Thursday, February 25, 2010
GM's Hummer 1992-2010
A sign or the times.
The Hummer, the civilian version of the Humvee military transport, once favored by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Moscow rich, will no longer roam the roads, as General Motors will end production of the model.
Chinese firm Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines pulled the plug on an earlier agreement to buy the brand, having failed to gain clearance from Chinese regulators.
As a symbol of conspicuous consumption, or of a lack of regard for the environment, the Hummer makes its owners look distinctly out of touch with the current public mood.
Large gas-guzzlers are increasingly being shunned by frugal, environmentally aware, or simply fashion conscious drivers eager to downsize their modes of transport.
The Hummer is arguably the most aggressive looking vehicle there is, and no wonder given that the original H1, launched 18 years ago, was based on the US Humvee military vehicle.
Later versions were less macho, but only marginally so. Its butch looks were key to the brand's image.
But as Hummer production seems destined to end it is also clear that the truck will be missed by its loyal crowd of fans.
Indeed, there are still people out there who are convinced the vehicle has a future and that a market remains for it.
And GM is still eager to hear from anyone who wants to buy the brand.
"In the early phases of the wind-down, we'll entertain offers and determine their viability," says GM spokesman Nick Richards.