QOTD: What's in a Brand?

qotd whats in a brand

The pending return of Hummer to the GM stable in the form of an electric pickup is such a perfectly 2020 thing, considering Ford’s recent decision to bestow the Mustang name on its upcoming EV crossover. However, the nameplate’s reported resurrection comes not in the form of a brand, but as a lone model bundled under an existing marque (GMC).

That’s something to think about. When Matthew Guy asked yesterday what defunct brand we’d most like to see return, no doubt most of you mentioned Viking or Marquette. Maybe Oakland or LaSalle. Geo, perhaps. Canadian readers probably yearn for a return of Acadian and Beaumont.

A few of you may have even mentioned Hummer.

GM’s unconfirmed decision to return Hummer to the fold as a model, not a brand, doesn’t sit all that well with this writer. In the past, some nameplates morphed into models after trying to hack it as a brand (Continental, Imperial), but not before they first appeared, yes, as a model. And they both returned to the same marque from which they were born.

In this era of consolidation, and with electric vehicles being no sure thing in the U.S., building a standalone Hummer under an existing truck brand makes sense. GM doesn’t want another short-lived Hummer experiment (not that the brand would have dwindled in the 2010s, had it survived the automaker’s bankruptcy). But it does curtail the name’s ability to spawn a SUV-and-truck family.

What say you, B&B? While GM’s EV future is spread amongst all of its brands (as the technology’s anticipated popularity will supposedly shrink the number of gas-only models in their respective lineups), would you have liked to see an eco-conscious Hummer return with a larger presence?

[Image: LeStudio/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
2 of 32 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jan 14, 2020

    "But it does curtail the name’s ability to spawn a SUV-and-truck family." Ford - when it comes to the Mustang name - would disagree.

  • 902Chris 902Chris on Jan 15, 2020

    GM should cut another deal with Suzuki. In the SUV crazed market they have vehicles that are just asking to come to North America. Vitara or Grand Vitara XL7.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.