Hummer is a brand of off-road vehicles sold by Motors Liquidation Company (aka the old GM). The original Hummer H1 was based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee). However, the Hummer H2 and the Hummer H3 were based on other, smaller civilian-market vehicles.
Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, which was formerly AMC Jeep's General Products division, in its Mishawaka, Indiana assembly plant. They were created under a contract for the United States armed forces. The first model, the Hum-Vee, was built in a variety of military-based equipment and versions. These included troop carriers, gun turrets and radar. The U.S. military, on receiving their quota, have adapted some of the vehicles, including modifications to facilitate a directional microwave crowd control beam (Active Denial System).
AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hum-Vee as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hum-Vees were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the Hum-Vee received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year. Also, a privately-owned Hum-Vee was modified into the first Snow-Vee, including the addition of caterpillar tracks, a new rear compartment and a new engine. This vehicle was designed for use in and just below the Arctic Circle, and the Antarctic.
In 1992, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer".
In 1998, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors, but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continued to build the H1 until it was discontinued in 2006, and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, with which it shares the GMT-355 platform (custom modified and designated GMT-345). By 2006, the Hummer also began to be exported and sold through importers and distributors in 33 countries. On October 10, 2006, GM began producing the Hummer H3 at its Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa for international markets. The Hummers built there at first were only left-hand drive, but right-hand drive versions were added and exported to Australia and other markets.
The H2 is also assembled in Kaliningrad, Russia, by Avtotor, starting in June 2004. The plant produces a few hundred vehicles annually, and its output is limited to local consumption (five dealers in Russia initially).
On Tuesday June 3, 2008, one day prior to GM's annual shareholder meeting, Rick Wagoner, GM's CEO at that time, said the brand is being reviewed, and has the possibility of either being sold, having the production line completely redesigned, or being discontinued. This is due to the decreasing demand for large SUVs as a result of higher oil prices. Almost immediately after the announcement, a pair of Indian automakers, including Mahindra & Mahindra, expressed interest in purchasing all or part of Hummer.
On February 17, 2009, GM announced that it would decide by March 31, 2009, whether to sell off or eliminate the Hummer. However, the announcement has been delayed. As of April 2009, the company has no plans to continue the nameplate after the 2010 model year.
GM President Fritz Henderson stated several interested parties approached GM regarding the Hummer business.
On April 5, 2009, Société de Participation Financière Eidos Canada Inc. made an unsolicited bid for Hummer.
On June 1, 2009, as a part of the General Motors bankruptcy announcement, the company revealed that the Hummer brand would be discontinued. However, the following day GM announced that instead it had reached a deal to sell the brand to an undisclosed buyer. On June 2, 2009, CNN identified the buyer of the Hummer truck unit as China-based Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd. Earlier that day, GM announced the sale of Hummer to an undisclosed Chinese company. The New York Times reported that day that the buyer would be the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd., a machinery company in western China, and later that day, Sichuan Tengzhong itself posted it on their own website. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed at this time. Credit Suisse is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Shearman&Sterling is acting as international legal counsel to Tengzhong on this transaction. Citi is acting as financial advisor to GM.
|Customized Hummer H2 The Hummer H3|
- Hummer H1 (discontinued)
- Hummer H1 Alpha (discontinued)
- Hummer H2
- Hummer H3
- Hummer H6
The first car in the Hummer Range, was the Hummer H1 based on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Hum-Vee). Originally released in 1992, this vehicle was designed by American Motors' AM General subsidiary for the U.S. Military. Five years previously, AMC had been bought by Chrysler.
The Hummer H2 is the second vehicle in the Hummer range. There are two models available: H2 SUV and H2 SUT.
Raser Technologies of Utah wants to use technology similar to that in the Chevy Volt to make the Hummer a 100 MPG fuel sipper. Details are sketchy, as Raser plans to debut the prototype on April 20–23 at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit. But Raser is saying that using their E-REV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) powertrain technology, the Hummer plug-in hybrid will run up to 40 miles per day on its battery alone, then a small 4 cylinder combustion engine will kick in to generate more electricity.
The H3 is the smallest of the Hummer models and is based on the GMT355 platform shared with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickup trucks.
As of April 2009, Hummer is the only brand in the United States whose entire model range lineup comes standard with a low-range transfer case, relatively high-ground clearance, and off-road tires. Additionally, no two-wheel drive Hummers are offered at this time.
|Rod Hall in the 2005 Baja 1000. Robby Gordon's Dakar Rally H3.|
Team Hummer has tallied one of the most impressive records in production-class racing, earning 11 class wins at the Baja 1000.
A highly modified, two-wheel drive Hummer was raced by Robby Gordon in the 2006, 2007 (8th place) and 2009 Dakar Rally.
GM has been active in licensing the Hummer. Various companies have licensed the Hummer trademarks for use on colognes, flashlights, bicycles, shoes, coats, hats, laptops, clothing, CD players and other items.
Starting in the early-1990s, when AM General started selling to the civilian market, Hummers began making appearances in the Film and Television industry. Some earlier and noticeable appearances include seaQuest DSV which used the Hummer H1 in place of Humvees, and Earth 2 which featured a large, "solar-powered" Hummer Concept truck as their main mode of conveyance. More recently noticeable appearances include CSI: Miami, being driven by the chief of the crime lab Lt. Horatio Caine (played by David Caruso), during the 6th season of CSI: Miami, they received all new 2008 H2's with redesigned interior and in the 2007 Transformers movie the Autobot known as Ratchet transforms into a search and rescue Hummer H2.
- AM General Hummer H1 Assembly Plant, Mishawaka, Indiana – 500,000 square foot plant opened 1984 to build HMVEE and began production of the Hummer/H1 in 1992
- AM General Hummer H2 Assembly Plant, Mishawaka, Indiana – 673,000 square foot plant opened 2002
- General Motors South Africa Struandale Assembly Plant, Port Elizabeth, East Cape, South Africa - built in 1996, expanded to 75 625 square metres in 2006 to build H3
- General Motors Shreveport Operations, Shreveport, Louisiana – additional 296,000 square feet added to plant built by GM (1981) in 2005 to accommodate the production of the H3
- Avtotor Kaliningrad, Russia – licensed version of H2 starting 2008
Since all Hummer vehicles have heavy-duty capabilities, they have been employed by owners for aid in large disaster situations. Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies (HOPE) was created by the efforts of The Hummer Club, INC. and the American Red Cross. Together, the two organizations train Hummer owners with CPR and First Aid skills, and basic off-highway skills so that they may assist victims during a disaster situation. GM paid the Red Cross $4 million to participate in the organization.
Criticism of Hummers includes the criticism of SUVs in general, although at a higher degree. Specific extra criticisms of Hummers include:
- Hummers are significantly bigger than other SUVs; this can cause problems parking, driving and fitting in a garage.
- Safety and ecological perceptions from other road users has attracted a lot of criticism. The Hummer (usually the H2) has been singled out and attacked as a symbol of ecological irresponsibility, sometimes using violent means.
- Even compared to other heavy passenger vehicles, Based Hummers without alternate Duramax V8 engine have very poor Fuel economy. Because the H2 is built to the over-8500-lb GVW class, its fuel economy is neither published by the EPA nor counted toward Corporate Average Fuel Economy. For instance, H2 in one engine configuration averages about 14 mpg (17 L/100 km; 17 mpg) on highways, 10 mpg (24 L/100 km; 12 mpg) in the city, and has a curb weight of over 6,000 lb (2,700 kg), making it technically illegal for use on some streets.:Crash data for Hummers is less complete than for other SUVs. Because of its weight, it takes longer and further to stop in emergency braking situations. As a Class 3 truck, Hummers are exempt from many DOT safety regulations. The H1 lacks standard safety features, including child safety locks, child seat tethers, side air bags and stability control. Large blind spots make parking difficult and possibly dangerous.