GM Cancels the HUMMER H1
13 May 2006
|The H1 Alpha, introduced in Aug 2005, featured a 6.6-liter, 300hp diesel engine.|
GM will stop production of the its iconic HUMMER H1 this year and the manufacturer, AM General, will convert the H1 assembly line to produce more military Humvees, which the company also produces. For many, the H1 became the symbol for petroleum excess: an overly large vehicle with overly large fuel consumption.
GM said it is moving away from very large, extremely low-volume vehicles to ones with broader appeal to a wider audience. Although a low-seller, the H1 established the HUMMER brand, which GM has expanded with a range of slightly smaller and higher-volume vehicles (the H2 and H3).
AM General and GM have sold around 12,000 of the H1 since its intoduction by AM General in 1992, and only 98 units during the first four months of this year; the H3 posted 16,582 units during those same four months.
Just last August, GM had up-powered its H1 to the H1 Alpha, using the Duramax 6600 6.6-liter turbodiesel as the powerplant. The 300 hp (223.5 kw), 705 Nm engine provided 46% more power than its predecessor in the H1.
The H1 never achieved high sales volume, so its total contribution to e.g. CO2 was never significant. The importance of the press release lies in the psychological impact of taking this environmental abomination out of the showrooms. Unfortunately, production of the other Hummer models will continue. There are still folks out there who insist on driving a converted military vehicle because that's supposedly cool.
It may be a cultural thing, but here in Europe the vast majority of people find the apparent love affair of a certain segment of the US population with all manner of military hardware deeply disconcerting (cp. Prussia). It suggests a level of comfort with aggression/violence (
"kicking a** and taking names") that is also widely perceived as the core of US foreign policy - especially since 9/11.
Posted by: Rafael Seidl | 13 May 2006 at 07:17 AM
Perhaps those people don't have enough "creative" or destructive outlets. Draft them and their vehicles and send them to Iraq so they can experience the joys of war and kicking ass up close and personal. This would help reduce the cost of the war and get all these scary behemoths off our highways.
One of the impediments to smaller and more fuel efficient cars is the fear by many that they are going to get run over by large vehicles. In that sense, large SUVs and trucks are a negative twofer. They get crummy gas mileage and they discourage those who might be inclined to get smaller vehicles.
Posted by: t | 13 May 2006 at 07:29 AM
If the US was really serious about global warming and feeding our unfriendly "friends" billions of dollars to use against us, congress would immediately pass a tax of 100% on any vehicle that didn't get 30 mpg.
Next year it would go to 40 mpg.
It will never happen because they are taking billons of dollars in bribes from big oil and auto makers.
Posted by: Lucas | 13 May 2006 at 08:16 AM
After serving 4 years in the military I would never want to own a Hummer (regardless of whether I have the income to buy one or not). I did not care for that vehicle at all.
Lucas, take a look at your fellow consumers; they are just as much to blame. Guess how many of your senators and representatives would have a job if they voted for anything even remotely close to what you propose and it would have nothing to do with oil or auto companies.
Posted by: Patrick | 13 May 2006 at 08:26 AM
____The vehicle (used and those few new ones still out there) could still be a testbed for new technologies. It is, after all, a large vehicle with substantial associated cargo capacity to haul around prototype equiptment, (esp if they are not downsized yet) and testing/recording gear. Besides, what a great way to demonstrate to the Pickup and SUV lovers the technologies that you could put in a 8000+ lbs truck, (and similar/larger/smaller vehicles) and demonstrate it still has all the capabilities (and more) of the conventional version.
____Another market be would to demonstrate a rugged, cost effective, and reliable battle hardened HMMWV would be the military. With fuel saving technologies that will serve as electric generator/air compressor/hydraulic pump/water source /water purifier, the vehicle may utilize technologies currently in development to enhance the capabilities of our forces, while reducing the logistical footprint of operations while deployed. This will reduce costs ($$$$) due to the fact that much of the cost in current military operations is DIESEL FUEL. Reduced logistical loads and a reductioon in the type/number of pieces of equiptment will reduce costs by as much as $10 BILLION a year when fully implemented. That is only combat ops. Back on bases and during training there is much that could be saved with these advances implemented. Furthermore, reinvestment/recapitalazation in current pieces of equiptment with some or all the advances will: a) reduce consumption (of fuel, funds, and time) b)enhance capabilities.
____DARPA has poured funds into new technologies and it is about time we see the benefits. The innovations will flow down to the civilian level, where they will meet, complement, and enhance what is out there at the declassified level. It happened with the APOLLO and Internet programs. It is high time to happen again (if politics and special interests do not get in the way).
Posted by: allen zheng | 13 May 2006 at 08:37 AM
Maybe they could slap some more sheet metal underneath those things so our guys stop dying everyday on patrol. Seems obvious to me but then again GM and US military are apparently living in a different reality then me. Good riddance, now, are there enough Excursions on the market yet?
Posted by: ed | 13 May 2006 at 08:52 AM
alright anyone who thinks this is good is crazy. because now the cheap still gas guzzling ugly hummer h2 will become the head of the hummer line.. in what way is that good???
Posted by: Mike | 13 May 2006 at 08:53 AM
How can GM [and Ford] think to get [be perceived] a "green" image while promoting the "yellow t-shirt/ethanol" commercial on TV, while selling super-mega gas guzzlers like the Hummers and all the other [junk] SUV?
I totally agree with Lucas's posting: Slap Detroit with a huge tax on all vehicles that do not achieve at least 30mpg...and keep it that way at least until 2010!!!
SUV are a [Ford] market/marketing invention. We could live very well in this country/world without them!
Fred Sands, Ph.D.
Posted by: Fred | 13 May 2006 at 08:54 AM
I know it's a shocking concept, but the market is working. SUV sales are dropping like a rock without the punitive taxes you folks are proposing.
Posted by: Cervus | 13 May 2006 at 09:30 AM
"It will never happen because they are taking billons of dollars in bribes from big oil and auto makers."
Congress is taking billions in bribes? Do you really believe that?
I guess I am one of the few people here that actually lives in reality. Raising the fuel economy of SUVs by 50% would only delay what is a much more serious problem. Even if everyone in the U.S. stopped driving China and India would simply burn the saved gas at a lower price. So instead of preventing global warming you would just be helping the economies of China and India.
Try to consider the global context of oil use before misdirecting your anger towards SUVs and U.S. auto companies.
Posted by: dc | 13 May 2006 at 09:35 AM
The next "trickle down" of technology from DARPA is about 15 years away in the form of autonomous vehicles (fewer accidents, better handling of the future increase in congestion and more efficient driving patterns). Private industries have nearly all the individual components necessary but putting it all together was demonstrated during last year's DARPA sponsored challenge (where vehicles had to show the ability to operate autonomously and drive through some areas specifically designed to block GPS and RF).
Don't worry, China already exceeded Japan's oil consumption rate in 2004 (Japan was second to the US). With the pace of their advancement they will soon be very close to consuming the same amount of oil as us (probably in less than 25 years). If we did make provisions such that we used less oil and it were cheaper for them we could avoid some nasty oil wars in the future. Just imagine what a Chinese embargo would do to US industries given that nearly all of our lower end components are manufactured in China. With a booming Chinese economy they will eventually lose their price competitiveness edge (some companies won't want to have to change their manufacturing sites every 15 years to find the latest cheap labor and will start to do more manufacturing in the USA).
Posted by: Patrick | 13 May 2006 at 10:21 AM
The "China will burn it" problem is easily eliminated by using part of the tax to buy oil for the SPR.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 13 May 2006 at 10:31 AM
Just for some balance, Re the "if we didn't burn it then China would" comments, its worth pointing out that China has some fairly punative taxes on vehicles that don't achieve good gas milage.
The Chinese are well aware of what would happen if a sizable proportion of their popuation was abe to consume fuel at the American rate of consumption.
I'm not saying that they wouldn't burn any surplus market fuel, but they already have some sensible policies in place.
Posted by: Andy | 13 May 2006 at 10:37 AM
Posted by: haru | 13 May 2006 at 10:53 AM
"With a booming Chinese economy they will eventually lose their price competitiveness edge (some companies won't want to have to change their manufacturing sites every 15 years to find the latest cheap labor and will start to do more manufacturing in the USA)."
I'm so glad you want Americans to make sacrifices to help the Chinese economy. Oh and given the birth rates of India and Latin America, the odds that U.S. companies will ever move their factories back to the states are close to nil. Most people don't want to work in a factory anyways, so I don't consider the loss to be a big deal.
But this is all really irrelevant to my main point. The point is that attempting to prevent global warming by removing U.S. SUVs is not only futile but delusional as well.
Posted by: dc | 13 May 2006 at 11:18 AM
Poll - What's your farewell to the original Hummer?
Good riddance, nasty gas guzzler - 84%
Posted by: Lucas | 13 May 2006 at 12:10 PM
Raphael finds the militaristic peccadillos of Americans disturbing.Who was it that colonized the mideast and Africa?
Do you think the ownership by England,France,and a collection of European powers may have contributed to the foul mood of the Islamic world.During much of the twentieth century European powers were slaughtering Indians,Algerians,South Africans etc.etc.
Wasnt that hitler guy from Europe somewhere.Recently Chirac said he would use nuclear weapons if he found a state was behind a wmd attack on France.I am a little tired of Euros looking down their extremely bloody nose at mean old U.S. war mongers.
Euros who live in glass historical houses should think before throwing rhetorical stones.
Posted by: earl | 13 May 2006 at 12:26 PM
Mike and dc: This is hopefully just the beginning of a shift away from glutinous consumption of oil. I would like to see the american car companies succeed in producing fuel efficient (hybrid/alternative fuel) vehicles, maybe then I would buy one of their cars again. Do you suggest we should just keep burning it up because everyone else will? It has to start some where. SUV's have there place in the American economy but perhaps everyone doesn't need one in their driveway. The global context is that there is a diminishing supply, so we can just "burn it off" as fast as we can or we can make lifestyle and technological changes to prevent the collapse of the american auto market. My reality does not have any control over what China and India does in the future, does your's? It has to start here at home.
Posted by: ed | 13 May 2006 at 12:39 PM
dc: "Congress is taking billions in bribes? Do you really believe that?" Well, yes. Perhaps the total is a billion, not billions but if you can't believe it: www.publicintegrity.org/oil/report.aspx?aid=345. $420 million over the last six years alone. Come on, pull your head out and get with the program. The market is way behind the consumer on this issue and the government is largely responsible.
Posted by: ed | 13 May 2006 at 12:52 PM
I know it's a shocking concept, but the market is working. SUV sales are dropping like a rock without the punitive taxes you folks are proposing.
Not sure how many times you need to hear this, but demand responds to price regardless of the components of the price. Wouldn't you rather that the bulk of the $3/gallon you're spending go to things to make things better, other than just enriching a few people and perpetuating the problem? With prices at the levels they are now, the feds and some states are proposing to roll back the fuel taxes that pay to deal with roads.
Does all that seem wise?
Posted by: Joseph Willemssen | 13 May 2006 at 01:06 PM
it is precisely because we recognize the mistakes of our own history that we Europeans (Germans and Austrians in particular) are so averse to all things militaristic. For example, Gov. Schwarzenegger's predelection for Hummers is one of many reasons many Austrians are embarassed to be associated with him by accident of birth.
Posted by: Rafael Seidl | 13 May 2006 at 01:11 PM
"Come on, pull your head out and get with the program."
If the program involves referring to legal campaign contributions of $420 million over six years from an entire industry as "billions in bribes" then count me out.
But even that number is grossly exaggerated, as it includes donations by individuals that were not forced by the company to make contributions. That site you linked to doesn't even show which individuals made donations or why those individuals were selected to be included into "industry spending," which deceptively implies that the companies themselves are directly giving that $420 million. Basically, your source is highly biased and should not be trusted.
Posted by: dc | 13 May 2006 at 01:36 PM
Okay we'll count you out!
Posted by: ed | 13 May 2006 at 01:41 PM
"If the US was really serious about global warming and feeding our unfriendly "friends" billions of dollars to use against us, congress would immediately pass a tax of 100% on any vehicle that didn't get 30 mpg."
I think Lucas is right.
And it's hard to understand, why the US is still not really serious about global warming. You 've got a lot to lose - all those cities on the shores.
Off course, neither is Europe serious enough. We should take as much transport off the highway as possible and put it on the railroad.
Posted by: scram | 13 May 2006 at 02:13 PM
Interesting to note, that Hummer is not GM vehicle. It was developed by AM General, which still produce it for military and specialty users. GM bought it image (like Chrysler once did with Jeep, also from AM General) with anticipation to benefit from its extreme image. By itself this vehicle is revolutionary for military and all-terrain transportation, and comes only with diesel engine. Thought it is highly specialized and awful performer as city passenger vehicle. Exactly this, real Hummer was axed by GM.
Other Hummers GM continue to produce are cheap fake. Actually it is just camouflaged 30 years old Chevy Tahoe/GMC Sierra platform with 40 years old cast iron gas engines. It has solid beam rear axle and has minimal off-road capabilities. So H2 and H3 is really not just a vehicle, but statement: “proud to be a moron” For this matter I am on the side of our European eco-nazi friends.
Posted by: Andrey | 13 May 2006 at 02:18 PM