GM on Hummer: "No One Criticizes a Bulldozer for Its Gas Mileage"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Hummer is GM's only coherent brand. They have two models endowed with an instantly recognizable Picasso-friendly (cubist) appearance. Love 'em or hate 'em (and most people are firmly in the latter camp), everyone knows what a Hummer is: an overweight off-roader with a cheap, cramped cabin and/or a pseudo-military middle finger salute to any idea of fuel conservation. For reasons best left to students of the story The Golden Goose, USA Today reports that "General Motors wants people to start thinking about Hummers as big old trucks built to do a job, instead of as gas-guzzling SUVs for the rich." According to J.D. Power, Hummer doesn't deserve that rep. "The name Hummer connotes a much more gas-guzzling vehicle than really is on the road today," Jon Osborn declaims. "Really, it gets about the same or as good gas mileage as several other (SUVs)." Oh, that's alright then. Anyway, the new game plan: sell Hummers as vehicles built to do a job– that just happen to get 14mpg (or less). "Late last year, GM began airing ads that show other 'tools'— firefighters' gear, a flare gun, a climbing rope— and then show a Hummer, which the ad says can scale 60-degree [sic] inclines. In another commercial, newspaper clippings about blizzards and floods dissolve into a Hummer forging through the disasters to help. Both ads end with the tag line: 'Purpose built.'" Hummer owners may be saving the world, but environmentalists aren't buying it (literally). But then, why would they?

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  • KixStart KixStart on Feb 21, 2008

    Quasimondo, "Hell, you can say the same thing about a Prius. Fool yourselves into thinking you got it because it’s an ultra sipper, but how many folks would put their money down on a Corolla if that had a hybrid variant?" Again? A Corolla hybrid wouldn't get the same fuel economy; the Prius' shape has significantly lower drag. You might as well ask this about the Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. The Prius offers more luggage space, significantly better fuel economy and has a lower sticker price.

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Feb 21, 2008
    The average everyday person dosen’t need the capabilities of a Hummer. How much off road terrain is traversed on the way to the nearest mall, school or soccer field????? The average everyday person doesn't need the capabilities of a Honda Accord, either. A base model Fit would work for many of them. As was said earlier, I have never seen a dirty Hummer. Much like I can’t remember seeing a clean Wrangler off a dealer lot. I see very few 'dirty' Wranglers. Maybe more of them go off-road, but most of them are just as clean as most Hummers. Just because the owners of a particular vehicle don't use it for it's intended purpose or to its maximum capability doesn't make it a bad vehicle. There are plenty of good reasons to criticize Hummers; the interiors aren't great (they are much better in 2008), the H2 is too big for trails, although it is capable, and the H3 5-cylinder is underpowered (remedied by the Alpha). I'll ask again; how many Corvettes actually see track time or even spirited driving on the road? I would be the percentage is fairly low.

  • Radimus Radimus on Feb 21, 2008
    If you off road and have a large family - I can forgive the Hummer or Excursion owner. If you have a large family you won't be buying a Hummer unless you consider three kids a large family. You'll be buying a Suburban, or Tahoe with a third row seat if you need better approach and retreat angles. HOPE's web site: Their video looks like a slick GM PR job. I wonder how much they get from GM in donations. I still don't understand what a Hummer H2 gets you that a slightly modified Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon doesn't. Here's a stock 2002 Tahoe climbing a hill that looks a bit steeper than 60%:

  • AKM AKM on Feb 21, 2008
    I see very few ‘dirty’ Wranglers. Maybe more of them go off-road, but most of them are just as clean as most Hummers. Especially the new 4-door wranglers. Haven't seen a dirty one yet.