HUMMER was actually a brilliant company
With luxury car prices reaching new heights and gas prices remaining relatively low, we are truly in an interesting crossroads in the auto industry. On the one hand, we are seeing electric cars showing up on the streets of suburbia and our cities in larger numbers than ever before. On the other hand, we are seeing more and more SUVs appear on our roads that are using just as much gas as my nearly two decade old Buick. What a time to be alive.
In the midst of all of this, the rumor mill is a churning, and someone told the Internet that GM was considering bringing Hummer back as an EV brand. I think it's a brilliant move because Hummers will finally hum instead of chug and rattle and all of the things that those decade old brodozers are doing right now, but making fun of Hummer is a lot like making fun of Ed Hardy. At the time, those names were the biggest names in the business.
At the turn of the millennium amidst the conflicts in the Middle East and the events of September 11th, the automakers played a very mean game. On the global side of things, a company named AM General was putting out massive enclosed troop carriers. Stateside, the same company was putting out four or in some cases five passenger versions of the same troop carrier, and selling them for more than $100,000 a piece. Now it's not fair to blame AM General for creating this Mega-SUV craze. Ford was selling the Excursion too, and that could be had with a Powerstroke V8 or a gasoline powered V10, and an interior inspired by Eddie Bauer.
$100,000 is right in par with the most expensive versions if the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, as well as the upper trim levels on the Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus LX570, Infiniti QX80, etc., but that $100,000 was in early 2000s money. Adjusted for inflation, an early 2000s Hummer H1, not the Alpha, cost nearly $150,000 in today's money. GM, who bought the Hummer brand from AM General in 1999, managed to move nearly 1,000 of these behemoths, that's nearly 10 million dollars in revenue, in one year, from something that should've never made it onto our roadways unless we were under attack.
Still, like Ed Hardy shirts. It was a vehicle for the times, and while the H2 and H3 did a good job of pushing the brand, they fell short of what the H1 did for the brand. Even though GM was selling fully loaded H2's for nearly $75,000 in today's money.
Which leads me to why all of this makes sense. See, I was behind an H3T in traffic today, and I realized that the H3T looked an awful lot like the new Jeep Gladiator. That's when it hit me. Hummer would still be doing well as a company, if they were able to survive the recession. Look at Dodge, selling thousands upon thousands of their big, V8-powered barges. Hummer could be doing the same thing right now.
So here's my thought. GM is going to bring back Hummer, as an EV company, and it's going to be a shock to no one, when prices start around $80,000 or $90,000 and go right up to $150,000 fully loaded. Why? Because people will buy them, because they're Hummers. They're a little more civilized, the EV torque will make them fast as hell, and aerodynamics don't matter if you can cramp enough batteries in it to go 250 miles on a charge.
Boom. Hummer comes back with a vengeance and starts capturing the EV SUV market. Stealing buyer away from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Tesla and many others. I can see this working out well for GM. Now it's just the matter of figuring out where they're going to build the new era of brodozers.