- 26 April 2016
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
Hummer was a popular brand of trucks and SUVs based out of the United States. General Motors (GM) owned the brand from 1998 until 2010, when they officially ceased operations. Hummer sold three models during their history as a company: the Hummer H1, the Hummer H2, and the Hummer H3. The H1 was a civilian reimagining of the M998 Humvee military vehicle while the H2 and H3 more closely resembled smaller GM SUV platforms.
The very first Hummers to hit the civilian market were designed and developed by AM General Corporation. The company won a contract to develop a new “High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle” for the United States Army in 1979. AM General developed a prototype vehicle in under one year and the first military Humvee went into production in 1982.
After years of building Humvees specifically for military use, AM General branched out into the civilian market. Though they had plans to sell as civilian version of the vehicle as far back as the late 1980s, the first Hummer didn’t hit the shelves until 1992. Hummers were structurally and mechanically similar to Humvees. The big differences were in their automotive gloss paint and the addition of air conditioning, sound insulation, upgraded upholstery, stereo systems, and wood trim.
AM General produced Hummers for several years before selling the brand name to General Motors. Though GM took over the marketing and distribution of Hummer, the vehicles were still manufactured by AM General. Soon after, GM introduced two new models of Hummer, the H2 and H3. These new models were of their own design. GM manufactured the new H2 and H3 while AM General continued to manufacturer the H1 until it was discontinued in 2006.
Hummers were originally limited to the North American market only. It wasn’t until 2006, that GM began to export them to other countries. By the end of the year, Hummers were available for purchase in 33 countries.
Unfortunately, 2008 brought bad news for Hummer. A combination of high oil prices and a decrease in demand for large SUVs spelled the end for the brand. Though several interested parties approached Hummer, no sale was ever made. GM ended up closing down the brand altogether in 2010.
Hummer has only produced three different models over the years. Of these, the Hummer H3 was the most recent flagship model. Because the company closed its doors in 2010, they do not have a current flagship.
The Hummer H3 was produced from 2005 to 2010 under General Motors. It took the form of a SUV like the Hummer H1 and Hummer H2. However, it is important to note that the H3 was the smallest of the three models.
The highlight of the H3 was its ability to be driven both on-road and off-road. This capability was thanks to its two-speed, full-time four-wheel drive system. The H3 is capable of fording up to 24 inches of water at a speed of 5 mph and 16 inches of water at a speed of 20 mph. The standard ground clearance for the H3 Hummer is a 16 inches of vertical wall.
The flagship H3 was also in a mid-size pickup truck edition known as the Hummer H3T. This vehicle was produced during the 2009 and 2010 model years. The H3T took the form of a four-door crew-cab truck that held up to five passengers. It features a five foot truck bed with built-it storage boxes. Special editions of the vehicle included the H3T Adventure, H3T Luxury, and H3T Alpha.
Though the Hummer H3 has been praised for its excellent off-road abilities, most critics also complain about its unintuitive, uncomfortable feel on the highway.
Hummer went out of business in 2010 and does not produce any current models.
In addition to the flagship H3, Hummer has produced two other models over the years. These are the Hummer H1 and the Hummer H2.
The Hummer H1 is a model based on the M988 military Humvee. It is a civilian vehicle designed to excel both on-road and off-road. The H1 was produced from 1992 to 2006. The H1 was known simply as the Hummer until 1999.
The Hummer H2 is a model based more on a modern SUV/SUT than a military Humvee. It is slightly slimmer than the H1 but longer, lighter, and taller. The H2 includes room for six passengers (including the driver). The H2 was also available as the H2T, a model that included a short pickup bed behind the seats.
Hummer has been involved in a number of motorsports racing events over the years. In 1993, Team Hummer competed in the stock classes at the BitD and SCORE racing events. The H1 was used in these events. In 2005, Team Hummer finished first in the stock class at the Baja 1000 in an H3 Hummer.