I remember it clearly. I was quite a bit younger, and one of my cousins, who had the environment at heart, went there with these words: if one day I win the lottery, I buy 10 Hummers, I call the media to a junkyard, and I destroy them.
The Hummer has always had a bad reputation with environmentalists. Rightly so, since it was heavy and slow. This is normal, its engine was never designed to perform strong acceleration, but rather to achieve constant performance.
An army tank
The Hummer H1 arrived in our market in 1992. It was a civilian version of the Humvee, a multi-purpose vehicle widely used by the US military, produced by AM General Company. It is moreover this one which attempted the civil conversion.
With its military shapes and unique off-road performance, the H1 quickly achieved cult status. Even today, collectors are snapping up H1s in good condition.
Things started to turn sour in the late ’90s, when General Motors bought the civilian Hummer platform from AM General. We wanted to market the H1 through the General Motors dealer network, then extend the range. Thus, the H1 quietly gave way to the H2, which broke with square shapes, and we even got the H3, a “compact” version of the H2.
The idea of driving a “military” vehicle has long appealed to people, and still pleases them. Some don’t know it, but the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the one that Montreal’s nouveau riche are snapping up on, is based on a German military vehicle, which the Canadian military uses to equip its hussars.
The Hummer H1 did indeed give the impression of driving a military vehicle. The H2 and H3, a lot less.
With the increase in the price of gasoline, the H2 and H3 are dead. Just like the Hummer brand, which has become the scapegoat for all environmentalists on the planet.
It cannot be said that GM’s purchase of the Hummer was a big commercial success. Sales of the H2 and H3 models have been weak, particularly in recent years, to the point where some Hummer dealers have started selling weapons to fire in parallel.
Perfumes, clothes, accessories, the marketing folks at General Motors tried to make the Hummer brand a brand lifestyle. However, we were approaching the end of the 2000s, and genre marketing had less and less its place.
Like Lazarus in the Bible, who came back from the dead, General Motors resuscitates Hummer, 10 years after sending it to oblivion. The Hummer is back as a convertible, and above all 100% electric.
1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of torque, that’s completely stupid! It makes all other vans obsolete. No gasoline engine can offer that, and that’s why GM had the brilliant idea of switching to an electric engine.
Thus, the Hummer EV, which will arrive in GMC dealerships in the fall of 2022, will finally have a useful role in the automotive market: that of pushing the limits, making people dream, and ultimately democratizing electric pickup trucks. We expect a price to be around $ 100,000. Quite expensive, it’s true, but when you consider that that’s the price of an F-250 Limited, you realize that the Hummer isn’t that expensive after all.