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  • In the early 1990s, one of Hollywood's biggest action stars pestered a

  • U.S. defense contractor to sell him a truck the American military had

  • famously used in a war with Iraq.

  • And so America got the Hummer.

  • The angular, militaristic go anywhere truck became an emblem of 1990s pop

  • culture, a coveted status symbol sought by celebrities and a sometimes

  • mocked and vilified example of just how far America's newfound love for

  • sport utility vehicles had gone.

  • The Hummer was huge, brash and often brightly colored, and it became a

  • favorite choice for adventurous buyers who didn't mind attracting

  • attention. And then it was gone.

  • As parent company General Motors collapsed into bankruptcy.

  • I would say there probably isn't many more iconic vehicles of this century

  • than the Hummer. I would put like the Hummer, the Prius, the Beatle.

  • I would say they all existed for a time and were so incredibly popular and

  • their popularity has faded for all of them.

  • But I mean, Hummer was so ubiquitous at one point in terms of representing

  • that overly emasculated, aggressive, almost stereotype.

  • The Hummer had a brief life spanning just under two decades, but it made a

  • lasting impression.

  • The vehicle that would come to be called a Hummer actually began as the

  • U.S. military's High Mobility Multi-purposed Wheeled Vehicle.

  • The name's cumbersome acronym H M M W V landed the truck with its nickname

  • Humvee. It was first developed in 1981 by U.S.

  • defense contractor AM General.

  • It was most notably used in the first Gulf War, but the kind seen on roads

  • and highways later on came about because as the story goes, Arnold

  • Schwarzenegger saw a convoy of Hummers in Oregon while filming a movie and

  • decided he had to have one.

  • Upon seeing them, he would later say he could see himself driving the

  • vehicle in the mountains and in the desert.

  • Schwarzenegger reportedly lobbied AM general repeatedly for one of the

  • vehicles. At first, he demanded one of the same Humvees the company had

  • sold to the military, but he was refused since the truck was not street

  • legal. Then he began asking AM general to make a civilian version.

  • He even flew out to the company's headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, to

  • make his case. The contractor eventually created a civilian version in

  • 1992 and named it the Hummer.

  • Schwarzenegger was there for the unveiling of the vehicle and drove one of

  • the first specimens off the assembly line.

  • By many measurements, the Hummer outdid every other passenger vehicle on

  • the market. It had a full 16 inches of ground clearance.

  • That's over nine inches more than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

  • It was also seven feet wide, almost as wide as the biggest street legal

  • semitrucks, making it stable and resistant to rollover, despite its

  • height. The civilian version came with a more comfortable cabin geared for

  • cruising and commuting rather than combat.

  • But the truck did retain some of the features found in the original

  • version. There's a vehicle that was extremely capable of going anywhere

  • off road. So even if most owners never actually took it off the pavement,

  • the vehicle did have the credibility behind it.

  • Owners of the vehicle knew that it could go really far off road if they so

  • desired. And the capability of that vehicle was part of its credibility.

  • And the Hummer was a success for a while.

  • Gm bought the brand in 1999 and expanded the lineup with progressively

  • smaller models called the H2 and H3.

  • By 2002, General Motors was launching the Hummer brand in a big way with

  • the H2, which was a smaller version of the smaller, more consumer

  • friendly version of the H1 that was heavily based on GM pickup.

  • Heavy duty pickup mechanicals.

  • And the timing of it was sort of fortuitous for General Motors because the

  • second Gulf War was starting and all over the news, all you saw were

  • military Humvees storming into Iraq.

  • And right about that time, General Motors launched the H2.

  • So it was able to capitalize on it was able to capitalize on current

  • events at the time. It also made it a very polarizing vehicle because

  • Americans were either in support of the war or they were really, really

  • against it. Eventually, every celebrity seemed to have one.

  • Schwarzenegger himself owned at least seven at one point.

  • Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson had six.

  • At its peak in 2006, Americans bought more than 71,000 Hummers.

  • The vehicle was an oddity in the marketplace, huge, blunt and aggressive.

  • But that appears to be part of what people liked about it.

  • It was a vehicle that absolutely could not be ignored.

  • I think the fact that there were so many of them that were painted bright

  • yellow sort of spoke volumes about the fact that this is the view that

  • people really want to be seen in.

  • I mean, people generally chose pretty extroverted colors to go with this

  • vehicle. You know, the vehicle was, of course, extremely often capable,

  • but there were a relatively small number of people who actually use it for

  • that purpose. Really, it was a fashion statement.

  • For some people was even a political statement.

  • And most of all, it was a vehicle that vote for those who were really into

  • the product. It was something that they really wanted to show off and be

  • seen in. However, there was also backlash against the truck, which critics

  • viewed as an obnoxious gas guzzler.

  • The original Hummer H1 got about 10 miles per gallon, the smallest of the

  • lineup, the H3 got 14 miles per gallon with an automatic transmission in

  • the 2010 model year.

  • To activists and other critics, the vehicle became a symbol of excess and

  • the American addiction to fuel at a time when prices were beginning to

  • climb and the country was fighting wars in the oil rich Middle East.

  • In one high profile case, a dealership in West Covina, California, was

  • vandalized, including 20 Hummers valued at about $50000 each.

  • The perpetrators spray painted messages on several of the damaged trucks,

  • including gross polluter and fat, lazy Americans.

  • Apart from the environmental backlash.

  • Rising fuel prices and a grueling recession spoiled America's taste for

  • big vehicles. Hummer sales fell from their 2006 high to 55,986 in

  • 2007, 27,485 in 2008.

  • And just 9,046 in 2009.

  • Unfortunately for Hummer, as the decade progressed, after a decade

  • progressed, fuel prices went haywire in 2008.

  • All the sudden, it made the Hummer look very unfashionable because he was

  • a vehicle that got maybe 10 miles a gallon when gas prices were shooting

  • up to near about $4 a gallon across the country.

  • And all the sudden it looked very out of step with the times and it looked

  • like a dinosaur. And sales fell off like a rock.

  • They Hummer did introduce a smaller multi-culti H3, but by that time, I

  • think that damn, that's pretty much already done.

  • To make matters worse, General Motors itself had collapsed, the largest

  • U.S. automaker filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

  • GM put several of its brands to the axe, including Pontiac, Oldsmobile,

  • Saab and Hummer.

  • So I think for for those times when General Motors was looking at what

  • they should do as they were going through bankruptcy, moving forward,

  • Hummer was a brand that they had to unload.

  • I mean, even if you look at what their pickup truck sales were at the

  • time, those had just fallen off the cliff as well.

  • So it was clear that Americans are not interested in these larger

  • vehicles. All of the things that had made it appealing.

  • It's big, loud, brash attitude were now liabilities.

  • GM would later try to sell the brand to Chinese investors, but that deal

  • fell through. The strange thing is that as prices have fallen from an all

  • time high set in 2008 and as the U.S.

  • has pulled out of the recession, customers have run back to sport,

  • utilities and trucks.

  • Fast forward to today and now, although smaller, not Hummer size, SUVs are

  • nearly 50 per person of the new Khazaal in the United States.

  • So what's old is new again, essentially, I think that's that in fromwhat

  • everything. But it seems like it certainly is the case here with Humarr as

  • well. But it is possible the brand could have a second life.

  • At least two reports have said GM is considering bringing the Hummer back

  • as part of a fleet of electric and hybrid sport utilities and trucks.

  • Gm didn't comment on the report, but a move like that would allow the

  • automaker to capitalize on the Hummers, military pedigree and adventurous

  • image while keeping in step with what GM CEO Mary Barra calls GM's all

  • electric future.

  • Over the years, even Schwarzenegger has been seen piloting Hummers,

  • running on alternative fuels.

  • One of my Hummer has been turned into a hydrogen Hummer.

  • And that, of course, emits no greenhouse gases at all.

  • And the other Hummer has been turned into a biofuel Hummer and that one

  • now releases emits a 40 to 50 percent less greenhouse gases.

  • So I think those are the kind of initiatives each individual of us can

  • take. Reviving the Hummer could also be a relatively inexpensive way for

  • GM to broaden its truck lineup at a time when Americans are scooping up

  • pickups and sport utilities at an unprecedented rate.

  • Several industry watchers have said the shift toward utilities and trucks

  • and the new car market is here to stay.

  • If that is true, automakers are likely to keep trying to carve out new

  • niches to distinguish themselves and squeeze higher margins out of each

  • purchase. Big, butch, off-road ready vehicles are once again the order of

  • the day. The longtime off-road favorite Jeep Wrangler has climbed from

  • eighty four thousand six hundred fifteen units in 2008 to two hundred

  • 84,615 units in 2018.

  • And Jeep added the gladiator pickup truck to its Wrangler lineup for the

  • 2019 model year.

  • While GM has off-road capable vehicles, it doesn't really have one that

  • directly replaced the Hummer, nor one that could directly compete with the

  • Wrangler. Having a dedicated, off-road oriented brand could be a boon to

  • GM and its ongoing war for truck and SUV dominance with its Detroit

  • rivals. So I think that it does make sense from a manufacturer standpoint,

  • but also it seems like the consumer base is there.

  • I mean, how much hype was there around the Jeep Gladiator launch?

  • I mean, tons. I mean, people are, you know, still very excited about that

  • vehicle you know, a year later.

  • The gladiator is actually a revival of a pickup truck Jeep sold in the

  • 1960s.

  • In similar manner, Ford plans to revive the Bronco, another once popular

  • utility vehicle.

  • Toyota brought back its Supera sports car.

  • Honda pulled the passport name out of its archives for a new sport

  • utility. When automakers reintroduced brands, they can take advantage of

  • nostalgia while also saving money they would have to spend introducing

  • customers to a totally new product.

  • Even a brand is notorious as Hummer is still a recognized one.

  • The Hummer was certainly a polarizing vehicle, but reviving it in this

  • market is starting to look like a smart bet.

In the early 1990s, one of Hollywood's biggest action stars pestered a

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What Happened To The Hummer?

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    joey joey に公開 2021 年 06 月 07 日
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