By on May 25, 2007

hummerh2.jpgWas the Hummer brand really born four years ago? The Army-inspired H2 now occupies a fading mindspace. It’s a relic from a time when America’s foreign policy problems were out there, somewhere. When gasoline was like Gatorade: a cheap, endless commodity that hydrated the hopes and dreams of a nation. Post-911, post-Katrina, post-Iraq, the H2 somehow remains. But not for long. According to our spies, GM has slated the gas-gargling mondo-SUV for termination. What’s THAT all about?

Disappearing buyers. Since its debut in 2003, H2 sales have fallen faster than George W’s approval rating (if only just). The macho model’s popularity peaked in its first year, sinking not-so-slowly but entirely predictably thereafter.

In 2006, GM sold less than half as many H2’s as it did in 2003. If the trend from the first four months of this year carries through to its gruesome conclusion, the H2 will rack-up just 12K annual sales, down 65% from its debut. Unless the 2008 makeover– upgraded interior, six-speed gearbox, 6.2-liter V8– rekindles faded ardor, it will be the model's last hurrah. Or raspberry.

On a deeper level, the Hummer’s decline reflects the political temper of our times. While the H2 is no less fuel efficient than any other gi-normous SUV (e.g. the now discontinued Ford Excursion), its inherently impolite dimensions and unabashedly militaristic demeanor made it a lightning rod for environmentalists and anti-war protesters alike. For these left-leaning activists, the H2 was/is the automotive equivalent of the ugly American.

H2 owners know the drill. Even before the Iraq war lost momentum, driving an H2 in a blue state urban area meant running a gauntlet of middle finger-flashing anger. Like a crew cut on a Vietnam-era conservative, trip-wire liberals clock an H2 and immediately assume its owner possesses a right wing political perspective and supports America’s foreign military operations.

It’s an entirely understandable if simplistic assumption that puts H2 owners on the defensive from the git-go. The model’s decline is at least partially attributable to the fact that only so many SUV drivers are ready, willing and able to run an endless gauntlet of unabashed antipathy.

No question: the H2’s rugged military persona was the key its downfall. It provided detractors with plenty of ammunition (so to speak) for self-righteous feelings of revulsion and disgust.

For example, while anti-SUV campaigners could almost forgive the cataclysmic damage wrought by a full-size SUV on a smaller vehicle as an unintended consequence of its owner’s understandable (if selfish) desire to protect their progeny, they viewed the Hummer as a four-wheeled metaphor for unbridled arrogance:  “F.U. and the compact car you drove into me on.”

Contrary to popular belief, very few Hummer H2 buyers were motivated by a desire to make a political statement. While there’s no escaping the H2’s GI Joe fantasy factor, a large number of consumers chose the Hummer based on its off-road capabilities. And it’s true: plenty of H2 owners deploy their machine as government contractor AM General intended. While the 6400 lbs. SUV is a bit jumbo-sized for many off-road trails, in the main, she can “git ‘er done.”

Yet many Hummeristas remained oblivious to the fact that the H2’s exterior places the off-roader's terrain traversing chops into a distinctly sinister context. Most full-size SUV’s seem to say “One day, I may take my family off-road to commune with nature.” At best, the Hummer’s take-no-prisoner exterior proclaims “Survivalist on board.” At worst, worse. 

Now that the Hummer H2 is on its way out, environmentalists/peace campaigners will have a hard time finding an equally obvious and (let’s face it) easy target. This despite the fact that the Hummer isn’t really dead; the model was replaced by the smaller, more frugal, cheaper-to-produce and less aggressive-looking H3.

In its first year of production (2005), the H3 accounted for 58 percent of Hummer’s sales. By 2006, the figure rose to 74 percent. So far this year, GM has sold 13k H3’s— more than the entire anticipated annual run of H2’s.

Even so, the total number of Hummers due to be sold in ‘07 is significantly less than that of a single Chevy model– which hardly seems sufficient to sustain an entire GM brand. As the H2 leaves the battlefield, one wonders if there will still be a Hummer to kick around four years hence.

I reckon the Hummer brand’s survival depends on two factors. First, GM must avoid bankruptcy. Second, Hummer must develop products that sell military prowess without projecting military arrogance or aggression. Either that or America’s armed forces’ fortunes must change abroad, to the point where it’s once again OK to drive a vehicle that celebrates our troops’ mucho macho can-do spirit. None of these possibilities seem likely.

Meanwhile, the Smithsonian Institution should find an early H2 to place into their permanent collection. No other machine so perfectly captured and distilled the gestalt of its time as the H2. Loved or loathed, GM’s lumbering leviathan deserves to be remembered for what it was: a uniquely American icon.

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88 Comments on “GM Set to Kill the Hummer H2: Requiem for a Heavyweight...”


  • avatar
    nichjs

    In the context of “world cars” this beast is no hot commodity.

  • avatar

    If the H3 hadn’t been introduced, the H2’s sales would be higher than they are. But the H3’s size and price make it a more suitable vehicle for many fans of the brand.

    Once the H3 gets a suitable engine (even enlarged the straight five doesn’t quite cut it) then its proportion of Hummer sales will likely get even larger.

    On the other hand, the H2 gets a new, much improved interior for 2008, and this could bump sales a bit.

    Prices and such:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/H2.php

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Greenies & Bearded weirdos unite!!!!! there is a version of the H3 called an “Alpha” (male?) with the 5.3 V8.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Even though I would never buy one, especially with the price of gasoline where it is at currently, I still like the H2, and I’m more-or-less a liberal.

    I always thought if you can afford it, and the gas, so be it.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    No vehicle ever cried out for a diesel the way the H2 does.

    My understanding of the values of most Hummer drivers was cemented watching the scene from the Sopranoes when Chris Moltasonti chose the high life with an H2 over his fiancee.

    They still haven’t found her body.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    As usual, putting your personal ideals onto a marque misses the boat entirely. An H1 or H2 doesn’t “excite” the liberals- you should spend some time with us, as we’re more alike than you conservatives would want to believe.

  • avatar

    If GM can somehow morph Hummer into a direct competitor to Jeep, with smaller yet still husky vehicles then I think there is still a future for the brand.

    Let’s also not forget that in this day and age models come and go far more rapidly than before; as the marketplace is subject to the quick winds of change. The H2 when it first came out was a market scream, AAAANold and all. Now it is but a whisper.

    I can imagine a whole line of Hummerettes out there to go up against the Wrangler and Cherokee and even Liberty. All off-road rated and street capable. GM probably doesnt have the resources, stomach or focus to make this so, but who knows.

  • avatar
    Detroit

    Like no other vehicle in memory, when I see an H2 in traffic, “disturbed driver” pops into my head. And stopped at a red light, I can’t even bear to glance at the driver, for fear of busting-out laughing at such a fragile self-image. Such things are probably not what GM had in mind in the glossy, H2 phamplet at the dealer.

    I do like several things about the vehicle, though. The H2/3’s have a huge sunroof (which is actually usable and over the driver’s head, unlike all these raked windshield, aero-over-anything, vehicles of today). There’s nothing like a box for interior room, too. And damn it, I like it because it is anti-now, an it pisses-off the hippies; maybe even more now then before. It will be a classic, as most controversial vehicles are.

    But, if I were in the market, and wanted to display intelligence in vehicle selection, I would choose a Suburban or Tahoe, 1 year old, for $25k. (Best deal on the dying-planet; 80% of the mileage of a Odyssey, 2X the room, and half the maintenance costs, without paying out the butt for sliding door fixes or timing belts.)

    The H2 also suffers from GM’s unlimited assumption that there’s a sucker-customer born ever minute. How else can you explain the plastic shifter feels as crappy, junky, and ‘who-cares’ as the H2’s does (in a “rugged vehicle” no less). And of course, Hummers in Iraq being blown up every six hours doesn’t help the rugged personna.

  • avatar
    jolo

    A friend of mine worked on the audio system for the H3 and had to take the vehicle out for an overnight ride to his house to check out the navigation system. He lives ~50 miles from work and he said he has never seen more middle fingers flying in his direction. People were purposely putting their vehicles in front of him and driving slowly. And it wasn’t even his and he only had it for a day. Wonder how the people explain to their kids why they are getting flipped off in traffic on a regular basis.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    The military hummer HAS a diesel. Why GM did not put diesels in the H2 escapes me. Perhaps enviro rules prohibited it.

    I drove hummers often in the service years ago and these things would go through anything. 2 feet of mud up a 10% grade at 30 mph, no problem. It’s a vehicle that needs to be available, just purchased by people who need it. Grocery runs are a waste of capability.

    But of course that was the original hummer, not the Chevy Suburban version that is the H2.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    The H2 is not the beginning of this saga it was the H1 the real military model made street legal 10 years ago. Every millionaire and gotta have it motor head with money bought one. (For 75K). The suburban based H2 was round two and it was accompanied by a rash of 2 million dollar a copy franchise approved modernistic buildings to sell the things. These mostly GM dealers were told they would be the new jeep dealers with a rash of products that made high margins (compared to gm cars which don't) And guess what, they did. They sold at full list or with add on markups and waiting lists. These new H3's were only 50K each and only about 10K more than the suburban hiding underneath the macho sheet metal. Everyone customer, dealer, and factory won. Now comes $4.00 gas this summer and the 30 gallon tank will cost $100.00+ to fill and you will fill it often at 12mpg. Enter the H3 a fuel efficient 14mpg canyon based underpowered, ute at 35K even though, this last one seemed to be the military ute for the masses, it lacks the same character and is an underperformer with 5 cylyndes. Who ever heard of going off in the wilderness to do battle with five cylinders? So the thing is conflicted, yet the large 2 million dollar showroom it sits in is obviously not yet paid for. Now with volumes and profit margins dropping (not to mention the GM typical resale value hitting the hummer line). How bright is the future for this venture? if gas were to stay between $300 and $4.00, is there any future? When the H1 rambo truck came out 10 years ago we had under $1.00 per gallon fuel in Jersey for one entire summer. That was only about $30.00 to fill the hummer. Enough said.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The H2 (SUV, not the truck) is one of the best styled American cars on the road. I remember when every domestic brand had their identity so well crafted…but that was a long time ago.

    The possible death of the H2 goes right up there with the loss of the Toronado, Cougar, Electra, Thunderbird, Eldorado and most any other famous car name you can think of.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I took the H3 up to our university – a mecca of cultural studies and birkenstock wearing greenies. It only took a minute to receive the middle finger salute, it was awesome. Kind of a retarded vehicle but I had fun in it (even managed to get it stuck and had to call CAA to tow it out).

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    I own a four wheel drive Suburban, and it cannot do half what an H2 can do off road. There is much more than a difference in sheet metal.

    I still prefer the H3 due to the smaller, more trail appropriate dimensions. Oh, and now it has a V8!

  • avatar
    chainyanker

    That airy interior space helps keep my many beautiful female passengers from being overpowered by my abundant testosterone but I’ll wait for the civilian version of this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar_%28vehicle%29

    Now that’s a vehicle worthy of containing my manliness!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    I would say “supposed off-road capabilities.” The thing is way too big for consideration as a serious off-roader. It’s too wide to fit through narrow openings, too long to make tight corners, and its wheelbase it too long to clear many road obstacles.

    When I was in Alabama for the FJ Cruiser event, a guy showed up with his modded H2 (the first one ever seen at this off-road park). Despite a high suspension lift and monstrous tires, the thing was forever getting high-centered and stuck on trails that the Wrangler faithful eased through. Its size precluded it from even attempting several of the trails and by the end of the day, the H2 driver seemed to spend most of his time parked watching the Jeeps and FJs working the obstacles.

    H2s have also become notorious in the off-road community for having poorly protected steering components that frequently break on the trail.

    In my neck of the woods, most of the H2s I see on the road are not for personal or recreational use but by business men/women who are using the big rig as a rolling billboard.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Rather than an iconic picture of the H2 straddling rocks, there ought to be another one doing what most owners do with it: stuck in bumper-to-mismatched-height-bumper traffic.

    Don’t forget the spinners, ‘roo bars, and the rear ladder to climb up onto the roof.

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Contrary to popular belief, very few Hummer H2 buyers were motivated by a desire to make a political statement. This is a damning indictment of said buyers intelligence and consciousness. a large number of consumers chose the Hummer based on its off-road capabilities That particular phrase is used to justify SUVs from every brand, from Acura to Volkswagen. I'll buy that for a Jeep; I'll buy that even for the various Chevy utes, as I've seen them used that way with my own eyes. But every Hummer I've seen has been sparkling clean and located in the noveau-riche exurbs by the same ******** who give BMW a bad name. But go ahead, encourage the terrorists. Nothing says 'I want Osama to own my fat ass' like 'I'm buying a Hummer.'

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    While the H2 isn’t politically correct and the mileage is abysmal I still like it. It’s iconic and when it was introduced I could not tell you a more American vehicle. It was big, brawny, take-no-prisoners, kiss my ass American attitude and offered no apologies.

    I believe GM is bringing out an H4 to compete with the wrangler and a truck based off the same platform. I wouldn’t expect the H2 to be around more than another few years.

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Wonder how the people explain to their kids why they are getting flipped off in traffic on a regular basis. 'Rush Limbaugh says they're all godless pagans. Ignore those ****ers, Bobby Sue. They're going to hell.' Meanwhile, Osama giggles with glee.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Nothing makes me happier than to see the Hummer fad fade, hopefully fading to black. These have to be some of the all time most absurd on road vehicles ever sold. Sure there are a handful of people who have a real use for them, but the ones I see around here are always spotless and are generally driven by young fashionably attired ladies. The point is to show off how much money the driver has available to burn.

    And guess what, when the H2 owner is burning massive quantities of fuel and terrorizing other drivers on the road they are also driving up the price of fuel for the rest of us. You know, supply and demand?

  • avatar
    N85523

    Yep, gotta agree with the comments on the H2’s 4×4 capability. It is better tuned than its 3/4-ton Suburban fraternal twin and can get into more places, but that is not the truck’s core purpose. It’s simply too big and heavy and conventionally engineered (rather than the bigger, heavier, but task-built H1 HUMVEE). It is military only in styling.
    I like my 06 Rubicon. (A post like this had to come from a Jeep guy, didn’t it?) It’s as able as you can get and is more-or-less unassuming in traffic. Even though I work for a coal company and get subtle pleasures from angering hippies, I’d rather enjoy not getting the finger everywhere I go. Scuttle-butt in the 4×4 community has it that a planned H4 Hummer would be aimed directly at the Jeep and be much smaller than the previous H’s. It’d be interesting, but it would have to come with dual live axles and lockers to even think about being a true competitor. Hummer’s future (or lack thereof) will be interesting to watch…

  • avatar

    It always surprises me that people asume that a person is liberal or conservative etc based on their car. I think it says more about the people who flip off the middle finger at the H2 driver than the vehicle chosen by the H2 drivers.

  • avatar
    MR42HH

    Jerry Weber:
    “Who ever heard of going off in the wilderness to do battle with five cylinders?”

    Well, any military that uses Mercedes G-Wagens.

  • avatar

    Wonderful article, and yes I wish I could afford one. Say, five years from now the resale will be down low enough that it’ll be in my budget. And no, I’m not worried about the gas mileage – I use a motorcycle for day to day.

    Raised fingers and pissed off PCer’s? Bring ’em on. I ride a Harley Davidson and have flown colors in motorcycle clubs for the last seventeen years. Do you think I really care what some PC-addled college type thinks? Pissing them off is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    I’m glad GM are pondering trimming Hummer. Firstly, it’s a step (albeit, a small one) to reduce their reliance on SUV’s. This should stand well with the people who WANT GM to succeed (myself, included) and with Wall Street. Secondly, Hummers are falling (or fell?) into the trap that Land Rover fell into a long time ago. During the British Leyland days, Land Rovers were built for one thing and one thing only, to off road! It’s main customers were explorers and people who lived in the countryside. They were NEVER designed to be used in towns and urban situations. But as is the way with modern life, they became “trendy” and Land Rover (or was it Ford?) started mass producing them and sold these gas guzzlers as toys for the middle classes who were gullible enough to believe that once you had a child (singular! A child!) you NEEDED an SUV.

    Likewise, Hummers were used by the army and now can be seen in more urban scenes that war scenes. Personally, I don’t know why people buy them, they’re ugly, they consume petrol faster than George W Bush can invade countries for it and there are much nicer SUV’s out on the market.

    But back to topic, a lot of people believe that GM’s have to look to brand dropping to save them and this could be a good opportunity. If they dropped the Hummer brand they could transfer the designs and technology to GMC instead. Maybe they could do away with GMC and put more work into re-establishing the Hummer brand? It IS a well known brand and I don’t think it’s gone the way of Buick yet. They don’t need TWO SUV brands, do they?

    On a more fatuous note, I’ve firmly believed that people who buy Hummers are men whose “tools” are so small that not even a sports car can make up for the shortfall, therefore they get a Hummer. I call these people “Hummersexuals”! A classic example of a “Hummersexual” is Governor Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger! And he’s got 5…….!

  • avatar

    William C Montgomery:

    In my neck of the woods, most of the H2s I see on the road are not for personal or recreational use but by business men/women who are using the big rig as a rolling billboard.

    Not forgetting the old tax loophole that meant it probably cost them less than a minivan.

  • avatar
    omnivore

    I totally agree that H2 sales are suffering because there are a lot of SUV owners who just want a big SUV without having to run the middle-finger gauntlet. At the same time, though, there is definitely a hard core of buyers who buy it precisely because it is a middle finger to liberals, environmentalists, etc. Those guys (and yes, I’m sure they’re 95% guys) will continue to buy the H2. The question is whether there are enough guys with $50,000 to spend on the world’s largest middle finger to keep GM’s assembly line profitable.

  • avatar

    FYI: I’ve driven the Hummer off-road many times and found it to be quite an amazing machine.

    There’s no way I’d prefer it to a smaller, lighter and less tall Jeep– if only because I always seem to get stuck. Pushing a Hummer out of trouble is so not an option.

    As for the lifestyle H2’ers, it’s weird. I haven’t seen an H2 on the streets of my native RI for a very long time.

  • avatar
    omnivore

    See several of the above posts to illustrate my point.

  • avatar

    Lesley Wimbush: I took the H3 up to our university – a mecca of cultural studies and birkenstock wearing greenies.

    Birkenstock wearing greenies? Ariel Sharon wore these sandals. So I would have thought they’d have gone with the Hummer.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    Liberal or Conservative—-most people make some very incorrect assumptions about lifestyle and political philosophy. Let me illustrate, my most liberal friends tend to have much more means than I and own more expensive automobiles, house(s) stuff. While my conservative friends tend to be very should we say "cheap" and own smaller cars with less extravegant houses. I came to conclusion long ago that Liberals are really only liberal when it comes to other peoples money, while conservatives tend to be tight with their own and others money. The "finger waving" at Hummers is very likely a reaction that stems from a deep sense of envy and jealousy coupled with strong feelings of inadequacy brought about by extreme laziness. Personally I only wave my finger at those that drive cars belching smoke and that need to turn their vehicles into the closest junkyard. Besides the bigger cars are much easier to see and are much less likely to cut in front of you while driving, not like those smaller cars that think they own the road and think they are the ultimate drivers.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    whitenose, you listen to Rush Limbaugh?

  • avatar
    NickR

    Rather than an iconic picture of the H2 straddling rocks, there ought to be another one doing what most owners do with it: stuck in bumper-to-mismatched-height-bumper traffic.

    Absolutely. There are plenty of these bloated, ugly, wasteful vehicles on the streets of Toronto, either sitting in traffic or blundering from lane to lane cutting people off either because their visibility is so poor or because their drivers are selfish and arrogant. The Hummers are almost invariably black and glistening like diamonds, because they spend far more time getting detailed than they do going offroad. And their owners are always, always on the phone, involved in some self aggrandizing discussion, I am sure. I know I sound harsh, but really, if you drive one of these in the city of Toronto, you should get a bumper sticker affixed to it that says ‘Yes, I am an idiot’

    Oh, and GM? Great idea…you really needed another brand.

  • avatar
    thebigmass

    We are discussing a vehicle. A personal choice that each individual is entitled to make. And yet look how it has evolved into a political debate in which some are insulting others merely for exercising their right to buy a truck. I personally think all SUVs are silly and pointless, but isn’t this country beset by enough division and rancor without politicizing an SUV? The left is not alone in this foolishness, as the Prius is similarly a lightning rod for such sentiment. I think both the H2 and the Prius are nothing more than ridiculous style statements, but I don’t begrudge those that buy them. If you like the H2, and don’t mind paying more than I care to imagine for fuel weekly, go ahead and buy one. I wouldn’t be caught dead behind the wheel, but those that are don’t help Osama, don’t have smaller ‘tools’ than average, and don’t lack intelligence. Those of you willing to insult or give the finger to others for their choice should be ashamed. I for one am tired of groups of people who think they know better how others should live their lives than they each individual does. Please reserve your nannying for your children.

  • avatar
    86er

    I too am tired of the pop (pap?) psychology revolving around “what does your choice of car say about you?” and other such nonsense.

    Whether or not the H2 was a symbol of excess in all its forms, I echo Sajeev’s statement bemoaning its loss as a unique vehicle in a sea of sameness, which will (arguably already has) achieve iconic status.

    In a similar thread endorsing the future prospects of the division, the homogenization to the Jeep brand should be instructive to the management of Hummer as a good example of what not to do.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Leaving the heated emotions of partisan social views behind there were also other factors that led to the H2s demise.

    1. As a start the build quality (in particularly the interior) were not in keeping with the expectation of a customer paying $60K.

    2. In order to follow through on the square paramilitary styling theme a lot of visibility (and some practicality) were sacrificed. This is not an easy vehicle to drive in traffic.

    3. The introduction of the GMT900 platform provided superior vehicles for less money. If you want an old-school SUV why not get a new Tahoe which is better in every way.

    4. Fashions have changed. People regard cars a means of expressing their personality (just like clothing and maybe their soft drink of choice) and fashion changes. Large ‘bling’ SUVs are no longer ‘cool’.

    I wouldn’t say H2 drivers are the victims of mischaracterization as there were certainly some buyers that got a little possessed by the aggressive demeanor of their vehicle and its advertising (I should confess at this point that sports cars turn me into a terrible risk-taking driver) but here in Florida I didn’t see too much anecdotal evidence of an endemic hostility towards Hummer owners.

    But maybe now that the trend setters are buying something else may its a chance for GM to turn this division into a real off-road brand to compete with Jeep?

  • avatar
    Jim H

    To most conservatives, I’m a liberal…but to most liberals I’m a moderate. The H2 has no appeal to me. It’s kinda ugly and doesn’t really serve a purpose in my life (note: my life, totally different than everyone else!). It’s just another overpriced vehicle that doesn’t spark interest. The porche (any porche) is the same way. :)

  • avatar

    Gottleib “While my conservative friends tend to be very should we say “cheap” and own smaller cars with less extravegant houses.”

    Yep you got me pegged Xb owner and consevative by voting record but why would anyone assume they know someones beliefs based on the car they drive?

  • avatar
    htn

    H2 and H3 are H1 wannabees. Review of a couple of web sites revealed the following data.

    The H2 is based on the GMT820 platform, the very same platform that provides the underpinnings for the Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon and Avalanche.

    Ground clearance is 10 inches. (Subaru Outback is 8.4 inches and H1 16 inches).

    The H2 also likes gas stations: EPA fuel economy is 10 mpg city and 13 highway.

    Of course, unlike the H1 (the new name for the original Hummer, when AM General branched out and made more than one kind) the H2 has a live axle rear suspension. This is a big mistake for a number of reasons. The first, and probably most significant in an “off-road” vehicle, is ground clearance. A Hummer has a 16″ ground clearance while the H2 only has 10″.

    I can only conclude that buyers of H2s were thinking with their hearts rather than their minds and weren’t willing or able to go for the real thing which is the H1.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned this regarding reasons for the Hummer’s drop in sales:

    The arrival of the FJ Cruiser. While the style of the FJ cruiser can be charitably called “odd” it certainly stands out in the same way that the H2 did, without being as aggressively obnoxious. Given that the FJ has genuine off-road cred, can be had fully loaded for under $30k, and is a Toyota to boot, I’m surprised anybody buys H2s anymore, except, as already stated, to serve as a rolling billboard.

  • avatar
    Qwerty

    Aw, the H2, the automotive equivalent of a comb over, driven by people who think it makes them look like a player. Eventually they figure out that behind their backs at the office people make jokes about their penis size. I have seen several people buy H2s and then quickly get rid of them once they caught on to what others thought.

    Instead of the characterization of H2 haters being granolas, I find the greatest number of loathers are ordinary Honda and Toyota drivers who cannot see around H2s in traffic and fear being involved in an accident with one.

  • avatar
    26theone

    Funny how the H2 gets glares and finger salutes but someone can roll by in a Mercedes that costs twice as much and no one screams about the “waste” and “excess” of that. There are MANY more lux autos on the roads that cost as much as the H2 and use nearly the same fuel and there is no outcry over those. The H2 is a niche vehicle for sure but the Hummer brand is one of the strongest GM has.

  • avatar
    Adam777

    In all seriousness, Hummer ran an ad campaign with the tag line “Restore your manhood.”

    It was the ad where the guy buys a bunch of red meat instead of tofu.

    The tag line was changed VERY soon after the ad aired though. Presumable when someone realized what they were implying with the word “manhood.”

    I would imagine that someone lost their job over that one.

  • avatar
    jd arms

    So the wheels are coming off at Hummer, both literally, and apparently, now figuratively as well. Good riddance. I loathe the Hummer and all it represents. To me it is a symbol of arrogant, willful ignorance; the epitome of the bloated, booring American. The fact that its rise and fall coincided with the Bush Administration’s approval ratings is just delicious irony; the two mirror each other so well. To the Hummer owner I ask, did you really think gasoline prices were going to stay at 2004 levels, and there would be no “blowback” from other drivers? To certain political minds I ask, did you really believe we could occupy and democratize a region and culture as volatile as Iraq? Like I said, willful ignorance.

    I’ve never flipped off a Hummer, though I have shaken my head in disbelief a few times – you know, a “what the heck are they thinking” type of deal – you didn’t have to be some prescient Delphian Oracle to see this coming.

    And no, I’m not some knee-jerk liberal; underpowered, unsafe VW Buses, with patchouli wearing, non-bathing, middle-class college types irritate me too. But then, I don’t remember an advertisement for VW buses like the Hummer advertisement where the little boy builds a “Hummer” soapbox, and then veers off the track and cuts across the landscape to win the race. That advertisement is offensive to those of us who still believe in playing by the rules – not twisting them to meet our own ambitions. The last I checked, those were “conservative” values. Basically, that advertisement was Hummer/GM flipping off those of us who were aware of the implications/connotations associated with such a vehicle.

    Anyway, the market has spoken, and the only finger flipping the bird back to Hummer right now is the finger on Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

  • avatar

    JD Arms, A I liked that commercial and B why are you reading all this this President Bush all that is wrong with America symbolism into a car or its driver? That car (SUV) doesn’t represent anything, Its just a car or SUV.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Many left wingers have given then term “liberals” a bad name. Most of the so-called liberals on this thread are better described as “libertarians”, or folks who subscribe to the laissez-faire philosophy.

    My only beef with the Hummer (and other supersize SUV’s) are that drivers who drive them should be required to be licensed for a different class of vehicles, because the consequences of them being badly driven are more severe. I mean, we have commercial driver licenses, right? Why not two or three driver license categories depending on the size of the vehicle operated?

    Maybe Hummer should introduce a V-shaped hull vehicle reminiscent of the latest anti-IED design. But with better outward visibility, of course.

  • avatar

    Very interesting observation on why the drop in sales, Martin Albright (about 5 comments above).

    This has also been very interesting for all the stereotyping going on, and yes, I’m guilty, too. Guilty guilty guilty! I’ve just been trying hard to resist the temptation. We all have our biases about the world, and we see the world through our own biases. We automatically categorize stuff, because it made staying alive easier for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Its a good idea, when trying to engage in civil discourse, to try to take one’s own biases with a grain of salt. Big SUV, small… oops! There I go again. My brother-in-law drives a Cherokee. And he’s a good family man (minivan people are supposed to be family oriented, while SUV people are supposed to not be, according to marketing stereotypes).

  • avatar

    Ignoring the H2 entirely, I have to question one statement in your piece Mr. Farago:

    “GM must avoid bankruptcy.”

    Why is that?

    Honestly, it seems to me the auto industry fears c11 like cats fear water. That is bizarre given how the UAW holds them by the balls and is pulling them deeper into the quicksand every year. Declare C11, dump the Unions, and get back on track. Worked well for the airlines that managed to pull it off. Those airline that haven’t gone C11, have gotten in bed with the unions, or even worse, put the unions in charge and look what it has done for them… killed or damn near killed them.

    Bankruptcy will likely be the savior of the auto industry. How else will they ever get out of the rut(s) they’ve driven themselves into?

    –chuck

  • avatar
    kken71

    In my neck of the woods, most of the H2s I see on the road are not for personal or recreational use but by business men/women who are using the big rig as a rolling billboard.

    Not forgetting the old tax loophole that meant it probably cost them less than a minivan.

    The tax issue is a major factor. I know a contractor that got a loaded crew cab Chevy pickup for $2,000 once he factored in his tax savings. He got the crew cab so it weighed enough to get the tax break.

    (He had several problems with it in the first year and will never buy another GM product. He still drives his 10 year old 4 cylinder T100 with no a/c unless he needs the extra room or towing capacity.)

  • avatar
    jd arms

    Sherman Lin:

    I certainly don’t think George W. Bush is responsible for all that is wrong with this country; there is ample blame to go around for the problems that ail America. Is that what I said? I was, however, amused by the irony of the demise of the Hummer coinciding with the demise of his approval ratings, something that was noted in the original editorial. I too see parallels between the shortsighted, macho posturing of both Hummer and our foreign policy. You are free to disagree.

    The whole symbolism thing – subjective, I agree. So what do you think the Hummer symbolizes? I know what Hummer’s symbolizes to me, reinforced by the brand’s own advertising campaign and apparently there is some consensus on these boards among strangers of differing backgrounds.

    Or are you saying that cars are not symbols, and signify nothing?

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    Jim H: That’s Porsche pronounced Por-tia, please don’t blaspheme the name of the genius who gave us the Porsche.

    Sherman Lin: As David Holzman says, we like to categorize things and people, gives us some competitive advantage towards our ability to survive in the jungle.

    Besides this can lead to laughter and a chuckle which is proven to be beneficial for the heart and your general well being.

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    “thebigmass” – you are my new hero – can I subscribe to your newsletter?

    Personally, have no desire for a Hummer, but really do not care what other people do. Far more upsetting is the increasing tyranny of the majority in creating a “nanny state”. Most times, like Garbo, I just want to be left alone.

  • avatar
    maxspivak

    The H2’s smooth lines were designed to attract women to the marque. GM ran ads showing attractive gals driving the hulk in ritzy downtown shopping areas. A long way from getting down ‘n dirty on the trail, FWIW.

    The original Hummer was the only true one. The H2 is an abomination, and the H3 is worse. If you want a capable off-road vehicle, any *trail-rated* Jeep–Wrangler, Liberty, Grand Cherokee–should do the trick.

  • avatar

    jd arms my take is that yes vehicles probably symbolize something to the people who ultimately purchase them but as to what is symbolizes it is probably different to the people who simply dislike the vehicle than the buyers.

    I simply feel that the people that identify the H2 to American foriegn policy Geroge Bush etc probably are not seeing what the people who purchased said vehicles sees. I just don’t think someone says gee I want to show support for GWB and the boys in Iraq by buying an H2.

    As another example some people who hate the Prius see it as a symbol of left wing greenpeace enviromonental types. I may purchase a Prius as my next vehicle and I am a right leaning republican type and I simply want a a car that maximizes mileage. As for myself I currently drive an Xb because I want something that can carry things and still get outstanding gas mileage. I respect people whatever their political beliefs are I simply don’t see the political conenction that so many seem to have with the cars people drive.

  • avatar

    I don’t understand why so many people who could afford to buy so much fun (in the form of, say, the cars that made it to the TBAG list) go out and buy things that handle like my parents’ old ’63 Chevy II, or the Volare. But I like that there wasn’t a single SUV on the TBAG list, although I wouldn’t have begrudged the Wrangler.

  • avatar

    Gottleib I agree but just so you know I don’t give the finger to anyone and its not because I am a nice guy…although I am a nice guy

    its that I don’t want to get shot in a road rage incident.

  • avatar
    shrique

    My $0.02

    The H1 I love. It’s huge and mean and actually CAN go anywhere. The people that drive that thing have to give up LOTS to do it. Comfort, mileage, speed, $$$$$ and hearing, on long journeys at least.

    The H2 is a poseur vehicle. 99% of them NEVER go offroad. It’s huge, hard to park, massive blindspots and thirsty. You get to put up with a mid 90’s “pods-n-plastic” interior from Pontiac and cushy seats from an 80’s Buick. The interior isn’t even that big. In a way I think of them as a the huge brother of the Mini, but at least with all the Mini posing you get a car that is fun to drive. All you get with an H2 is ‘tude. Now i will say the new interior they are/were going to put in looked dang nice compared to what was in there.

    H3? Kinda an odd vehicle. It doesn’t seem like there is enough going for it to make it compete. Not sure of the sales numbers though. Around here I never see them. I think they would have done better to build something like the Wrangler. At least then with the slow-going you could take the top off.

    Not that anyone is going to read this after so many posts anyway. (GRIN)

  • avatar
    Turbo G

    I was just in a position to purhcase a large body on frame SUV to use as a family hauler/ off roader here on the terrible roads of Northern Mexico. I looked a number of lightly used examples of such trucks (I couldn’t stomach the depreciation associated with a new larger SUV) and the Hummer products often looked quite worn for the miles. Wrinkled, worn leather seats and the antediluvian GMT-800 based interior closed the door on any Hummer purchase. Why hasn’t this car been updated to the new platform yet? Anyways, the wife ended up in a lightly used Toyota Land Cruiser. Same lousy gas mileage, more reliable platform, no middle fingers.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    mr42hh Yes mercedes has a five cylinder but it is a diesel with lots of torque (twisting kpower) to take a gladenwagen around, not an underpowered low compression gas motor ala H-3.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    # Sherman Lin:
    May 25th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    JD Arms, A I liked that commercial and B why are you reading all this this President Bush all that is wrong with America symbolism into a car or its driver? That car (SUV) doesn’t represent anything, Its just a car or SUV.

    The SUV doesn’t represent anything? The entire automotive marketing industry would certainly disagree. Same for cars, not just SUVs.

    The H2: hate-able for its road-hogging ways, not just its gas guzzling. Somewhat admirable for GM’s ability to sell a $30k vehicle for $50k.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    Geeze. The automotive industry spends billions of dollars and uses the skills of the best advertising minds on the planet to create an emotional attachment to a brand. So is there any wonder why a car brand triggers such stereotypical reactions?

    They sell cars not as transportation appliances, but as personal statements of you you are. Actually, they sell them as statements of you wish you were, but I digress.

    So of course the Hummer brand is marketed as a rolling f**k-you billboard. There is nothing wrong with that. If you have the money, and you want to make such a statement, then go ahead. Its a free country.

  • avatar

    Maybe GM should follow in Jeep’s footsteps and release a Hummer version of the HHR.

    I am only half joking…

  • avatar
    Ryan

    I can’t help but wonder how it would affect Hummer sales if their marketing didn’t cash in so much on the macho posturing crap, and simply portrayed the lineup as go-anywhere vehicles.

    Yeah, I despise the H2, and more importantly, what it stands for. Even if it’s only the right-wing equivalent of a Prius, at least the Prius was simply designed to be efficient. A certain kind of smug asshole may have gravitated to it, but that was never Toyota’s intention. The H2, on the other hand, was always meant to look like an H1 (for people who loved what it stood for, without wanting to put up with the defecits that came with driving a military vehicle). And I doubt a significant percentage of H2 drivers take them further offroad than a Tahoe could go.

    The only redeeming moment I can think of for the H2 is seeing one with the bumper sticker “Free all axe murderers.”

  • avatar
    John Williams

    jolo: “A friend of mine worked on the audio system for the H3 and had to take the vehicle out for an overnight ride to his house to check out the navigation system. He lives ~50 miles from work and he said he has never seen more middle fingers flying in his direction. People were purposely putting their vehicles in front of him and driving slowly. And it wasn’t even his and he only had it for a day. Wonder how the people explain to their kids why they are getting flipped off in traffic on a regular basis.”

    Put some large, shiny custom rims and limo tint on it and you won’t get flipped off. They’ll assume you’re a person of Afro-American descent and for the most part, leave you alone.

    Now the cops, that’s another story.

  • avatar
    John Williams

    Another question of mine is how come the unwashed libs are so quick to flip off H2 and H3 drivers, yet won’t give a second glance to the guy driving a Porsche Cayenne, which usually gets equally crappy gas mileage?

    Probably the same reason why the ELF idiots never target BMW or Porsche dealerships for arson.

  • avatar

    Couldn’t care less about the politics of this car – it’s just not very good at what it’s claimed it can do.
    I love offroad vehicles, and I love laughing at people who try to take an H2 offroad, there’s always someone showing up who thinks it can go anywhere. And the rest of us have to spend time pulling them out of trouble.

    It’s just another “let’s build it for the big margin” vehicle from GM, expressing the kind of thinking that got the company into trouble in the first place.

    The H1 is a tool, yet will get outrun by a Discovery in terrain (and the Discovery doesn’t have to stay within spitting distance of a gas station). The H2 is a joke, and the punchline is on the owners.

    @John Williams
    People driving Cayennes is just sad – as are Cayenne sales figures.

  • avatar
    nino

    Sajeev Mehta:
    May 25th, 2007 at 9:41 am

    The H2 (SUV, not the truck) is one of the best styled American cars on the road. I remember when every domestic brand had their identity so well crafted…but that was a long time ago.

    The possible death of the H2 goes right up there with the loss of the Toronado, Cougar, Electra, Thunderbird, Eldorado and most any other famous car name you can think of.

    I don’t think so.

    The cars you mentioned had style and a certain competence. The styling of the H2 is the modern equivalent of tailfins, fender portholes, and chromed bullitt grilles, lacking both style and competence.

    They are the “ostentatious” of the 21st century.

    I frankly find clown car H2 Hummers offensive at a time when soldiers are dying in real ones.

  • avatar
    nino

    26theone:
    May 25th, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Funny how the H2 gets glares and finger salutes but someone can roll by in a Mercedes that costs twice as much and no one screams about the “waste” and “excess” of that. There are MANY more lux autos on the roads that cost as much as the H2 and use nearly the same fuel and there is no outcry over those. The H2 is a niche vehicle for sure but the Hummer brand is one of the strongest GM has.

    Because the cars you mentioned are actually GOOD at doing something else other than using up gas.

    I don’t care about the politics of a Hummer driver. However, I do question the need to pay a fortune for a vehicle that drinks a ton of gas, and does nothing well.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Maybe GM should follow in Jeep’s footsteps and release a Hummer version of the HHR.

    I am only half joking…

    I once saw a bumper sticker on a Honda Element that read “When I grow up I want to be a Hummer!”

    It’s too bad that GM sold their interest in Subaru. A badge-engineered Forester would need only a few styling tweaks to pass for a small-scale Hummer.

    Maybe they can come up with a squared-off, boxy restyled Equinox to wear the Hummer badge.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The H1 I love. It’s huge and mean and actually CAN go anywhere. The people that drive that thing have to give up LOTS to do it. Comfort, mileage, speed, $$$$$ and hearing, on long journeys at least.

    I’ve always heard that the H1 drove like an empty U-Haul truck!

    And it is much too wide to drive on the mountain trails where one would take most 4×4 SUVs. This is in contrast to the admittedly heavy-weight, but still sensibly-sized, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens and Land Rovers.

    The places where you can actually go in an H1 are decidely limited and you can hardly go anywhere in one.

  • avatar
    John

    The problem with hummer is that both the H2, and H3 are just caricatures of the original. That’s what they really look like. A high schoolers sketch of some pumped up Humvee.
    Most H2 and H3 owners I’ve seen were just posers with gold chains around their necks. The only difference between the two was their income level. They buy them to look cool, but thats about it. Problem with that is that the posers eventually move on to something else. It’s started with the H2, and will filter down to the H3 as well. Too bad AM General doesn’t make the H1 anymore. Now that was the real deal.While I haven’t driven the civilian version, I have extensive experience in the military HMMWV(high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle). Too bad the Army doesn’t sell them as surplus. I’d buy one in a heart beat.

  • avatar
    John

    Johnster.

    You’d be surprised. I’ve taken the military HMMWV through some pretty tight spaces. While it is wider than most vehicles, an experienced driver will know what he can and can’t get between, and drive around what he can’t. Of course the big weakness of the military version is the lack of a turbo on the diesel engine, the armored versions get the turbo but the extra weight more than cancels out the extra power. The weight does suck in some conditions too. Especially in really nasty mud. Gotta be careful there. Thank God for winches, tow bars, and tow straps! I’ve seen them buried up to the frame in mud. That really sucks. Over all I’d say that it is a very capable off-roader though.

  • avatar

    In military wargames, sections equipped with more mobile troop carriers, Land Rovers or Geländewagens are running circles around HMMWV equipped opponents, beating them on maneuverability, speed in terrain, mobility, freedom from obstacles and mileage. The HMMWV is made for flat desert, apparently.
    Can’t really see the advantage – except to the contractor who got paid for this bloatmobile.

  • avatar
    durailer

    The H2 is dead…long live the H2.

    Even though the H3 is selling well, GM would be wise to quit while they’re ahead and lay the Hummer marque to rest.

    I think that history might look upon Hummer as a rare example of GM “getting it”. Here was then the world’s largest automaker, stumbling upon a niche market of uber-macho SUV drivers, and catering to their needs by deploying their obscure military contractor wing to produce the H1. Once the niche market expanded (logic and ethics notwithstanding), GM smartly parts-bin engineers a couple of smaller cousins from ordinary truck platforms, raking in huge profits all the way.

    Now if only they could be this smart when it comes to selling cars…

  • avatar

    Sherman Lin: As another example some people who hate the Prius see it as a symbol of left wing greenpeace enviromonental types. I may purchase a Prius as my next vehicle and I am a right leaning republican type and I simply want a a car that maximizes mileage.

    There is a group of Republicans who are touting high mileage cars as a means towards making the country more secure. (Sorry, I can’t remember who th e ringleaders are.)

  • avatar

    Another question of mine is how come the unwashed libs are so quick to flip off H2 and H3 drivers, yet won’t give a second glance to the guy driving a Porsche Cayenne, which usually gets equally crappy gas mileage?

    The Cayenne is ugly (I use it as “C” in the ugly car alphabet when helping my girlfriend get to sleep), but it does not look mean or arrogant. In fact, the Cayenne is almost cute-ugly.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Like most things not good for the environment, the government subsidizes the H2 when a business buys one.

    People in “blue” states should check the hate. Only a very few of us use vehicles that are at all environmentally sound unless its by comparison to the others of us. In fact, if you aren’t on the bus or a bike (not a bike made out of carbon fiber by the way), maybe you should just keep your comments and gestures to yourselves.

    I love to find people who are all about how SUV’s are rotten, and then compare gas use with them (I don’t drive a lot because my wife and I think commuting is silly). They come up with all sorts of “but’s” to cover their butts, BUT the real thing they need to do is get over themselves.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    Bring back the H1…

    Cause that makes the H2 look like a Toyota Prius.

    :-P

  • avatar
    andrewg

    “In military wargames, sections equipped with more mobile troop carriers, Land Rovers or Geländewagens are running circles around HMMWV equipped opponents, beating them on maneuverability, speed in terrain, mobility, freedom from obstacles and mileage.”

    Complete agreement here. The UNIMOG is unreal in its capabilities. It can fit into tight places, run auxiliary equipment through a pto, go through deep water, up steep grades and over large obstacles, has extremely low gearing and more efficient diesels.

    They are a not very common in the US, however.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    On my driveway right now, I have a 1988 Isuzu Trooper SE. 120k right miles, Southern Car, 5-speed, 4WD capable (high and low), bought it for $650.

    It has more ground clearance than the Hummer.

    It has more usable interior space than the Hummer. In fact a 7 footer could drive this thing.

    It has virtually no blind spots (the rear tire does peak over the rear window).

    It’s a LOT of fun to drive. When I’m in this thing, I feel like I’m driving a real classic SUV.

    GM should really bring out something like this for the Hummer. Make it utilitarian, functional, and the outright best when it comes to the off-road. People would buy it. In fact, they could probably bump sales over the 100k mark if they put in a good diesel.

    Excuse me… I’m going to go drive it again now.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    A real HUMMVEE, what is known as the H1, has now been discontinued for the civilian market. While the H2 had some ability to go off-road, it couldn’t match the H1. Of course, the width of the H1, and at last check, its $100,000 plus price-tag, ensured it left the civilian market, faster than Danny Patrick lapping Indy.

    And as editor Farago noted, the political-incorrectness of the H1, of any HUMMVEE or Hummer for that matter, ensured a small market, in most major American cities. (The Stranger, a publication that fancies itself “Seattle’s best newspaper” regularly takes off on those who believe that automobiles or motorcycles are still the preferred transport over a bus or Sound Transit, by declaring them to be “Hummer drivers.”)

    But then, there are other factors. For off-road capabilities that match any Hummer, Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler Rubicon can do the job for about $30,000. And if you need a boat towed, while carrying four adults in comfort, the well-named Nissan Armada, will tow about 9,000 pounds.

    Thing is, few enough people know what the Armada is (or was, in the case of Sir Francis Drake’s opponent) so the market remains small for them; ironically enough, considering the very grith of the behemoth SUV. Of course, that might be good, as far as negotiating a deal with a Nissan dealer, and also avoiding the slings and Molotov cocktails of Earth Firsters. The words “they’ll never know what hit them” come to mind. Just kidding! Hey, some of my best friends are environmentalists (and me too, to a degree limited by the law).

  • avatar
    John

    Stein X Leikanger:

    I can’t comment on your referenced “war Games”. I will say that I’ve used the HMMWV in both training and war. The big problem is that it was designed to take on too many roles. Being a jack of all trades, master of none. There are troop carrier, cargo, weapons carrier(what we call a gunship), and ambulance versions, not to mention the armored versions. I’m sure I still left some off. I’d still say it’s pretty damn capable. I’d certainly take it over a wrangler, or a Defender. Obviously it is not the best off roader in the world. And no it wasn’t “made for flat desert”. It was designed at the height of the cold war, with Europe as the primary battleground. Of the readers on this site I’m probably one of the few who have taken a military HMMWV off road, on road and everywhere in between. They absolutely have limitations. But so does every vehicle. As far as Geländewagens and Land Rovers running circles around them? Well, I would not hesitate to go up against them any time in a real world situation off road. On road I’m sure they would be much more capable as the HMMWV’s are not all that great in that arena. But in military terms it works. I’m a scout and use the gunship version for that purpose. I have no doubt in the world of my crew’s capability in that vehicle. I’ve been to Iraq and will be going to Afghanistan next year. I’m perfectly content to do so in my HMMWV.

  • avatar

    >>Of the readers on this site I’m probably one of the few who have taken a military HMMWV off road, on road and everywhere in between. They absolutely have limitations. But so does every vehicle. As far as Geländewagens and Land Rovers running circles around them? Well, I would not hesitate to go up against them any time in a real world situation off road.

    That would be a damned interesting race–although I’m not about to endorse it, just because I think motorized vehicles don’t belong off the road.

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    I've driven H1's and H2's off road and the H2 is still unbelievably capable, but we are in an age now where you just dont need this in a vehicle, particularly this size. People have mentioned Land Rover before and complained it moved away from its core offroading. Hummer should move the way Land Rover did. Its all about brand survival and brands survive by evolving and moving with the times. Land Rover kept its heritage and capabilities, yet went upmarket where the market was, and where the market wanted to go. Allowing for a premium to be charged. If Hummer had a vehicle that was specifically no-holds barred off-roader like the Defender to keep credibility, and movede the H2 and H3 upmarket then the brand would be more realistic and have a long term survivability. The trouble is the H2 is killing and saving the brand at the same time through its poor image and economy to the profits from what sales it makes and its capability. Hummer lost one halo vehicle, i dont think the H2 is the halo replacement, unless its taken up market like the Range Rover. H4's been announced the transition is in place, and the responsibility to be more environmentally friendly is not falling on deaf ears, smaller is better, maybe this could be the new halo vehicle for the brand. lets see what the future holds. As arguably GM's strongest brand through its understanding and DNA, the general would be stupid to dissolve it. It just needs evolving. Imagine a small Hummer with an hybrid electrical drive like Land Rover has announced, the eco freaks would be happy and so would the rock crawlers. Now that would be a good future for Hummer. As for the world in general, Hummer is an easy target for the eco freaks, people dont flip off porsche and mecerdes drivers as aspirationally we want to be where they are more than where the Hummer driver is. Aren't double standards great.

  • avatar
    lmpartial

    I also see the H2 SUV as one of the more interesting and distinctly American vehicles out there. And for that I love it. Like it or not it’s already a classic. Both for its looks and the attitude many people seem to assume it represents.

    Flipping people off or jumping to conclusions about the occupants based on the vehicle they’re in is incredibly silly and immature. I understand the reason why these vehicles provoke such a reaction, but think the act of flipping someone off is possibly more aggressive than the vehicle it’s directed at. Who has the most attitude then?

    It wouldn’t be a daily driver, but I’d buy a Hummer H2 as a second recreational vehicle. Just because it has more character than many of the nondescript econoboxes occupying our roads today. Whether you love it or hate it I think it has helped to add contrast to our automotive landscape and make things more interesting.

    When we look back nostalgically at the cars we remember from the past, they all have character. Sadly, I think that is something that is often missing in modern automotive design. I’d be happy to choose a car with personality over one with none. I know it is essentially a reskinned suburban sold at an inflated price, but which stirs up more emotions?

    When the H2s start to disappear from our roads I think they will be remembered with as much love and hate as the 59 Caddy for its gaudy excess and imposing presence. Controversy is always a great source of interest in human culture. Vive la difference!

  • avatar
    fallout11

    This website really says it all regarding the entire Hummer line:
    http://www.hummerh8.com/
    An entire line of vehicles intended for Viagra-chugging Neanderthals with severe inferiority complexes, desperate for something to visibly enhance their tiny manhoods.

    The H2 is a joke offroad, no serious off-roader, mud bogger, or rock crawler would give them a second glance. Too heavy, too large, often high-centered, poorly guarded drivetrain components, terrible visibility, and handles like a 8-ton truck, yet totally lacking in all that makes the HMWWV a useful military vehicle (yet another ex-soldier here).
    Rather, most are blinged up, detailed out, and driven poorly on suburban commutes to the local gas station and soccer practice, usually by drivers unaware of the gaping blind spots in the vehicle’s arc of visibility. I’ve seen several locally with honest to God bullet holes in them from what I presume to be other peeved off drivers (and this down in the Red State gun owning Deep South).
    Some have become rolling billboards, with 3-sided LCD advertisement displays mounted on top, no doubt an attempt to mitigate the inordinate cost of actually operating one of these overcompensating wanna-be poser clownmobiles.
    As with many of GM’s other brands, The End cannot come to soon. Bag it and toe tag it.

  • avatar
    sharn

    After looking at numerous SUV’s my wife and I decided on the Hummer H3. It wasn’t much different than other mid size SUV’s and basically the 0 interest and 2g cash back sold us. We also own a Corvette and a Toyota Prius. For winter we wanted something safe to drive and also needed a vehicle to transport 2 15ft sea kayaks, mountain bikes as well as our 2 Irish Wolfhounds. Who are we? My wife’s a grade school teacher, myself an IT manager. I see that we have been profiled as rich businesses folk, driving a billboard and feeding the Middle East’s oil devils. And now I have to look for people giving me the finger too? I should be able to drive what I want without someone making assumptions of who I am or what I think because of my transportation. Plenty of other vehicles to pick on, but why stop there. What about big houses? Big Boats? Where does it stop? I mean really, other than the look, what does the H3 have that numerous other SUV’s don’t – Nothing. Gets roughly the same gas mileage as half the other cars I see one the road. I don’t even know why I justify myself. 

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