Hummer brand to be scaled back or even sold

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GM is ditching SUVs and trucks in favor of more fuel-conscious or environmentally-freindly mobiles. Along with closing several SUV and truck plants, they are also looking at their Hummer brand, which "will be reviewed and potentially sold or revamped."

Associated Press
GM closing 4 truck and SUV plants in North America

13 hours ago

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — General Motors is closing four truck and SUV plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico as surging fuel prices hasten a dramatic shift to smaller vehicles.

CEO Rick Wagoner said Tuesday before the automaker's annual meeting in Delaware the plants to be closed are in Oshawa, Ontario; Moraine, Ohio; Janesville, Wis.; and Toluca, Mexico. He also said the iconic Hummer brand will be reviewed and potentially sold or revamped.

Wagoner said the GM board has approved production of a new small Chevrolet car at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in mid-2010 and the Chevy Volt electric vehicle in Detroit.

Wagoner announced the moves in response to slumping sales of pickups and SUVs brought on by high oil prices. He said a market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent.

GM shares rose 25 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $17.69 in morning trading.

The cuts will affect about 2,500 workers at each of the four facilities, although Wagoner did not know exact numbers. Many will be able to take openings created when 19,000 more U.S. hourly workers leave later this year through early retirement and buyout offers.

He said the company has no plans to allocate products to the four plants in the future.

"We really would not foresee the likely prospect of new products in the plants that we're announcing today that we'll cease production in," he told a Moraine, Ohio, city official who asked a question in a telephone conference call.

The moves will save the company $1 billion per year starting in 2010. Combined with previous efforts, GM will have cut costs by $15 billion a year, Wagoner said.

Wagoner said General Motors Corp.'s board approved the production schedule of the Chevrolet Volt, and the company plans to bring the plug-in electric car to showrooms by the end of 2010. The Volt runs on an electric motor and has a small engine to recharge its batteries.

He said the change in the U.S. market to smaller vehicles likely is permanent. "We at GM don't think this is a spike or a temporary shift," Wagoner said.

On the Hummer, Wagoner said GM is "undertaking a strategic review of the Hummer brand, to determine its fit with GM's evolving product portfolio" in light of changing market conditions.

"At this point, we are considering all options for the Hummer brand... everything from a complete revamp of the product lineup to partial or complete sale of the brand," he said.

The Detroit-based automaker has just emerged from a spate of labor problems, with two local union strikes at key factories and a nearly three-month strike at key parts maker American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc.

GM said in a recent regulatory filing the strikes will cost it a total of $2 billion before taxes in the second quarter.

Detroit's automakers have been making the shift to more fuel-efficient vehicles, but not at the pace that matches consumers' drive to hybrids and high mileage models made overseas. Gas prices have accelerated the retreat from trucks and sport utility vehicles, leaving the Big Three at the most critical crossroads in 30 years.

The U.S. market is difficult for every automaker, with consumer confidence weak and 2008 sales expected to be the lowest in more than a decade. But it is most difficult for the Detroit Three, who have relied more heavily on sales of trucks and SUVs than their foreign counterparts. Trucks make up 70 percent of Chrysler LLC's U.S. sales, for example, compared to 41 percent at Toyota Motor Corp.

Looks like less big monstrous trucks polluting my environment (read: living space, and not ecology), which is good for me and good for business; GM's stock rose a quarter right after the press release.

(This is about automotive business, not global warming so stay out of it if you want to add your opinion on climate change)
 

Eric.

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I'd like to see them get the H4 released and a bunch of those made before anything would happen to the Hummer brand. I think that's a pretty cool one that wouldn't drink gas that bad. I'm sure I'd never own one since it would need to be a second vehicle and by that time gas will be $10/gallon.

I wouldn't be against Hummers if it weren't for the fact that I've never seen a dirty one.
 

YSSMAN

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Well, I'm happy GM is smart enough to do it... This pretty much confirms completely that Zeta will be adapted to replace all of the BOF GMT900 models. Good thing they're using it to its fullest...
 

Philly

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So GM's strategy to "fix" the HUMMER brand is to dumb it own every more and take away even more exclusivity? I think I would rather them cut their losses at the H2 and H3 and sell the brand than attempt and fail at a barely off-road capable H4. Although I would be happy if they did in fact make something that could challenge the Wrangler as the choice vehicle for off-roaders.

As for the press release, I like GM's solution much better than the other of the big three. Cutting SUV production and boosting car production will be far more effective than making gas cheaper or trying to push SUVs off the lot at half price.
 

YSSMAN

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With clever engineering they could easily make an overly-capable Hummer that is fuel-efficent and otherwise a good business model. Take a look at the Land Rover LR2 and you get a good idea where they could go using a car platform... Although they'd likely just go Theta anyway.

There really isn't much use for the Hummer brand in general as it caters to an absolutely minuscule market. If they built a couple thousand vehicles a year and sold them through Cadillac dealers, that'd be fine. But they'd have to ditch the BOF stuff once and for all.
 

buickgnx88

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A car based Hummer? Talk about an oxymoron. Anyways, how miniscule is the music/DUB industry? :lol:
 

niky

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They could always look at making a lighter, more fuel efficient H1/H2 replacement. Power it with a diesel electric hybrid... with electric assist motors providing torque for off-roading, while the diesel does all the highway work. Give it carbon-fiber and an extra-light aluminum ladder frame.

Sell it as the ultimate off-roader... oh, and it gets 30 mpg, too... people would buy it just to look green. :lol:

While I've never agreed with Hummer as a brand, since everything after the H1 has been worthless, in my book... it's a really sad way to close this chapter in GM's history... If they'd just paid more attention to good engineering than to overcladding trucks to make them look "bling", it shouldn't have come to this (although with the industry the way it is, it's probably inevitable).
 
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So GM's strategy to "fix" the HUMMER brand is to dumb it own every more and take away even more exclusivity? I think I would rather them cut their losses at the H2 and H3 and sell the brand than attempt and fail at a barely off-road capable H4. Although I would be happy if they did in fact make something that could challenge the Wrangler as the choice vehicle for off-roaders.
Exactly, I'd rather see Hummer out of their hands and into someone's who can deal with selling to small market, than to have GM ruin Hummer any farther.

PS: Not sure if this has relevance or not, but I like GM, for the most part anyways. But there's no denying that GM didn't exactly help Hummer, IMO at least.
 

Jim Prower

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H1 won't be replaced 'till the ARMY replaces THEIR HMMWVs. another thing that needs to be fixed.

I'd rather see Hummer gone from the GM lineup. It's just taking up space and corporate MPGs that could be shifted to something more worthwhile, like a Park Avenue/Zetampala.
 

nd 4 holden spd

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The best off-roaders have a SWB. If it was really short surely they could make a diesel light enough and efficient enough to have a bad-ass Hummer still and keep the brand alive. But if Hummer brings down GM as a whole, perhaps they could sell 51% of it, so they are still affiliated with it, but not brought down by it.💡
 
They could always look at making a lighter, more fuel efficient H1/H2 replacement. Power it with a diesel electric hybrid... with electric assist motors providing torque for off-roading, while the diesel does all the highway work. Give it carbon-fiber and an extra-light aluminum ladder frame.

This all costs tremendous money to develop, which is the point you're not seeing of why the cuts are being announced: GM has piles and piles of debt.
 

Jim Prower

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I say sell it to whoever wins the bid for the HMMWV replacement. some company like International or something. That way we can get the old military connection back.
 
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-> I would think GM should make Hummer as a niche-market vehicle, like the Mini. And should be avoiding the mainstream, after that, bring back the H1 as a ultra limited (5 units a year) model.

-> That 'H4', it should be smaller than a Wrangler (same size as the Suzuki Jimny), infact, I got a good idea.

jimnybig.jpg

^ Instant re-badge, just like making Cup Noodles. :P

OR (seating 5 is a concern)

248138315_317ec88658.jpg

^ Just slap a 4WD drivetrain and these guys are set. :)

:dunce:
 

JohnBM01

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I guess Hummers are no longer the official vehicle of rich, bratty 16-year old girls... This reminds me of something that was mentioned in an episode of "Autoline Detroit." One of the things host John McElroy mentioned in saving GM from bankruptcy (out of seven items) was to sell Hummer. I personally hated the H1 and liked the H2. But when the H2 got to be too common as well as with the H3, I've begun to love the H1 more than these civilian-friendly Hummers. I always thought Hummers were military-spec vehicles anyway and in no way were meant to be civilian friendly. I'm sorry. They got over-publicized and (hate me at will) overrated to the point where I'd be glad not to see these behemoths on the road anymore or adored by teen girls and rappers. All... except the H1. Even still, I find no practicality with Hummers. I remembered one auto show that I stepped into a Hummer H1. Other than feeling like I'm an Army Ranger, it was cramped. Like... who would want to have THIS as as a DAILY DRIVER? I certainly wouldn't want one to feel "safe." As if I have a bulletproof car that can withstand everything ranging from glass on the road to meteorites falling into the Earth's atmosphere.

End result... part of me says I'm glad these civilian-friendly Hummers won't be showcased anymore like they are the biggest thing yet. One time on former Speed Channel show, "The World's Greatest Auto Shows," one of the hosts thought the Jeep Liberty or Patriot or whatever... was just... big. Oh, so the Hummer is just right? I've just gotten sick of Hummer as they were overpublicized with their H2 and H3. These are exclusive vehicles until someone decided to make EVERYONE able to make Hummers for everyday people. Even people with enough money can get a Porsche as a daily driver. No big thing because Porsches were meant to be exclusive autos people can buy and afford if they have the money. But Hummer... I wouldn't be surprised if they go back to being their own brand. Bringing back AM General and all that.

On a different accord, it will be interesting to see what GM plans to do focusing a bit more on environmentally friendly cars and not too much on trucks. They'll still make quality products regardless and already have a good start with the Volt car.
 
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What GM should do is drop the H3 completely, and then hold onto Hummer for 3 more years. When CAFE certification is redefined in 2011, dump everything but the AM General branch and stop selling any civilian models except by special order.

That way Hummers CAFE shortfall is eliminated completely.
 

Jim Prower

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Are they not already?

JLTV_military_vehicle_01.jpg


As for any possibility of keeping Hummer alive: Oshawa could use it, but not many others.

DAYUMN!!!!

However, that's not the only bid in for the HMMWV replacement, and, at least, I don't think the Army has chosen one, yet.
 

buickgnx88

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If anything they should keep the H3, but rebadge it as a Chevy and figure out how to put in the Turbo 4 (from the Sky/Solstice) as well as the DI V6 so they could still offer a compact TRUE 4WD, but have it be more fuel efficient than it is now.
 

Eric.

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That replacement looks like its ready for some sort of off-road racing...I want one!



And that will probably happen eventually. Enough people will put money forward to get civilian models made and its gonna be the whole Hummer phase again. Can't see this with Dubs though. :lol:
 

Joey D

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Dump it. Hummers while very good off road are rarely used as such vehicles and just cause a hassle on the roads. I can't see it making money for GM, especially with the spike in fuel prices here in America. Maybe keep a small run of H1's for adventure enthusiasts.

GM needs to focus on trimming down their models and becoming profitable again. Shouldn't be to hard, I mean even I can see vehicles that need to get the axe.
 

YSSMAN

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The AM General arm and the H1 are both dead as far as GM production is concerned... Its just the H2 and the H3 (and the forthcoming H3T) at the moment. They could doge this bullet very easily by beefing up an Antara/VUE with some serious off-road equipment, more fuel-efficent engine and transmission choices, and cap the price at $40K. Beyond that, cut it apart completely, and sell it as a Wrangler competitor.

There isn't any reason to kill it completely (yet)...
 

Philly

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-> I would think GM should make Hummer as a niche-market vehicle, like the Mini. And should be avoiding the mainstream, after that, bring back the H1 as a ultra limited (5 units a year) model.

They should have left it the way it was. HUMMER was the first example of what happens when you try to play off the popularity of a niche vehicle and dump it to the masses. The MINI should be next. Even if they do go back to just the H1 or something, I don't think I could ever view HUMMER in the same way I did before the H2.

And another possible danger of going the H4 only route: HUMMER might turn out like Jeep is now selling incapable SUVs with poor build quality. This would probably be the worst scenario.
 

niky

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Ah, but the Mini, despite being incredibly cramped, impractical, stiff-riding and overpriced, is actually fuel efficient (not to mention fun to drive). Eco-image is everything, nowadays.
 

Joey D

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Ah, but the Mini, despite being incredibly cramped, impractical, stiff-riding and overpriced, is actually fuel efficient (not to mention fun to drive). Eco-image is everything, nowadays.

You obviously haven't been in one. Mine is very practical and not that cramped. I'm sick of people going off about the space when they have probably never been in one, let alone owned one. It's also no more stiff riding then any other compact car, but I actually find the ride to be just fine. I do agree they are expensive though.

Mini is also still the fastest selling brand in the US according to Autoblog's By the Numbers.

The Mini brand and the Hummer brand are very different from one another, mostly being that Mini is profitable for BMW. Sure they might have ruined the classic Mini but really who cares? Ford keeps ruining the Mustang, Chevy the Camaro, Dodge the Challenger, Nissan the Z car, Subaru the Impreza, Toyota everything they make, etc. Car design is going to change but if people buy it in groves who cares what they do to it? BMW would be stupid to get rid of Mini, in fact they need to pump it for all it's worth since it is selling very well right now...so good in fact they need to open a second plant. The waiting list on a Clubman is almost 14 weeks!
 

niky

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Well, I mean incredibly cramped (for back seat passengers) and impractical considering the price. I'm a fan, though, and I'd dearly love to have one.

In fact, I'd rather they didn't do the Clubman, because I think the current "regular" Mini is perfect, but then, it's not my brand... maybe if they'd put in a more conventional drop-tailgate to keep the rear view uncluttered.
 

nd 4 holden spd

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You obviously haven't been in one. Mine is very practical and not that cramped. I'm sick of people going off about the space when they have probably never been in one, let alone owned one. It's also no more stiff riding then any other compact car, but I actually find the ride to be just fine. I do agree they are expensive though.

Mini is also still the fastest selling brand in the US according to Autoblog's By the Numbers.

The Mini brand and the Hummer brand are very different from one another, mostly being that Mini is profitable for BMW. Sure they might have ruined the classic Mini but really who cares? Ford keeps ruining the Mustang, Chevy the Camaro, Dodge the Challenger, Nissan the Z car, Subaru the Impreza, Toyota everything they make, etc. Car design is going to change but if people buy it in groves who cares what they do to it? BMW would be stupid to get rid of Mini, in fact they need to pump it for all it's worth since it is selling very well right now...so good in fact they need to open a second plant. The waiting list on a Clubman is almost 14 weeks!

How are those cars I bolded getting ruined? The new Camaro and Challeneger are beasts to be beheld in style, power and handling. The Mustang is getting back to original design cues and is still a very capable car. And the Nissan Z too, that has made a real turn-around. Performance-wise at least. Perhaps Nissan ruined Z's styling.:P
 

Joey D

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Well, I mean incredibly cramped (for back seat passengers) and impractical considering the price. I'm a fan, though, and I'd dearly love to have one.

Ah gotcha. Sorry I get a lot of flak for owning my car in this area.

In fact, I'd rather they didn't do the Clubman, because I think the current "regular" Mini is perfect, but then, it's not my brand... maybe if they'd put in a more conventional drop-tailgate to keep the rear view uncluttered.

The Clubman is awesome, if you have the chance give one a test drive. You get the Cooper fun but with a back seat. It's ugly as all hell though and the split rear is annoying but it's still not bad. The extra weight isn't all the noticeable either.

How are those cars I bolded getting ruined? The new Camaro and Challeneger are beasts to be beheld in style, power and handling. The Mustang is getting back to original design cues and is still a very capable car. And the Nissan Z too, that has made a real turn-around. Performance-wise at least. Perhaps Nissan ruined Z's styling.:P

They just are, trying to be retro and failing at it. They are probably great cars chassis wise and motor wise but the styling is just lackluster.
 

Jim Prower

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Now, wait. In what way is the 350Z "Retro?" it looks EXTREMELY modern (perhaps a little dated, since it's been around awhile) to me.

And I personally don't mind "Retro" styling.
 

Pupik

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The MINI should be next.
Actually, the Mini is one of the few brands that is selling more cars compared to a year ago (along with Honda, Mazda, Mini, and Mercedes-Benz). The only thing that may stop Mini is that the "new" wears off; but with people buying smaller cars, and the brand being around for 5 years, its still going strong. Usually the retro-look for most cars lasts 2 years, and sales dry up (the PT Cruiser being an exception), but I don't think the Mini is all that retro-looking, since the original hasn't been for sale in America since Richard Nixon imported panda bears.

The Hummer is capable, but maybe 1% of its owners use its unique capabilities; those who routinely traverse steep hills and rocks buy old Jeeps and modify the suspension so it could take lava samples from active volcanoes. And it's one of the most-complained about vehicles by new owners, not for quality concerns, but the fact its as aerodynamic as a brick, makes wind noise typical of Category 2 hurricanes at 35 mph, and road noise at any speed...all of it is expected in a Hummer, but the suburbanite owners forget these things after the euphoria of the test drive has ended.