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General Motors Should Revive Hummer

When General Motors ditched Hummer, during the financial crisis and recession of the late 2000s, it was obviously a good decision: times were tight, gas prices were high, people weren’t buying big vehicles and Hummer was an excess expense that most people simply weren’t choosing any longer. Hummer was sent to the chopping block, and it made sense — it was no longer desirable.

That was then, and this is now. Roughly 10 years later, SUVs and trucks are back with a vengeance, and it’s almost amazing how well SUVs — and especially off-road-oriented SUVs — are selling. The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is selling for above its sticker price in many markets, and the 4Runner in general is enjoying its best-ever sales years. The Ford F-150 Raptor is selling in huge numbers, and the pickup’s resale value is strong. The latest Jeep Wrangler is breaking sales records, and they’re rolling out a pickup version. The Ford Bronco is coming back. The Land Rover Defender is coming back. The Mercedes G-Wagen has been redesigned to capitalize on this newfound love of off-roady SUVs. It’s seemingly endless.

And yet, General Motors is largely missing out. By killing off Hummer a decade ago, General Motors killed off its closest competitor to Jeep — and its best chance at competing in a world that’s increasingly becoming obsessed with off-roader SUVs. It made sense at the time, but Hummer would be enjoying massive success now: the H3 would be a great rival to the 4Runner, while the H3T was the Jeep Gladiator before the Jeep Gladiator. And the original H1 could’ve been updated to be a true competitor to the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen — it certainly had the name recognition and off-roader prowess.

Unfortunately, Hummer is gone, so this won’t be happening — and by the time everything is tooled back up to re-launch Hummer, the SUV fad may be over. But it’s a shame Hummer is gone, because it really would be the perfect brand in today’s market.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. If I was GM I’d bring back Hummer in a heartbeat and introduce a new H3 and H4 (Wrangler competitor), Another product that would fit perfect in a Hummer lineup would be a Rally inspired AWD car (not SUV) much like the Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, This would directly compete with Subaru while still maintaining the Hummer off roading street cred.
    So in other words, Rally cars would be the perfect enthusiast car, Could you imagine a system which would lift the car up a few inches for improved off road performance? Skid plates and all those goodies too, I think it would sell honestly.
  2. Your support for more SUVs is saddening. Yes from a market standpoint it makes sense, but for enthusiasts and people who enjoy driving it just further adds to the frustration. A prime example is Ford killing off the Focus and Fiesta ST in the US only to replace them with the Edge and Explorer ST. Not all of us want/need a big SUV and most cannot even afford such a vehicle. I myself work as an IT professional and I can promise most people in their mid 20s or 30s do not find the idea of spending 40 to 50k on an SUV appealing. Fun and enjoyable cars should not be reserved for the wealthy.

    • Look at the cars being cancelled most are fwd, auto cars being replaced by horrible crossovers.  It’s really a net zero for enthusiasts.  The only thing disappointing is the new 3 series and Supra will only be offered in auto in the USA.  Very sad days.

    • There’s a difference between the current “SUV” crop and Hummer though. I’m not even talking about unibody versus BOF, but cars like Land Rovers, G Wagons, and Jeeps are different from the normal crop of crossovers being spewed out. They all make legit enthusiast offroad trucks, and even the most Rav4-hating car enthusiast wouldn’t turn down more 4Runner and Range Rover types being available for sale.

    • What seems more surprising is that they are killing off both the Fiesta and Focus simultaneously. They could have killed either of them, retained the other and probably showed increased sales since “hatchback/compact car” sales would no longer be diluted between 2 models. 

      I remember my dad complaining about the cost of pickup trucks in the mid 90’s crossing $20,000. I always thought he was crazy, that inflation was real, and cars just cost more. 
      Now when I look at the automotive landscape, I’m just as baffled now as he was then. 
      Doug Johnstone has a good point, in that most of the crossovers are replacing boring fwd appliances, so with the exception of limited examples FoST/FiST, there’s not a whole lot that’s changed. 
  3. I think Hummer would be doing OK, but I don’t think they’d be killing it right now. Hummer has name recognition, but also has a stigma of being a showy bro-wagon for people who don’t give a care about the environment. GM could introduce a H3 with a Voltec powerplant that gets 30mpg on gas, and 30 miles on pure electric, and much of the population would still assume every year you fly up to the arctic circle during spring break to club baby seals. 

    The H1 is different, but it’s obviously a terrible car in many ways, and is rare so it’s somewhat endearing. The H2 still has the bro-dozer perception, but maybe it’s just me. 
    That being said, Hummer is just a brand name… there’s little stopping GM from adopting many of the styling queues of the Hummer in some way, and incorporating them into a GMC/Chevy product. A Blazer with a few of the H3’s styling elements would probably sell well without as much of the baggage. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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