What happened to the HUMMER? Once the Vehicle of Choice for THE Rich
Do you REMEMBER the Hummer?
That’s right, it was that massive army-style truck that was the car to have in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was so hyped as the Car of choice for the Big boys then and when you saw one go past in the street you couldn’t help but turn and look.
Initially adopted by hip-hop stars Like Missy Elliot, Dr Dre, Notorious BIG,Tupac Shakur, and other Celebs like hotel heiress Paris Hilton and basketball legend Dennis Rodman
However, despite significant investment from the world’s best sports players and celebrities, Hummer went bust in 2010 as part of the General Motors bankruptcy.
So where did it all go wrong and what was so glamorous about Hummers in the first place?
The Hummer was first marketed in 1992 when AM General began selling a roadworthy version of the M998 Humvee known as the H1.
Primarily used by the US military in the Gulf War in 1991, it was designed to power through treacherous dessert terrain.
The adapted vehicle was produced from 1992-2006 and was available
in three different formats.
A convertible-like soft top, a four-door hard top Sport Utility Truck and an “Alpha Wagon” body version.
It had a starting price of around £115,000, which made it the ultimate status symbol to be seen driving around in for any self-respecting footballer or Celebrity.
Arnold schwarzenneger was a notable Hummer fan
Because of its size (it weighed a mega three tonnes) Americans who owned it were entitled to claim a farm equipment tax credit with the IRS too.
In 2002, General Motors released the H2 to much fanfare, and it was nominated for North American Truck of the Year at the annual Detroit motor show.
Aimed at the female market, the hope was that the smaller H2 would propel the brand into the mainstream.
The price tag was also much more appealing.
Available for around £45k for the basic model, the H2 was kitted out with a host of futuristic features that made it seem pioneering.
It had air conditioning with tri-zone climate controls, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats.
The sound system was provided by BOSE 6-disc CD changer, there was an outside-temperature indicator and even a compass.
Buoyed by the success of the H2, Hummer released an even smaller H3, which was based off a highly-modified GMT 355 pickup truck.
But poor reviews from motor aficionados didn’t help its cause.
They bashed its turning radius for being “uncomfortably wide” and said, “at highway cruising it would’ve been nice to have a faster, firmer feel.”
Hummer was originally made for War terrain
Despite Hummer’s best efforts in making an SUV that was primarily an army vehicle more suitable for city roads, they were getting further from the mark.
Plus, the fact all their models were petrol guzzlers, that didn’t help matters at all.
A litre of gas could only get you as far as ten miles in early Hummers. The H3 stretched to 20 miles, but had a smaller tank so that didn’t help cut costs either.
The Great Recession in the late 2000s saw GM management questioning the Hummer’s viability in a crowded SUV market with sales dwindling.
But rather than transfer it to the Motor Liquidation company when the GM went bankrupt, they chanced their arm and retained the brand to try and sell it.
In 2009, Chinese manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company said they would acquire Hummer, pending government approval.
But the Chinese ministry of commerce was believed to have rejected the application in 2010 after the deal stalled for eight months.
Unable to find a suitable buyer, General Motors announced it was dismantling the Hummer brand. And with that ended the story of the Hummer.