By on October 21, 2019

With last week’s tentative agreement between the United Auto Workers and General Motors, the end of the now six-week-long strike seemed closer than ever. GM hourly workers in the U.S. have until the end of the week to decide whether to approve the contract deal; if it gets the thumbs-up, the strike’s over.

Amid all of this labor news came a couple of tidbits, both of which stand to make the UAW happy. The first involves a resurrected nameplate built in Mexico, the other, a defunct GM brand that didn’t survive the company’s recession-era bankruptcy.

Despite being south of the Rio Grande, production of the Mexican-built Chevrolet Blazer finally ground to a stop on Friday after U.S.-sourced parts dried up. The Blazer, you’ll recall, came up frequently in the lead-up to the contract talks as the latest example of how GM, like other domestic automakers, was outsourcing assembly to lower-cost jurisdictions. Hardly a popular model among those concerned about retaining American jobs.

Earlier this year, the UAW called for a boycott of the midsize crossover, forcing GM to remove a bright red Blazer from a Detroit’s Comerica Park stadium to keep some of the peace. News of their labor action impacting production of the model might leave a smile on the face of more than a few UAW members.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer front quarter

“Production of the Blazer will be down until the strike is done,” GM Spokesman Dan Flores told the Detroit Free Press. “But production of the Equinox is running normally at Mexico and Canada plants.”

Perhaps more consequential was an uncorroborated claim that the $3 billion destined for GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in the proposed labor contract could resurrect the Hummer name. Like Pontiac, Hummer fell victim to the restructuring and cost cutting of a decade ago, but the name could return to future electric models built at the plant, sources told Reuters.

While GM made it known, via the tentative agreement, that it plans to build a Ford-fighting electric pickup at Detroit-Hamtramck, that product, plus vans and a battery module assembly operation, may not be the extent of it.

From Reuters:

GM’s BT1 program includes an electric pickup for the GMC brand and an electric SUV for Cadillac, both due in 2023, the sources said.

Before then, GM plans to begin low-volume production in late 2021 of the first BT1 model, a pickup, under a different brand, the source said. A performance variant of the pickup will be added to that brand in 2022, followed by an electric SUV in 2023.

One of the sources said the Hummer name is “under consideration” but a decision has not been finalized. The pickup is codenamed “Project O.”

Bringing back the Hummer name would make plenty of sense given the overwhelming presence of SUVs and crossovers in America’s vehicle mix. Unlike the Saturn Astra, everyone and their kids knows what a Hummer is, despite the name being dead for 10 years. The sources claim the SUVs would share the same common architecture as the pickups, placing the products within reach of profitability.

Should the Hummer name affix itself to a green model, it would stand in stark contrast to the previous Hummer, which guzzled fuel like a WW2 aircraft carrier facing stiff headwinds. The Hummer brand was, and still is, synonymous with gargantuan, brash, eco-negligent, status-seeking vehicles; this move, if it comes to pass, would be a reformation of the name. Can years of stigma be erased with a battery pack? Past sins sometimes aren’t forgiven, though to those not especially given to environmental activism, the name recognition alone might be enough to have some truck lovers thinking Hummer once again.

[Image: General Motors, Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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62 Comments on “GM News: Strike Enters Week 6, a Model the UAW Hates Grinds to a Halt, and the Return of Hummer?...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    No, stay the hell away. Unlike Jeep/Range Rover, the Hummer brand produced 3 fully off-road capable vehicles, not a single vehicle left factory without full time AWD, BoF construction, and minimal off-road equipment.

    The only thing GM has been good at doing for the last 10 years is destroying nameplates with lackluster products that would embarrass Chinese automakers from selling.

    Keep the Bloody Mary Regime away from all future product possibilities.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      They may be BOF but the H2 was not known for its robust suspension in the rough stuff.

      Also, BOF does not always translate to a better structure for going off road.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        “Also, BOF does not always translate to a better structure for going off road.“

        Example otherwise? I’m not saying a Crown Vic is going to be off-road champ, but evidence supports that off-road abuse is not going to be tolerated by anything less than a full length ladder frame. Up to this point I haven’t seen evidence to the contrary.

        My H2 has been an excellent off-roader and has been beat within an inch of its life since a week after I bought new. The suspension has been good to me stock, however I have updated some steering components with duramax sled pulling components that have made the weak point either the frame or the steering box at this point, neither of which I fear breaking any time soon.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        For light offroad duty (gravel, rocks, dirt, snow) just about anything with AWD/4WD will work – unibody or BOF.

        For medium to heavy offroad duty (rocks, boulders, mud, water fording), BOF construction is almost mandatory unless you have a fat repair wallet and dont mind dealing with hidden unibody bends, flexes, and cracks.

        I do agree on not resurrecting the Hummer nameplate. It is equally loved and despised, and the H2 was the bane of many a mechanic and owner.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “ light offroad duty (gravel, rocks, dirt, snow)”

          If this is the definition of off-roading then I’ve done more off-roading in my SS sedan than 80% of Jeep owners. The high ground clearance of pre-1960 vehicles made them more capable than the AWD unibodies sold as off-road vehicles today.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I’d love to see a truly innovative and capable electric- or even better series diesel hybrid- hummer. there are so many potentially great things you can do with electric in a 4wd. All that torque dealt out to each individual wheel as needed by separate amazingly responsive and torquey motors would be incredible. And I know the military is interested in vehicles like this.

    Unfortunately, it would be more likely to be an AT4 equinox with the grill from a sierra and eyebrow headlights in GM’s current state.

  • avatar

    The last Hummer was one of the most despised and lowest-rated GM vehicle in the last few decades. To think any rational person would buy an EV version of this monstrosity is ridiculous. The union will not fall for this vaporware. If this is the kind of vehicles GM wants to build at Hamtramck then the plant has a tenuous future.

    This is yet another awful product idea from GM management. An electric hummer proposal actually insults the intelligence of union members.

    GM’s stock was at a new yearly low today so I believe the strike will continue.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Resale on those is insane, there is demand for them whether its the nameplate or the model’s capabilities. Now would this translate into some sort of EV? I’m really not sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I was looking at an 09 H2 LE Silver, iirc it has 65k miles, I was excited as it looked garage kept and was all original, until I saw the price of $39,900. It sold within two weeks of hitting the lot. I thought that was a bit much for a 10 year old truck.

        But when I was shopping around for my SS sedan I drove to one dealer and they insisted they make an offer on my 03 H2 with at the time I believe 235k miles, they offered $10k flat and I was floored for a fairly stock, off-road rashed paint, though well mechanically kept truck that was 14 years old at the time. If I wasn’t in love with the truck it would have been gone.

        There’s an 99 H1 HMC4 for sale near me for $55,000, I’ll keep my HMCO open top though.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Who thinks up this stuff? The Hummer crowd views electrification of vehicles as a pinko commie gubbmint going after their freedom. Those who are aligned toward environmental protection view Hummers as the vehicular equivalent of Donald Trump. Sheesh. Talk about stupidity. Either bring back Hummer as a real Hummer or produce electric trucks. Maybe even both. But there is no branding overlap possible.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I want to second MrIcky’s comment above.

    The way to rehabilitate the Hummer brand among the general public while keeping its credibility among its fans would be to build off-road vehicles with an electric motor at each hub, or at least separate electric motors with torque-vectoring capability at each axle. That technology could result in vehicles more capable off-road than anything for sale today.

    Nothing else seems workable. Bringing back old-style Hummers would reinforce hatred of the brand among many of the people. On the other hand, turning it into a soft-roader brand would just kill the brand entirely.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    No, No, No. As others have stated those who loved the Hummer will despise GM for doing this and those who are green will not want to be associated with the image of a huge gas guzzling vehicle. Both groups will not buy this and most will boycott GM products. No more Government bailouts let GM die or be sold off if this is what their best and brightest are coming up with. The new Silverados are an insult to any Chevy fan and resurrecting the Hummer name for a new electric appliance is a travesty. Barra and GM management need to be fired otherwise GM will not exist for very much longer.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    During the reign of the “car czar” in 2009 it looked like gasoline would forever rise in price and thus Hummer seemed like a bad proposition going forward.
    Then fracking kicked in bigtime and ten years later we’re buying gas for two bucks a gallon.

    Hummer would have made huge profits for GM had it been around. And my Caddy dealer wouldn’t be located in a goofy curved topped building that looks like a glam quonset hut.

    • 0 avatar

      Fracking does not mean that now you have to waste oil as if there is no future. Oil is a precious product used to produce anything containing carbon and polymers. The worst thing you can do with it is to burn it with no meaningful outcome. It is a strategic reserve you better keep for future. Resources are not limitless. Until of course you can harvest it from other planets for reasonable price.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        There’s more known oil now that at any time in history. Extracting it is the key to the US digging itself out of a century of progressive malignancy. All we need to do is get out of the middle east and stop securing Europe’s trade routes. Our oil will suddenly give us the trade balance and wealth we need to ride out Europe’s imminent dark age.

        • 0 avatar
          namesakeone

          The biggest problem with oil is American attitudes about it. I think we Americans generally want everyone else to conserve to save for future generations, end global warming, etc. For ourselves, we want the three-row SUV, the disposable diapers, the plastic everything, and the freedom to not worry about anything.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m still not sure how automakers are going to reasonably scale from something like the Bolt or Leaf to EV full-sized trucks/SUVs in 3 years.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The challenge is in the middle. With a big truck you can just stick in a really big battery and still come out with a curb weight and price that are acceptable to some part of the market. (And you can also use a smaller battery and still have enough range for fleets.) Motors are cheap.

      I think the hardest class to electrify at reasonable cost will be the large CUV segment, at least until people realize they really don’t need 300 miles of range in an EV. The vehicles are heavy enough that more battery than a Bolt is needed, but people won’t accept three-ton curb weights, and packaging is critical.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        How much would you expect a 250 mile range AWD Yukon XL BEV to cost?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I suppose it depends on whether you expect GM to keep the filthy profit margins it commands on the gas BOF SUVs.

          I think you’d need a 100-110 kWh battery to get a Yukon XL to 250 miles of range. At today’s battery costs, that’s $20k+ for the battery. Take out $5k+ for the gas engine and transmission, and you’re probably looking at a $15k cost differential to GM. If GM wants to keep its current margins, your electric AWD Yukon XL will start a bit over $70k and top out around $95k (so basically Escalade prices). If GM accepted margins more like the ones it earns on cars, you could probably cut somewhere between $5k and $10k off those prices.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “the filthy profit margins it commands on the gas BOF SUVs.”

            The “filthy” profit margins exist because of the surplus utility that gasoline powered vehicles create. Without them, the parasites who drive EVs will have to pay their own ways to the concentration camps demanded by their own avarice and idiocy.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The Saudi royals are very pleased indeed with your messaging.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I suspect the Sauds are on the way out, the only question is who replaces them.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            On the one hand: they are some of the most despicable human beings on the planet and eminently deserve replacement.

            On the other hand: the process of replacing them, if involuntary, will make all prior bloodshed in the Middle East look like a gentle disagreement.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Listen dal20402, and I really want you to internalize this, the ONLY reason the Saudis matter is because of vile pieces of Obama like yourself who have objected to domestic oil production at every juncture. Don’t pretend I’m remotely as stupid as Democratic voters. I’ve been fighting this battle since before you started consciously ignoring the child raping of the people you support. Don’t pretend there are more despicable people on the earth than you. You’re delusional if you think that.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            You would be lucky to be as “stupid” as a Democratic voter.

          • 0 avatar
            N8iveVA

            ToddAtlasF1. It’s commenters like you that bring this site to lower standards.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal

            In complete agreement, my quandary at the moment is finding a fund to slowly pluck a little bit a month into which is designed to profit on their upcoming demise.

            @ToddAtlasF1

            Dude, what?

          • 0 avatar
            Hydromatic

            Geez…take it down a notch, Todd.

          • 0 avatar
            namesakeone

            “At today’s battery costs, that’s $20k+ for the battery.” Which will be interesting come replacement time, and for resale value.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            GM makes single digit net margins. The auto industry is about the furthest thing from disgusting margins compared to tech companies.

            While margins on large SUVs approaches that of iPhones, the low net margin overall sure tells us something about the business of building compliance-mobiles.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @danio

            SUVs are in excess of 100% profit?

            “Profit

            So if the materials cost roughly $188, and Dediu has calculated that an additional $93 is spent on manufacturing its smartphone, (a cost that includes the labor costs, transportation, storage and warranty expenses) we reach a total of about $281 to manufacture an iPhone that retails at $649. This represents a profit for Apple of $368 per iPhone.”

            https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0912/the-cost-of-making-an-iphone.aspx

            “As part of its teardown, TechInsights estimated the cost for each component. Its total is $443, as compared to the $1,249 price tag for the product. So just 35 percent of the purchase price goes to pay for the actual hardware.

            Of course, the remaining $806 isn’t pure profit. The bill of materials (BoM) doesn’t cover Apple’s employee salaries, advertising and other costs. Also, the BoM doesn’t include software, and iPhone and iPad sales must cover the cost of developing iOS and its bundled software.”

            https://www.cultofmac.com/579177/iphone-xs-max-production-cost-bill-materials-bom/

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            danio, I didn’t mean to imply that the industry as a whole has massive margins–just GM on this one specific product.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “@danio

            SUVs are in excess of 100% profit?”

            O.o

            “danio, I didn’t mean to imply that the industry as a whole has massive margins–just GM on this one specific product.”

            Fully understood. My point was that in spite of enormous margins on trucks, GM still ekes out single digits. This should speak to the costs involved with developing and selling cars with no margin. Though, the effective Net Present Value of the credits generated by those cars increases every year.

    • 0 avatar
      GoNavy99

      @ ToddAtlasF1

      Careful not to break your arm patting yourself on the back. Unbelievable.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Yowza, that escalated quickly….

        ….Don’t pretend there are more despicable people on the earth than you. You’re delusional if you think that.

        While I have not met either of you, I am willing to go on a limb that this may be a bit over the top. I am sure Dal breaks the speed limit on occasion and even perhaps voted differently then you Todd….but both of those activities hardly fall into the ‘most despicable’ category.

        It would be ok to consider taking it down a notch, this is an automotive site after all. Not sure we are going to be asked to speak at NATO anytime soon.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    If they are going to remake the Hummer, they should put it on the Cruze platform and stick the 4 cylinder diesel in it. Then build it at Lordstown. Nothing like a Mini Hummer (LOL).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Better to let the Hummer name stay dead and pick another name for an all electric SUV. I suggest T-Rex as a name.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Unless it’s an H1 you are just a poser

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      @volvo, is that you, Schwarzenegger? Way to sponsor Greta Thunberg’s meddling in Canada’s election!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      As someone that owns 2 H1s, I’ll happily drive my H2s over them in anything other than perfect top off weather. But I assume you have no idea what your talking about otherwise you wouldn’t have made this comment.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo

        Apologies to Hummer

        I am only familiar with the AMG Diesel H1 and was not aware that the H2 and H3 had the same capabilities. I was under the mistaken impression that the H2 was based on a modified GMT820 platform similar to the Yukon but had more weight and wider body. I agree with you that not many vehicles are as uncomfortable as the AMG H1

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “a modified GMT820 platform similar to the Yukon but had more weight and wider body“

          Negative, the Expedition frame is more similar to the Yukon frame than either is to an H2 frame. Actually not a single portion of the frame can interchange with a Yukon frame. It’s closest relative would be the 3/4 or 1 ton truck frame, even then the center section of an H2s frame is thicker and heavier than the 1 ton pickups frame section.

  • avatar
    megaphone

    Nothing as big or gas guzzling should ever be built here again. Leave the Hummer as a dinosaur brand.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Do you mean like a Ford F350 with the new big block V8 gas engine? How about all the brodozer diesels? They guzzle fuel with modern particulate traps.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The largest F350 has a longer wheelbase, greater length, width, and height, and weighs more, than the biggest 1973 Fleetwood Brougham short of the limousine model, but the Ford gets 12-16 mpg, while the Fleetwood got 9-14, with higher emissions. There are STILL giants roaming the earth, but the old Hummers still on the road are smaller.

  • avatar

    If they want to bring back Hummer why not to bring back Pontiac also this time with competitive products which are real sports cars. Or sporty SUV )like Stelvio).

    • 0 avatar
      namesakeone

      Because sports cars don’t sell with huge profit margins like three-row SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        So… the Corvette don’t make no money eh?

        “It’s an audacious move. As baby boomers have gotten older, they’ve been leaving sports cars for sport utility vehicles with more space and creature comforts. Corvette sales have fallen every year since 2014, including a 25% drop last year to less than 19,000 units. Sales are down an additional 10% this year as GM prepares to bring out the newest-generation car.

        Big profits are at stake. Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy estimates that the Corvette brings in $24,000 in variable profit per car, which accounted for about 3% of GM’s North American operating earnings last year.”

        On a personal note:

        ““The hold-back for younger buyers with Corvette has not been the engine location. It’s the image,” said Eric Noble, president of the CarLab, a consulting firm in Orange. “The image is some old white guy with a mustache who’s on his third wife.””

        I dare anyone with this misconception to drive one, I have not experienced C8 but I know C7 overall simply blows away 98% of what else is on the road at any given time.

        https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-07-18/corvette-courts-ferrari-fans-with-a-new-mid-engine-design-change

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          seriously, as a C6 owner; put 22k on my vette since I acquired it 10/17; this trope needs to die.

          The vette’ is a fantastic car by all accounts. Fast, dead reliable, 25+mpg ( I even run pump gas every other fill and notice zero change in performance). You can cover the entire spectrum of 130k super car to 20k or less slightly used pre-owned w/ 400-435 useable HP.

        • 0 avatar
          volvo

          @28

          The quote addressed the image of the car not its performance, value or reliability.

          While that image of a typical owner may be pretty narrow I would say that in the Bay Area (nor-cal) the image of the Corvette driver is someone who became just affluent enough to move up from their Mustang or Challenger.

          What I see with the C7/C8 is a great performance/price point but not enough to overcome the negative image.

          Regardless, unless at the track, the performance capabilities of the C7/C8/AMG/M5/Porsche etc. is lost when driving on public roads. Traffic density, speed enforcement and public safety means that plenty of $25-40K sports sedans will comfortably keep up with a supercar.

          Back in the day US 50 through Nevada was a place to wring out a car but now there are dun colored NHP cars behind most rises. Twisty mountain roads now have plenty of traffic density.

          You want acceleration to set you back in your seat get a Tesla S.

      • 0 avatar

        But they are more fun.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Yes, make Hummer part of GMC. No need for new franchises. Just a name as part of GMC franchise, to compete with Wrangler and Bronco, but more luxurious and powerful. Give it 5.2 V8, and make it America’s Land Cruiser

  • avatar

    I remember Consumer Reports giving the Hummer a pathetic score of 45, which is the rating the Fiat 500 and Mirage get today. Many used the Hummer as a poster boy for GM bankruptcy.

    You know GM made up the EV Hummer last minute to placate the striking workers. The GM electric truck for Hamtramck is most likely vaporware, which will be nothing more than an airbrush illustration in Motor Trend next month. I can smell this flim-flam a mile away. I hope the strikers can as well.

  • avatar
    TS020

    Bringing back the Hummer brand isn’t the worst idea. There’s a climate activism backlash brewing, and GM sees that Dodge is prepared for that market segment; imagine being a Dodge dealer and saying to someone sick of climate protests “Do you want to hear the whine of protesters or the whine of a supercharger?”. Easiest sale ever.

    Nothing says “F**k your climate change” like obnoxious consumption, and that’s what Hummer does best.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The Hummer name needs to stay dead and buried. Any vehicle attaches the Hummer name will just alienate potential buyers. If GM is not blowing smoke and does come up with an electric SUV it needs to have a new name giving it its own identity without any past stigma that would be attached to a prior name. If GM lacks the creativity to create new names then they should get people in who have more creativity. GM should clean house starting from the top and become an all new corporation otherwise they will continue their spiral downward.

  • avatar

    I have a feeling that an EV hummer will never see the light of day.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Somebody at GM is having a laugh: Using “Hummer” for “Project O”?

    I guess if the whole “S3XY” thing works for Tesla…


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