_How GM Should Have Saved HUMMER
I am saddened and angered by the demise of HUMMER. A uniquely American creation, HUMMER could have been SO much more than what it became.
I believe that the people who ran HUMMER got too caught up in striving to one-up Jeep. HUMMER wanted to be the off road top dog, more capable of scaling boulders than Jeep and Range Rover. In reality, most people who wanted to own a HUMMER didn’t care about being able to out-climb a Jeep. We just wanted to LOOKlike we could.
Remember the Turbo-Look Porsche? It was a late 70s 911 that had the whale tail and wide fenders of the mighty Turbo, but not the performance or the price. Porsche sold a lot of those. HUMMER should have learned from Porsche.
HUMMER should have made a 2WD H3 and H3T. So what if it was less capable of going off road? How many HUMMER owners actually take their trucks off road regularly? Most HUMMERs, I’d wager, only go off road when the weather turns nasty. Or if they live in semi-rural areas whose roads aren’t paved.
A 2WD H3/H3T could have been nearly half a ton lighter, got better gas mileage, and cost $5k-$6k less. GM could have prepared a legal form that informed the customer that, although their HUMMER looked like it was capable of climbing sandy boulders, it was not. And that their truck was intended for “light-duty off-road driving”. And forced the dealers to force any customer who purchased a 2WD H3/H3T to sign this form. HUMMER could have named this less-capable model “The Base”. Or found a synonym in a different language to make it sound luxurious. It could have been slightly de-contented. Instead of leather seats, a cloth-only interior. I believe this model would have sold like hotcakes. Increased sales of a base H3 like the one I have described would have enabled GM to greenlight the H4. Which ALSO should have had a base, 2WD-only model available. If I had been running HUMMER, it would still be alive, and getting the Volt’s electric powertrain. But noooo, HUMMER management was too proud of their carefully cultivated, top-of-the-mountain image to soil it with a “base” model. Their haughtiness got them eliminated from their jobs, and eliminated the jobs of all those workers, too.
GM could have also bought turbodiesel engines from partner Isuzu to install in the H3. And also the Colorado/Canyon twins. If GM had had the testicles to do this, they would have shut up the tree huggers and Greenpeacers. But, that is the subject of a different rant…
David L. Parsons