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Aussie Hummer launch bogged down

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Aussie Hummer launch bogged down

Jez Spinks, drive.com.au, 19/06/07

The Australian arrival of the Hummer H3, America's most famous off-road vehicle, has been bogged down by red tape, reports JEZ SPINKS.

Hummer lands Down Under

The local launch of American 4WD brand Hummer has been pushed back three months owing to production delays.

More than 300 Australians who have paid up to $6000 as a deposit for the Hummer H3 are being forced to wait until October instead of July because the vehicle is yet to comply with Australian regulations.

"There have been some issues with local ADRs [Australian Design Regulations] - mudflaps, wiring looms, towbars," says Parveen Batish, managing director of GM Premium Brands in Australia. "They are quite specific things for the Australian market."

"The official launch is being delayed until October, but we will be aiming to get customer cars out as soon as possible."

The H3 is the smallest vehicle in the Hummer range, although it still weights 2.2 tonnes. Despite the brand's strong American roots, the H3 is built in South Africa for global markets.

Seventy per cent of H3s pre-sold are the range-topping, $59,990 Luxury variant. Batish says this is because the range represents great value, with a very small gap between the flagship H3 and the $51,990 base model.

The military-based Hummer H1, famous for its role during the 1991 Gulf War, is unlikely to be imported, but the Hummer line-up is certain to be expanded in Australia.

"There's lots on the horizon for the brand," says Batish. "We're going to try and expand what we have [on offer]."

A new, smaller Hummer called the H4 is in the pipeline, as is a ute-style vehicle.

The H3 is powered by a 3.7-litre five-cylinder engine, but Hummer Australia is chasing diesel and V8 power.

"We would like diesel," says Batish, "but it's a little time away. We will get [a diesel Hummer] for evaluation as soon as possible."

Batish doesn't believe no initial diesel offering will harm H3 sales in Australia, despite the fuel's increasing popularity.

"The Hummer brand itself is bringing people to the product. But we will need diesel."

V8 power for the H3 is not expected to be available until late 2008, meaning early 2009 is likely for Australia.

There will be 21 Hummer dealers set up initially in Australia, all but five of which are also showrooms for Saab - the Swedish brand that also belongs to the large General Motors empire.

The Australian launch of another General Motors brand, Cadillac, is still no closer, however.

"We're looking at about one and a half to two years out for Cadillac," says Batish, adding that the American brand's set-up in export markets in Europe are being monitored.

Batish says the emergence of next-generation Cadillacs - such as the CTS unveiled at January's Detroit motor show - mean waiting makes sense.

"If you're going to launch a new brand, you should do it with new products," he says.

Cadillac may not be the last brand to join Hummer and Swedish brand Saab in the GM Premium Brands stable.

"We are looking at all the brands in the GM world," says Batish.

Source:

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleD...=41022&vf=2

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"If you're going to launch a new brand, you should do it with new products," he says.

Cadillac may not be the last brand to join Hummer and Swedish brand Saab in the GM Premium Brands stable.

"We are looking at all the brands in the GM world," says Batish.

Source:

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleD...=41022&vf=2

Posted Image

www.buickcarclubaustralia.com & www.buickclub.org.au :smilewide:

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Buick would make sense and would be easy and cheap to import vehicles from factories in China.. assuming that new Global Buicks will be flexible for both left and right-hand drive markets.

If not Buick, then Chevrolet would be a definite second choice since GM fully intends to make it THE Global volume brand. Under Chevrolet, GM could tackle the compact/sub-compact/micro segments with vehicles from GMDAT while Holden focuses on moving upscale to slot directly under Cadillac. This would prevent any hard feelings from Holden fans and Austrailians in general concerned that their automotive industry is on the way to being extinct.

In regards to Cadillac... it's wise to introduce the brand with all-new products, however, I hope they're not going to wait for the brand to have more then a couple of new models before entering. By then, the 08 CTS will already be "old" and it could be like Europe all over again.

Edited by Cadillacfan
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