By on February 24, 2010

After a lot of to and fro, GM today officially gave up on the Hummer deal. Reuters reports that “General Motors Co will wind down its Hummer SUV line after failing to complete a deal to sell the brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.”

“We are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed,” John Smith, GM’s outgoing vice president of corporate planning and alliances, said in a statement. This is the last in a row of failed deals Smith misengineered.

Shanghai Daily says that “Wang Chao, an assistant commerce minister, reiterated at a briefing yesterday that the ministry had yet to receive an application, and any reports that the ministry had rejected the bid were untrue.”

The ministry had been on record several times that it had not received a proper application.

Late last year, China’s Commerce Ministry had not received a formal application. Finally, one came in. Beijing bureaucrats could not make heads or tails of what Tengzhong was really trying to buy (or rather, what GM was trying to sell or not to sell.) Tengzhong was ordered to go home and come back with a new application that details what Tengzhong is exactly getting for their money. Ever since, the Ministry had been waiting for something to approve, but nothing was forthcoming.

According to China’s government, there was nothing to approve, and nothing to reject. However, this is widely seen as a face saving move. Chinese government circles were never enthused about an obscure industrial equipment maker trying to buy a money-losing brand that had become the epitome of vehicular excess. China has a very successful joint venture between GM and SAIC. The government may not have wanted to step on those toes. Someone at GM should have listened more closely.

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84 Comments on “GM Throws In The Towel On Hummer...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Just like Roger Penske, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines is not as dumb as it looks.

    Strangely, I still think Hummer’s demise could have been avoided with better product planning and market-watching. It was a unique brand, and its departure leaves the automotive landscape a little more boring.

    My local megadealer still has 18 new and 6 used Hummers for sale. That’s a lot of stranded cash.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      I wonder how much their prices will go through the floor now?

    • 0 avatar

      You might be surprised BDB, the refreshed 08 H2 with the new powertrain and interior as well as the H3 may not see a dip but perhaps a spike in value.

      I tried to get a Pontiac Vibe with Pontiac closing and nobody that has them is flexible on the prices. Even with Pontiac gone dealerships want a lot of money for them. It’s the same with G8.
      You never know.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Yeah, but Pontiac doesn’t have the image problem of Hummer. The Solstice, G8, and Vibe don’t have the baggage of the H2. Also with two out of three of those models (or even with the G8 V6) you don’t have to worry about gas prices as much.

      I’m thinking Hummer will follow more the path of the Pontiac G6 and Saturn Astra–drop through the floor in price and be a really sweet used value for its class of car.

  • avatar
    Christy Garwood

    Yes, I will miss it. I worked on the H3 development and launch.

    Just for grins, I compared H3 fuel economy to Ford Explorer. It’s about the same around 18 mpg. The Hummer site had those videos of the early build vehicles climbing boulders in Moab in the Sierra Nevadas – the capability of those SUVs is just something else…

    @srogers – The H3 was all new except for a few parts that supported the radiator. The Hummer line of vehicles had to have certain off-road capability above and beyond all other GM trucks/ SUVs. That is why there were those test tracks at the dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I’m speaking from relative ignorance here, but isn’t the H3 just a reskinned Chevy Colorado?

      So the Colorado is the (secret) hot ride for off road ability?

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      Christy, for most people’s purposes, the H3 was much less useful than an Explorer, or GM’s own GMT360 (TrailBlazer, Envoy, etc.). It was designed for off road use first, and was compromised with a narrow interior, small cargo area, and extra cost. That’s not even to mention the embarrassing base powertrain. It also shocked me what H3s cost, and the limited level of equipment you got for the money. No steering wheel radio controls. Power seats that had manual adjusting backrests. No reverse camera or park assist and horrible visibility to the rear. It was very expensive and too much of a compromise for many people looking for a useful SUV to drive every day. The vehicles that GM positioned the H3 up against, and claimed to be their main competition, were far better for most people’s needs. The capabilities of it off road were great for what it was, but most SUV buyers aren’t looking to go to Moab.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good Lord, if the H3 was anything like the Chevy Colorado, no wonder the thing died a bad death. I rented a Colorado last year while my car was in the shop, and it was AWFUL – particularly the five-banger engine.

    • 0 avatar
      leeharvey418

      @srogers-

      The H3 started out as a reskin of the GMT355 trucks (Colorado/Canyon) but through the development cycle, it morphed into an almost entirely different animal. The only thing to which I can speak directly is the frame (since I’m the Tier-1 Product Engineer responsible for the GMT355/345/745 frames) but I can tell you for a fact that the only things they share are the steering crossmember, torsion bar crossmember, the main part of the spare tire crossmember, a couple of the upper control arm brackets, the rear lower control arm brackets (though the H3 gets its own right-hand assembly), the rear spring hanger brackets, two pairs of body mount brackets, and maybe half a dozen (I can only specifically think of five components) other odd brackets and reinforcements. Considering that something like the frame is the biggest opportunity for component sharing between platforms, I can’t imagine that there’s even that degree of commonality between any of the ‘pretty’ parts of the trucks.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    A sad ending.

    A guy I know did some product planning for the Hummer, and showed some of us the program’s timeline. It was pretty stunning, the speed with which they brought it to market. Just a reskinned Silverado, but the reskinning came at warp speed.

    When Hummer launched, we pulled one into the Studio and everybody went down and took a look. I went down with an old Body hand, a guy who can pound sheet metal with the best, who walked me around the thing. He pointed out the misfits, poor gaps, margins and flushes, and all the other dirty little sins. He didn’t even get into the interior with me, the exterior was all he needed to see.

    So what? They made money off it. They made BALES of money off it, for a while at least. If the Detroit 3 could regularly do this, with all of their vehicle programs, nimbly, they wouldn’t have gotten into the shape they have.

    Hummer may have hit a greenie brick wall, but there are some critical lessons there. Utilizing existing platforms. Speed to market. Serving a known and profitable customer base, while gently fending off the zealots. MAKING MONEY. These are all lessons that a competitive automotive industry will eventually have to learn.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I wonder how much money Hummer made for GM…

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      crash sled, which Hummer are you talking about H2 or H3?

      srogers, I wonder how much money GM made on Hummer, too. All I know is that it wasn’t contributing to the losses.

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      Christy, this was at least 5-6 years back, and I’m sure it was the first gen model, whichever one that was. It was a reskinned Silverado, whichever platform that puts it into.

      Hummer was a successful failure, is what I’m getting at here.

      You can make money selling junk, if that’s what the customer wants and will pay for, and you can go broke selling the best vehicles ever, if the customer won’t pay you for them.

      I don’t advocate selling junk, but niche vehicles are a smart idea if you execute, and I believe Hummer was well executed. All these marketing idiots are always yammering about creating “buzz”. Well, I believe there’s a way you can create “buzz” and make money at the same time, if you play your cards right.

    • 0 avatar

      HUMMER was GM’s most profitable brand and most profitable products next to the normal fullsize trucks and SUVs for quite a few years. Up until the last fuel crisis spike two years or so ago, then it unraveled fairly quickly.

      The H2 and H3 weren’t rebadges of existing GM trucks, they were engineered out of what GM had available. 3/4-ton truck frame from the H2 which was quite stout and the Colorado structure for the H3. The H2 was differentiated enough from the Silverado that it couldn’t be built as-is on the same line, just as the Camaro is differentiated enough from the Holden Commodore that Holden couldn’t make it-as is in Australia and vice-versa in Oshawa.

      GM’s mistake is that they took HUMMER too mainstream when the money poured in. They opened too many dealers and let the H2 run too long without a refresh or diesel powertrain. They also did not release a Wrangler-sized and semi-affordable off-roader in the HX concept soon enough either. An attainable model could have carried the entire brand, even in hard economic times.

      It doesn’t matter, it’s all water under the bridge now. If I still lived in blizzard-land I would probably have a H2 or H3 to drive during the winter months just as I had a small, 11mpg, Jeep Grand Wagoneer for many years for that purpose.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Trishield is right about the Wrangler competitor. That would have been the CORRECT truck to make after the H1, instead of the H2.

      IMHO they should have either tried to make Hummer a GM Jeep or an American Land Rover. They really did neither, and that was it’s downfall.

      But you know what? A new Wrangler competitor would be perfect for GMC. A youthful product that isn’t shared with Chevy and that can be an entry point for wealthy younger people that can eventually upgrade to a Buick sedan or crossover.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    good riddance!

    Those things were rolling cartoon characters…

    Aside from the H1

  • avatar

    This is strictly my personal viewpoint. I believe GM should have listened more to the Chinese government: GM has a very intimate relationship with the Chinese government via government-owned SAIC.

    Shanghai’s Tongji University has a very respected automotive college in Anting. Wan Gang, China’s Minister of Science and Technology since April 2007, was President of Tongji University. He is an automotive engineer, who had received a PhD from the Clausthal University of Technology in Germany. After that, he joined Audi in Ingolstadt. After several years, he returned to Shanghai and Tongji, where he coordinated R&d of electric vehicles before becoming President.

    Wang Gan is known in the auto industry as an expert and a colleague. High level executives of carmakers in Shanghai have highest level access to the government. Their own fault, if they ignore it. Enough said.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      You seem to have the inside scoop regarding how to do business in China, Bertel. Your comments makes sense, as usual.

      This is just me wondering based on what you wrote – what if GM did figure out what it took to get the deal done? They would still have choices on how to act on that knowledge, right? Oh, there I go again letting international business trigger ideas for novels of intrigue… LOL at myself…

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      More name dropping
      No free enterprise for you!!!!

  • avatar
    JeremyR

    There are already too many of these things on the road; I’m glad we won’t be seeing more. And there aren’t too many vehicles I would say that about (I’m one of apparently two people who think the Sebring isn’t bad looking).

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Hopefully this is the end. To me, Hummer is the poster child for the 2000s adolescent mindset that we can get whatever we want by borrowing beyond our means and by bombing the world into submission. Yeah, I know these civilian Hummers have nothing to do with US overseas imperial adventures made possible by the AM General HUMVEE, but they do represent a certain hubris. I won’t miss them.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      +1
      I think this clip from Family Guy sums up exactly the kind of person who drives them:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHRxG_85nHE&NR=1
      No disrespect meant to anyone here who actually worked on the design of them, but Hummers didn’t do anything better than any existing vehicles of their size. They aren’t good off road, they aren’t any good on the road, they are cramped inside… they were just a brand for people buy into. Nothing more.
      Whilst it’s sad to see the likes of Pontiac vanish, I don’t feel at all sorry that Hummer is on its way out.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, it was unique in that it was a vehicle marketed strictly for assholes. Kinda like driving your own tank down the road, without a care for anyone else. In fact, it was like a uplifted middle finger to the rest of us.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      Speaking of Hubris!
      Actually Hummers were very good off road. Do some research before engaging your keyboard.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      I can’t say I’ll miss them either. The H2 I drove for a few days was a steaming pile. Cheesy interior, garish (okay, the one I drove was yellow) and really not as good for towing as you would think.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      Juniper, I watched a Hummer H3 at an amateur off roading event in the UK once. It failed to get where a Suzuki Jimny and a Lada Niva could get to, and it was outclassed by a 30 year old ex British army Landrover. Perhaps this was the skill of the driver rather than the machine itself. That was my subjective research – first hand experience of watching the H3 fail where much older and simpler vehicles didn’t. On the other hand I’m sure the H1 was pretty damn good off road being a military design. However next time I’ll be sure to read every review going before rubbishing a car. Hubris? Pah! I’m awesome me.

  • avatar
    ajla

    There goes my hope of a HUMMER brand Class B RV.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Just remember, GM also announced the end of Saab, yet a deal wound up going thru. The fat lady may be warming up, but she’s not on stage yet.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Thank God. Given their relatively low sales (not low enough!) I can look forward to the day when they vanish from our roads.

    What are douchebags going to do for wheels now?

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I keep wondering where all the Hummers disappeared to, actually. The roads were full of them a few years ago (and seemingly all were adorned with enough dealer add-on brush guards and chrome doo-dads to make a Harley dealer blush). These days, it’s so rare to see an H2 on the road that they really catch my attention when I do see one… at least here in California.

    Have they simply become so politically incorrect that the former owners of these cars just took huge losses on them in order to no longer be seen driving them? Or did a huge percentage of them have leases run out only to be turned back in to GMAC? Then what? Did GM crush them or sell them to wholesale auctions in Russia and Saudi Arabia? Seriously, it’s like there was just a huge vanishing act.

    To be fair, the fuel economy for the H2 and H3 was really no worse than for comparable SUVs from other brands. They just became too in-your-face and agressive-looking when the SUV demand stopped being one of vanity (24″ chrome spinners and 2000 watt boom boxes on wheels) and returned to being based on necessity (families with 4 kids who ski a lot).

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      The H2′s all seem to have found their way to Colorado; I’m not sure about the rest of them…

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      My experience from when I was at a Hummer store was that H2s were quite popular when they first hit the ground in Summer ’02 (as ’03 models). Sales slowed down late into the ’04 model year, and picked up again in ’05 when the SUT came out. Sales slowed back down again in ’06, and when the ’07 Escalade came out, most of our customers jumped ship for that. Ever since then, H2 sales have been modest at best, and it does seem to be more of a mega douche mobile than anything else. The H1 was really the only one that wasn’t a poseur, and it was sad to see it go. The rest of them are really of no consequence. They’ll all go to the wrecking yard with a whimper, and the world will move on.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re probably still selling the remaining ones here in Texas. It fits the state mentality perfectly…

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo60640

      When the H2 came out, I remember seeing lots of them. Especially the hideous yellow ones that looked like school buses. I feel like they suddenly disappeared en masse not long after the H3 debuted.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    I say what I have always said: Hummer died the day they killed the H1. The original Humvee was the absolute core of the brand, killing it off to let the H2 amd H3 live was the writing on the wall. After that, it has only been a long and painful waiting for the rest of the corpse understanding that the body cannot live without its soul.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I am sad to see Hummer go, the H3 was a very capable off-road machine in a market full of gutless cute-utes and crossovers. I blame Hummer’s demise solely on the H2; that bloated, ostentatious beast killed Hummer’s image, what a shame.

    Too bad Hummer couldn’t soldier on with the H3 and possibly an even smaller, lighter, diesel SUV. With the death of the H3 and FJ Cruiser there are not many options left for those looking for a stock SUV with respectable off-road capability.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      The good news is that the one product left (Wrangler) is actually pretty good off road with the right equipment and with an experienced driver behind the wheel. You also get the bonus of being able to put the top down (or take the top off, in the case of a hardtop vehicle) and enjoy a nice panoramic view while offroad, something none of the competition could match.

  • avatar

    Honestly, I would rather see it buried than go to the Chinese. HUMMER was an American icon akin to Jeep or the Corvette or Mustang and foreign ownership just wasn’t right.

    The thing I’m sad about is how much potential this brand had that was utterly wasted. At it’s height it was GM’s most unique, profitable and iconic brand next to the Corvette. Instead of keeping it niche GM over-produced it and approved too may dealers.

    They also did not release a Wrangler-competitor fast enough, nor did the brand adopt diesel powertrains (something many people wanted) in their normal offerings. Had HUMMER not been so mainstreamed things would have possibly been different.

  • avatar
    european

    while the H2 is horrid, the H3 isnt (for me) so i’d keep the H3 and give it to GMC. this way GMCs lineup will not consist purely outta rebagded Chevy trucks/SUVs. make it all more interesting.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    With HUMMER gone, how will I compensate for my shortcomings?

  • avatar
    50merc

    Was Hummer too expensive for emergency services? Seems like they’d be great for getting around in the mess left by hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      H1′s are probably good for that, but I suspect the cost is way prohibitive. I’m still not sure what advantages an H2 would have over a Tahoe (The police depts. around here have several Tahoes), and I think an H3 is just too underpowered/fragile/small for Police/Fire/Rescue work.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Ask Horatio Caine, he’s got the answer for everything!

  • avatar
    Turbo60640

    Boo-hoo. These things should have been killed off 5 years ago.

  • avatar

    John Smith, a perfect example of what is truly wrong with General Motors.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    I’d usually just lament about the pussification of America, but it occured to me there’s other factors in play here that point to something other than fellow Americans supposedly “seeing the light” and deciding to embrace underpowered, Euro style autos. I don’t think it was the spiked fuel prices that led to Hummer’s demise so much as the current recession. That, and GM’s push for a more fuel efficient image. You can speculate as to why, but that would lead to a futile argument about about politics. Politics has contributed to enough arguments around here not to mention the general lameness of future autos.

    I take solace knowing that Hummer’s death doesn’t mean the end of upscale, large, and powerful vehicles. Bigger always equals better in the public eye whether you agree or not. There will always be a niche for it. There will always be a demand and there will always be a loophole to deliver it.

    Just as there will always be those things there’s also always going to be the poser that buys those vehicles to show off. But more pathetic than that will be the minority that despises them. Usually the jealous types that will try to point it out as American arrogance (is it that hard to be proud of your fellow countrymen?)and resort to name calling such as “knuckledragger”. (Coincidentally, has anyone noticed that those that like to call others that name tend to be the same kind of people that spent their youth and teenage years experiencing other people’s knuckles forcibly dragged across their face?)

    Long rant short, the cycle will continue.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      LOL. Macho men are all driving dually diesel pickups. Sounds like you need to get out more.

    • 0 avatar
      sfdennis1

      A ‘minority’ of people didn’t despise Hummers…after a decent run of selling craptastic guzzling barges to neanderthals, ego-driven douches, Republicans, rap stars/pro athletes, and the occassional off-road enthusiast who insisted on something jumbo-sized…REALITY THEN PREVAILED, and sales plummeted when gas prices rose. The MAJORITY of the American public (finally!) saw Hummers and other jumbo SUV’s for what they are…oversized, overdone specialty machines suitable for only a small segment of the population…not the vehicle of choice for ‘gutsy’ suburban soccer Mom’s or middle-aged, mid-life crisis men trying to up their ‘butchness’ cred.

      And the reality is that there is not an unlimited supply of oil on the planet, most of said oil IS NOT under our soil, and burning it has harmful effects on the planet’s health. We also spend untold billions every year in military costs to help insure the taps stay open for all those ‘free-market’ gas-guzzling drivers…some free market.

      Sorry if this is all too difficult for you to deal with (not really) but the public has spoken it’s verdict on the folly of the Hummer.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow. Are you serious? Seems it’d take a pretty fragile kind of masculinity to need pathetic props like the Hummer to affirm itself.

      The brand has served its purpose for GM: a short-term cash-in on America’s fad for these grotesque gigantesque parodies of real working vehicles. Now that fad’s passed so has Hummer’s expiry-date.

      Good riddance.

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      Yeah, I also lament the wussification of America. You know, those wussies who are too weak to think about anything beyond the edge of their enormous SUV’s hood, who can’t win arguments with anyone or anything without resorting to physical violence, who think they should always be allowed to do whatever they want. Those wusses. The weakest among us. They seem to be proliferating (sorry to use such effeminate, Euro-sophisticated language).

      The rest of us (you know, the ones with real strength) are sick of hearing from these wusses.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      How are Hummer driving doucebags any different than BMW wannabee Euro-snark doucebags that drive VW’s?

      Doucebags who drive any poser vehicle are still doucebags.

    • 0 avatar

      Douchebags, rmwill, douchebags as in the female hygiene article. Or as in “douche,” which means “shower” in French (as opposed to “French shower” …)

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      @Bertel Douchebag = A self identifed hipster/cool person who is, in reality, neither hip or cool, just annoying and superficial.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Back in the day, did a “deuce-bag” drive drive an Electra 225**?

      ** Slang name: “Deuce and a quarter.”

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      Gee I dunno. I kinda like “doucebag,” Bertel.

      So, how am I, as a VW-driving “doucebag” different? Well, my doucebaggery takes up less space, consumes a fraction of the fuel, and can actually steer and stop. Oh, and I can carry more stuff.

      And no, I don’t miss my previous car. Which was a BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      @dingram01

      Maybe, but they are unreliable, poorly built poor mans BMW’s. And if you consider the Touraeg, its just as wasteful as its Hummer counterpart.

      I do enjoy tweaking VW fanboys though. Its fun when they threaten to hit me with their murses or curling irons :)

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      Hey, leave my curling iron out of it.

      I actually think of this Jetta TDI more as an outgrowth of my old Saabs (uh oh) in that it’s compact, flexible, efficient and fun to drive despite all that. The Bimmer was too single-minded.

      I’ve had no trouble with the TDI so far, but I’d like to shove my dealer’s service advisor’s head down the toilet (who told me that you’re supposed to check the oil after running the engine, shutting it off and waiting 30 seconds…waiting longer means all that oil in the head will drain into the oil pan causing an inaccurate reading…this after they grossly overfilled my car at the 10k service). And I’m getting really nervous reading about a rash of high pressure fuel pump failures that VW handily blames on customers and charges $10,000 to fix.

      The other night I had a dream I’d scored a cherry mid-2000′s Chevy “Rent Me” Impala for $500. Wouldn’t mind that, frankly. I think.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      Kidding aside, the CC is one of the most beautiful cars on the market today. A friend of mine bought a 2009 A4 and when I showed him the borrowed CC I was driving he had instant buyers remorse.

      What kills VW worse than even the reliability issues are the craptastic dealers. I understand that VWoA is mresponsible for setting a really low bar for the customer experience, and treats the dealers like dirt.

      Good luck doubling sales guys!

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    I won’t particularly miss them, and what little bit of contact I’ve had (riding in friends H2′s and H3′s) those didn’t seem that much different or better than a Tahoes or Trailblazers they are under the box. The H1 on the other hand, is the real deal.

    Never quite understood why GM wanted another brand and why they didn’t just sell the HMMV line through GMC dealers, at least then GMC would have had something upscale/different than Chevy, and I don’t think anyone could argue that an H1 wasn’t “Professional Grade”.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Speaking of the Hummer being a raised middle finger to rest of the world… you have surely seen http://www.FUH2.com, right?

    It’s been around for a long time and is just a brand marketer’s worst nightmare.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Hummer’s demise isn’t particularly difficult to figure out. GM simply couldn’t compete in its intended market, that being the upscale off-road Land Cruiser or, more accurately, an American Range Rover. That’s an extremely small and highly devoted niche. Coupled with a product that has abysmal quality and doesn’t have any of the panache of the other marques, well, once fuel prices skyrocketed, Hummer’s fate was quickly sealed.

    As others have pointed out, had GM gotten a small Hummer to market that was a direct competitor for the Jeep Wrangler, they might have had a chance at survival. The trouble with that scenario is there just wasn’t a decent existing platform from which GM could have based a Jeep Wrangler size vehicle. The Wrangler is BOF construction and GM’s 4WD SUV in that size class is the Equinox, a unibody construction that just isn’t suited to a true off-road environment.

    About all they could have done was a short wheelbase, 2-door H3 from the Colorado regular cab pickup (which is what I would guess is the HX concept) but I don’t know if they could have gotten something like that (even a heavily decontented version) into the Wrangler’s price range, particular since it would need a scratch-designed and engineered removable hard / soft-top. Rather than invest the funds into something like that, GM chose the cheap route and came up with the lame-ass H3 SUT, a vehicle introduction that has to be one of the most poorly timed in automotive history.

    Ironically, the vehicle that the Equinox replaced, the old Suzuki Sidekick-based Geo Tracker, might have been the way for GM to get a Wrangler competitor for Hummer.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    @Juniper

    Aside from the H1, Hummers DO suck off-road.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      Please Spare me the stupid U Tube videos

    • 0 avatar
      littlehulkster

      He’s right. H2s have tie rod ends the size of angel hair spaghetti, an road going independent suspension which has remarkably little flex, no lockers, a huge, puffy body with less clearance than you’d think and way too much bulk.

      I really don’t know what sort of “off roading” you do if you think a H2 is good at it. A Subaru could take more trails than a H2, let alone a real offroader.

      I do love seeing H2s out on the trail though, as the type of person who drives one is easily embarrassed once I pull his giant mall crawler out of a small ditch with a Isuzu Trooper made mostly of rust.

  • avatar
    jkumpire

    Geeze Louise,

    Will some of you get a life?

    For some of you to to rip Hummer owners like you are is absurd. You may think it is a poser vehicle, but then to lump all the types of people you can’t stand into one group then throw them under the bus is sad.

  • avatar
    Christy Garwood

    @ leeharvey418, thanks for the clarification on the H3 frame new vs. shared parts.

    @ crash sled, the vehicle you saw was the H2, and yes, the fits were awful at first. GM and AM General worked hard after launch to fix those problems and learned by the time the H3 launched how to improve the flush/ gaps.

    @ TriShield, other than the frame parts leeharvey418 mentioned, and a few supporting reinforcements for the radiator, the H3 was all new. I am not as familiar with the H2, but in either case, H3 or H2, the off-road capability (and by extension, the parts required to do that) exceeds other GM body-on-frame vehicles.

    @ 50merc, I am not aware of any emergency fleet customers for Hummer products. However, with the H3 plant in Shreveport and GM’s habit of donating to disaster relief, a fleet of H3s were donated to rescue efforts in New Orleans after Katrina. They are designed to keep running in deep water. Did you know that GM Foundation, a non-profit entity, donated a fleet of GMC Sierra Pickups to Haiti?
    http://www.facesofgm.com/?p=732

    @ Juniper, thanks for agreeing with me on the off-road capability.

    To everyone else, while you might not like Hummer styling, interior space, visual obscuration, fuel economy, unfaithfulness to H1 – - there is no denying that excellence in engineering took place to produce H2 and H3, both product and manufacturing, including suppliers. No comment on sales, marketing, branding and the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      “No comment on sales, marketing, branding and the rest.”

      That would be the work of none other than the marketing genius Susan Docherty. Her past work speaks for itself.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    And we still never got a punchline to this joke.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    “To everyone else, while you might not like Hummer styling, interior space, visual obscuration, fuel economy, unfaithfulness to H1 – – there is no denying that excellence in engineering took place to produce H2 and H3, both product and manufacturing, including suppliers. No comment on sales, marketing, branding and the rest.”

    This is exactly why GM is where it is Christy. If you can’t look at H2 or H3 and see that it is merely a pile of shortcomings and compromises selling as a (admittedly profitable) bit of social jewelry then you just don’t have any basis in reality from which to judge.

    As has been pointed out, as a sport utility vehicle either fails when compared to the offerings of the other domestics – or even a YuSuburbaho for that matter.

    Off road? Emergency services vehicle? That’ll just get you laughed out of any off-road discussion with people who actually have taken a vehicle off road. The few who show up with them learn quickly the poseur nature of the Hummer product.

    A military H1 can barely hang with a Unimog or a Kamaz. In fact, the US military uses ‘mogs for some remote locations that the H1 can’t manage.

    H2 H3 well engineered? Just like the J-Cars…

  • avatar
    dingram01

    Let us sum it up thusly with a truism from life: for every hummer (or Hummer) there is a requirement of at least one sucker.

    No, I don’t mean to suggest the American sucker is an endangered species. Just perhaps too far upside-down in that Hummer loan to be as much in evidence for the moment.

    I’m sure we’ll see them in vast numbers at the Sarah Palin presidential swearing-in ceremonies in a few years.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    “If you can’t look at H2 or H3 and see that it is merely a pile of shortcomings and compromises selling as a (admittedly profitable) bit of social jewelry then you just don’t have any basis in reality from which to judge.”

    Can’t one substitute (Land Rover, X-Series, Cayenne, X6, Tuoureg, M-Class… or any host of other so-called “SUV, CUV, Cross-over, etc.) into this sentence and have it make just as much sense?

    All of the brands jumped onto the SUV bandwagon, some better or worse than others. I would count on a Hummer H2 as a reliable vehicle more than any Land Rover I’ve seen my friends suffer through over the past decade. My old 5-series wagon had better cargo space (though no awd) than an X5 or X3 and was more fun to drive and economical at the same time. I can’t even look at a Porsche Cayenne without shaking my head… granted, I’m sure it’s a great driving car as it should be for the price, but I still think it is an answer to a question nobody asked save for some Porsche accountants. The X6? Talk about serious shortcomings and questionable design decisions.

    Fairly or not, Hummer became the poster child for excessive consumption though I bet a Cayenne Turbo gets even worse fuel economy than an H2, costs three times as much, and carries even less stuff.

    The aggressive in-your-face styling was profitable for a while, but as an in-your-face design, it was as quick to fall out of fashion as it was to fall into it in the first place. If you chase fads, you have to be prepared for shifts in consumer tastes.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    “Can’t one substitute (Land Rover, X-Series, Cayenne, X6, Tuoureg, M-Class… or any host of other so-called “SUV, CUV, Cross-over, etc.) into this sentence and have it make just as much sense?”

    @stevelovescars,

    Agreed. Completely agreed. My meta point is that the H2 and H3 had nothing they were competitive at, save for the styling. All of the iron that you mentioned does somethings well, some not so much, but they all have SOMETHING that they do well. the H2 H3 nevr did. Save for styling.

    Not my judgment. That was what the marketplace said by running away in droves.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    @ littlehulkster

    +1

    @ RMWill

    +1

  • avatar
    geeber

    What bothered me about the HUMMER was that it was a triumph of style over substance. I remember looking at one a few years ago and being shocked at the amount of orange peel in the paint. Apparently HUMMERS were painted by Sunkist.

    It became a status symbol for a short time. In many ways, it was the polar opposite of the suicide-door Lincolns featured in a “Curbside Classic” article a few weeks back. Those Lincolns were a real attempt to bring a high-quality, tasteful luxury vehicle to the marketplace. The elegance and quality were more than skin deep. The HUMMER was a cynical attempt to sell the sizzle, without much (if any) steak.

    If those Lincolns were a perfect fit for Jackie Kennedy, the HUMMER was a perfect fit for the Jersey Shore girls.

    In some ways, it was the poster child for why the American auto industry in general, and GM in particular, are on the ropes.


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