Hummer is a United States brand of sport utility vehicles (SUV) sold by General Motors (GM). The civilian Hummer SUV is based on the military HMMWV, often referred to as the Humvee. HMMWV stands for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. There are currently three basic Hummer models – the Hummer H1, Hummer H2 and Hummer H3 – and one proposed model, the Hummer H4.
Early Hummer History
As early as the 1980s, AM General had pondered the idea of creating a civilian version of the military Humvee. The plans was eventually put into action and in 1990, the Hummer received a lot of attention when two matching white Hummers were driven from London to Beijing through the former Soviet Union. The journey was broadcasted on ESPN and viewed by numerous American viewers. The Hummer also derived a lot indirect attention during Operation: Desert Storm, when the U.S. military used their Humvee’s in the rough desert terrain.
The first civilian version of the Hum-vee was offered to the public in 1992, under the brand name Hummer. When the later versions of the car were released, the name of this first Hummer was changed to Hummer H1. AM General owned the brand name Hummer up until 1998 when it was purchased by General Motors. AM General did however keep on producing the actual vehicles; GM only took over marketing and distribution.
The Hummer H1, Hummer H2 and Hummer H3
After the massive success with the Hummer H1, GM introduced two other clearly civilian models: the Hummer H2 and the Hummer H3. The Hummer H2 was produced by GM. Since June 2004, the Hummer H2 has been assembled not only in the United States, but by Avtotor in Kaliningrad, Russia. This plant manufactures no more than a few hundred Hummer H2:s per year and all vehicles are sold by local Russian Hummer dealers.
The Hummer H3 is built in Shreveport, Los Angeles, where the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups are also produced. Since 2006, the Hummer H3 is also produced by the Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa, and these vehicles are intended for both South African and international market. For the 2008 model year, a lot of the South African built Hummer H3:s will be exported to Australia, Europe, Japan and the Middle East.
The Hummer did not go international until 2006, but is today working together with a fairly high number of imported and distributors in Europe and other parts of the world. By October 2006, Hummer vehicles were marketed by roughly 300 dealers in 34 countries. Of the 300 dealers, 173 were located in the United States.
In May 2006, GM declared that they would stop production of the Hummer H1.
The Hummer and the Environment
Since the Hummer is a big, heavy car, it consumes a lot of gasoline and constantly achieves bottom ratings for fuel economy. For many, the Hummer has become a symbol for useless waste of environmental resources. Recently, GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced that the Hummerbrand of trucks will be powered on Biofuel Powertrains. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has already had one of his Hummer cars altered and it is now running on biofuel.