers and suppliers, is decreasing road testing and increasing lab and computerized testing.