AM General Hummer Origins
The AM General Hummer originally rose from the AMC-Jeep General Products division as a military vehicle called the HMMVW. The prototype of the HMMVW appeared in 1981 before full production began in 1983. Highly successful as a military vehicle, a civilian model of the HMMVW began production in the late 1980s, but carried an expensive price tag, making it unattainable for most consumers. It boasts air-conditioning, more comfortable seating than its military predecessor, and a stereo system. The Hummer H1 model was produced in 1992.
AM General and GM Motors decided in 1999 to share production, advertisement, and distribution of the Hummer vehicles. In 2003, the Hummer H2, a smaller version of the original Hummer entered the market and subsequently received a nomination for North American Truck of the Year. The Hummer H3, the smallest of the Hummer line, debuted in 2005.About the AM General Hummer
The AM General Hummer has a reputation for its stability in off-road conditions. Modified Hummers have been used for rally racing because of their control. Robby Gordon, the famous NASCAR driver, famously placed high in the Dakar Rally in a modified H3 Hummer. The wider frame of all the Hummer models give them a lower chance of overturning during quick maneuvers, placing it at an advantage over many SUV models.
Bad fuel economy results in common complaints about the Hummer, excluding the H3 model. The Hummers gross vehicle weight rating means it does not need evaluation by the EPA for gas consumption. However, independent testing of Hummer gas mileage has shown fuel consumption to be rather poor.
The weight of the Hummer models also allows tax payers breaks when purchasing the H2 model. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously promotes the Hummer model.
GM attempts to create a brand and a mindset around the Hummer line by selling toys, bikes, clothing apparel, and even cologne through the company website. The Hummer has been widely used in emergency situations during disasters. The Red Cross and the owners club, Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies (HOPE), promote this effort jointly.AM General Hummer Features
The manufacturer announced the 2012 Hummer H4 as far back as 2008, however it never began production. The prototype of the 2012 H4 represents a smaller, fuel efficient substitute for the Hummer H2 and Hummer H3T models. A shaky economy and less than stellar market performance by the Hummer brand results in all plans for 2012 Hummer models and future Hummer concepts (including a plug-in hybrid model) being put on hold. The company went bankrupt in 2009 and announced the end of the Hummer brand in February 2010. The last Hummer H3T to come off the production line ceased in 2010 after one and a half years on the market.
The company assets went up for sale in 2010, but no one bit the offer. Discounts and rebates for the general public attempt to move the remaining vehicles produced by the company.AM General Hummer Evolution
Several Hummer models have been produced by AM General and GM since 1992.
The first model, the Hummer H1, saw production from 1992 to 2006, before the brand discontinued it in favor of the H2 model. It offers a convertible softtop option, a hardtop option, and a slant back option with four doors. It gets attention for its stability, but also its poor performance in crash tests, terrible fuel economy, and high price.
The H2, a smaller version of the original Hummer H1, remains larger than a standard truck. It debuted in 2003. The H2 sits high off the ground on oversized tires with the famous Hummer rims. The brand introduced a special black version in 2009 just before the company went bankrupt.
The Hummer H3 debuted in 2005 as the smallest Hummer model, weighing in around the SUV range. It marks the first model produced exclusively by the GM company as part of AM General’s buyout. The H3, although smaller than its counterparts, is still capable of on-road and off-road driving.
The H3T, a hybrid between the H3 and a pickup truck, entered the market for the 2009 and 2010 model years. The H3T has a five-foot bed and still boasts off-road capabilities. The H3T, although showing promise, ceased production after the company shut down all production of the Hummer Brand. A hybrid H3 that gets 100 miles to the gallon as a prototype, offered up a concept in early 2009, but never reached production.