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Hummer looking @ options for new entries to lineup

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Room to Grow

Hummer looking at options for new entries to lineup

By RALPH KISIEL | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 02/20/06, 1:08 am et

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hummer is considering at least two new models.

Today's models are the H1, the H2 and the smallest Hummer, the H3, launched last year.

"My team is working on a couple of new entries for the Hummer portfolio," said Susan Docherty, Hummer marketing general manager. "We think that Hummer can definitely grow."

Hummer is never going to have a minivan, Docherty said after talking to dealers at the make meeting. "But we have other places we can go," she said. "We could go smaller. We could go to other segments. We're looking at all of that."

Dealers attending the meeting said they would like more Hummer models. Any new models must have the Hummer iconic design and unparalleled off-road capabilities, Docherty said.

"We will never be a mainstream brand where we have nine or 10 entries," she said. "But there's room to go beyond the three that we have."

Docherty told dealers that the brand is expecting about 154 dealers out of the total of 171 Hummer dealers to have completed new stores by year end. Today there are 130 Hummer dealers with new stores finished or under construction.

"In some cases, they are sharing a fixed operation like Cadillac or another GM brand, but these are dedicated Hummer facilities," Docherty said.

Dealers said the stores' distinctive Quonset-hut styling and off-road test tracks enhance the Hummer image.

"That is very important to grow the brand, and many of them have outdoor test tracks," said Dave Johnson, president of Sutliff Hummer in Harrisburg, Pa.

Docherty told the dealers that 40 percent of H3 buyers are women, compared with 20 percent for the H2.

"So we've got a lot more women coming into the franchise," she said. Docherty attributed that to pricing under $30,000, 20-mpg fuel economy and ease of parking.

"So everything that was our Achilles' heel on Hummer we've addressed," Docherty said.

"We had a lot of women who aspired to an H2, but that was either too big for them, or too expensive, or maybe a little bit too difficult to park."

Link: http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...MOTORSPORTSNEWS

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I think the H3 was ridiculous enough as a Hummer. They're just diluting the brand at this point. DEFINATELY no need for an H4, the H1 will never be taken seriously again.

I don't think the H2 and H3 are hurting the H1's image any. It's too rough around the edges to be seen as just another soccer-mom-mobile.

An H4 would probably be a Wrangler competitior. That really should be the extent of it. When HUMMER loses its edge and resorts to making soft-roaders like Jeep has, then we can start worrying.

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