By on January 13, 2020

Steph brought us news on Friday about Hummer’s imminent return. In an about-face from the gas-guzzling image it cultivated fifteen years ago, earning it scorn and ridicule from the wheat-n-grain types, the name is going to be appended to an electric pickup.

Sure, it isn’t going to be a standalone brand, instead as part of the GMC fold and perhaps even as “Hummer by GMC”. The latter spawns images of “Chrysler TC by Maserati”, but nevertheless. Our question for you today is this: which of GM’s purged brands would you bring back, should RenCen suddenly hand you the levers of power?

Certainly, there had to be some wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth in certain corner offices at GM in the SUV-heavy decade that followed the binning of Hummer during the company’s stroll through bankruptcy. Can you imagine the profit center that a fleet of H2, H3, H3T, and the inevitable H4 would have created? They even had alphanumeric names before Johann showed up at Cadillac. The mind reels.

Attentive readers will likely predict my vote for Pontiac, a brand for those who wanted to be brash on a budget. It’s always dangerous to look at the ’90s through rose-colored glasses, but I dare you to look at this Grand Prix and tell me it’s not an attractive car, build quality be damned.

Now we know Hummer’s on the way back to America’s highways, what’s your pick from the dustbin of GM history?

[images: GM, Car Brochures]

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40 Comments on “QOTD: Back From the Dead?...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Oldsmobile

    There is apparently no room for American “mid-level” luxury cars unless it’s a Buick. I grew up with Olds 98s and an Aurora. They were nice cars, luxurious without being snobby. Perfect for someone with a good income but not into flashy excess.

    Same vein – I miss Mercury.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    They wouldn’t need to bring back the nameplate per se, but a little more of the original Saturn ethos inside the RenCen right now sure wouldn’t hurt them.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Oakland? LaSalle?

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    GM should have a niche sub-brand that offers Pontiac and Oldsmobile vehicles through their existing dealer networks. I think the cars should be badge engineered takes, or maybe option packages, on other GM vehicles or cars from their overseas partners ala Buick/Opel.

    That way you could order a Camaro based Trans AM with the snowflake wheels, classic twin snout grill and outrageous graphics or a Delta 88 based on the now dead Impala platform with a red or blue velour interior, carriage top, upscale grill, a stand up hood ornament and the omission of that odd body line on the rear quarters.

    You just know that more than a few people would buy these. Possible as many as a several.

    • 0 avatar
      David

      Thomas, I AGREE! “GM should have a niche sub-brand that offers some Pontiac and Oldsmobile vehicles through their existing dealer networks.”

      Don’t
      1. obligate these brands to offer a full line-up of vehicles. Just offer the ones that make sense: Firebird/Trans Am based on the Camaro, Grand Prix based on Regal Sportback(?), Olds 98 on Cad CT6 or Olds 88 on Buick LaCrosse.
      2. wait too long to do this (the generation that remembers these cars fondly enough to get excited about it are around NOW, with money in their pockets). This will not be as true 10 years from now.

      GM needs to generate some buzz among people who always believed in their ability to make interesting cars.

    • 0 avatar

      “Trans AM with the snowflake wheels”

      Agree on Trans AM Millennial edition with snowflake wheels.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    McLaughlin. And build them in Oshawa.

    Yeah,a pipe dream.

    Otherwise my preference would also be Pontiac.

  • avatar
    Jon

    Hummer makes the most sense.
    Make it strictly a Jeep competitor:
    H2 – Grand Wagoneer
    H3 – Wrangler
    H3T – Gladiator
    H4 – Patriot/Compass

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      This would print money for GM. For some reason they’d rather lose money on EV pipe dreams. Guess it doesn’t matter when you’re too big to fail.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      But the name “hummer” refers to both a sex act, and $#!tting on the environment in our culture.

      Why try to revive a brand with negative equity?

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to create a new brand from scratch?

      Or just use GMC for the Jeep competitors that you use? Their “commercial grade luxury” thing seems to work well enough.

      Why would GM want to start off with a disadvantage?

      • 0 avatar
        Thomas Kreutzer

        Have you ever had a hummer? What sort of negative equity could there possibly be be so long as you aren’t the President of the United States when you get one?

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Negative equity? Have you seen what used Hummers are worth? There are plenty of people paying a premium for these old vehicles, and GM doesn’t want any of that money for some reason.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Hummer went out of business because everyone who wanted one (and could afford one) already had one.

          It’s been a decade or so, and there are more people (some population growth) and fewer cars, I guess, so maybe there’s some unmet demand.

          But, given what Hummer stands for, it’s unlikely ever to be a mainstream brand. The “up yours, hippie!” market will again be saturated, and everyone who wants one (and can afford it) will once again have one.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        Luke

        “hummer refers to a sex act”

        Your age is showing. Young folks, 25-40, (the primary market of most automakers) now call it something much different. Depending on the creativity of the culture, the number of automobile names that could be equated/confused with erotic acts is uhhh… enormous. If that is your criteria for keeping a name in the grave, all automobiles should follow some sort of SCADA tagging convention: (letters) + (numbers) + (letters) + (numbers) + etc.

        While soiling the environment may be culturally bad, there are still plenty of folks who will buy a vehicle that not only poos on the environment but also smears that poo around so that other cars have to produce less poo.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Hummer does not have negative equity, the issue is GM is apparently building a product 1. current Hummer owner’s won’t be interested in and 2. is niche at best if its a pure EV.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s all about virtue signalling these days. It’s all about that and stupid MBA style management and “profit” making (meaning CEO and his friends stuffing their pockets with dough and laying off experienced engineers). In 50s-60s it was more about passion I guess. For me it was – I was passionate about cars since I could not buy one but could dream about it – and no virtue signalling.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            A Deusenberg would be awesome. Imagine an electric version of the most awesome car ever, complete with spare tires on the fenders, big round headlights, a vertical windshield, real fenders, running boards, two-tone paint, a low convertible roof, rear-hinged front doors and loads and loads of style and elegance… and no aerodynamic compromises. It would be awful at 75 or above, but stunning around town and cruising around.
            Electric power means a battery/controller/engines skateboard that any sort of body can be dropped onto. That’s what VW is creating right now. GM should be working on this, so that they could bring back the ’68 Camaro convertible and the ’77 Firebird Trans Am, and how about the Roadmaster wagon? The sky is the limit. (And that’s just the American cars. New Jaguar E-Type… drool…)

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Elmore, or maybe Samson.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    They could just make their Shebbies better and less ugly so they’re less embarrassing while owning, thus the ability to kill GMC Trucks, and or just make it the Chevy “upper trim” equivalent of “Limited”.

    Plus GM could finally combine pickups sales to formally attack “F-series”.

    “Hummer” as a model, could be the answer to “SVT” and or Ford Raptor, while not its own brand. Also SVT type of editions/badging could replace “SS” that GM dragged through the mud.

    “Pontiac” became Minivan Headquarters while GMC is SUV Central.

    Just make Chevy cars and truck so good and offer higher trims/luxury/performance, if not quality, that buyers won’t be as repelled by “Chevrolet” or the Bowtie, and or feel a vomit coming on at the thought.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Also tone down the damn Bowtie. You don’t need to see if from 50 car lengths, especially at the front. Two inches across would suffice, we know who makes it.

      And its puke yellow has to go. These are just more reasons not to buy, and or immediately modify things.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      @DenverMike hit my fear with the SS thing- they put out a new hummer and it is cool and lust worthy. Then they do the typical Chevy SS thing and you start having “Hummer” edition 1500s, then Canyons, then after 5 years- a Hummer Edition Acadia and Trax in burnished orange with a rack and color matched recovery traction boards and an Eartheasy Road Shower.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    GM model names have a history of being a perfect fit for the times and the cars–Firebird, Electra, Cutless, Bonneville, El Dorado, Coupe de Ville, Corvair, Nova, Vega, Chevette, etc.

    Trouble is, deeply flawed product led to the demise of the cars wearing those names, and the reputations associated with those names were permanently ruined.

    Has anybody noticed that the name Corolla has been around for a long, long time? Civic? Accord? Notice no Beretta or Lumina is on the market today?

    Too bad GM repeatedly failed to support their great names…with decent product.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I won’t say it makes perfect business sense, but if Saab had just hung on a few years longer, they’d be perfectly in tune with the current luxury market (small turbo engines, some gadgetry, and as long as they embraced AWD as they were starting to, their FWD-basis wouldn’t really be a liability). Plus, to the B&B’s delight, if there was a Euro luxury brand funneling dollars to the RenCen, they wouldn’t have to do, well, whatever the hell they’re currently doing with Cadillac.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I would bring back Cadillac

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Corvair- As a stand alone Chevrolet sub brand. Retro style. Rear engine air-cooled hybrid electric with a useable frunk and trunk.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    We need an REO Speedwagon!

  • avatar
    beken

    I’m in favor of bringing back Pontiac. Let’s do a new Fiero off a C8 chassis.

  • avatar

    I would vote for Pontiac by Cadillac (or Mazda it you want it to be FWD, or ask Ford make it o Focus/Fusion platform). Cadillac has a great RWD platform well suited for Pontiac. In reality it all depends on marketing more than product itself.

    I mean Cadillac should compete with RR or Mercedes, not with lowly BMW.

  • avatar
    la834

    Saab. Although, like Pontiac and Olds GM had stripped every sliver of uniqueness from them by the time it was discontinued. I miss the real Saab of the ’70s and ’80s 900 and 9000, cars that were eminently practical and versatile. GM unfortunately could only see the most superficial aspects of Saabs (the floor-mounted ignition key! The shape of the taillights!) and ignored the thoughtful design ethos that ran through the cars.

  • avatar

    The last people in the world that would purchase an electric vehicle are potential hummer customers. With this vehicle GM is sitting on one of the biggest bombs ever. Remember, GM has never sold more than 17,000 Bolts in one year.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, and they’ll be lucky to sell 17K electric Hummers. But its not aimed at the Hummer customers, its aimed at the anti-Hummer people whose shall we say worldview wouldn’t allow them in such a vehicle. There is probably an element of smug in there as well (i.e. we did it, we got them to turn the truck of toxic masculinity into a metrosexual like us). I could also see the truly rich buying one as a toy for similar attention but not necessarily to make a political statement. I think part of the reason Tesla products are holding such resale where all other EVs have failed is because in part it is an emotional/political statement in the minds of its owners. GM will try to capitalize on something similar IMO.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Just make Chevy cars and truck so good and offer higher trims/luxury/performance, if not quality, that buyers won’t be as repelled by “Chevrolet” or the Bowtie, and or feel a vomit coming on at the thought.”

    “Also tone down the damn Bowtie. You don’t need to see if from 50 car lengths, especially at the front. Two inches across would suffice, we know who makes it.” Denver Mike

    I couldn’t have said it better. GM in the past has made great vehicles that have become legends. Once a brand makes bad products it is much harder to get a reputation back. Bringing back old names such as Blazer, Malibu, Hummer, and etc. is not going to get customers back or grow the brand if the product is sub-par. The same thing goes for Ford and FCA.

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