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GM to end H1 Production

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DETROIT (AP) - Get ready to say goodbye to the Hummer H1, the hulking, gas-guzzling status symbol that has attracted celebrities and off-road enthusiasts but has drawn the ire of environmentalists.

General Motors Corp. said Friday that the 2006 model year will be the last for the H1, which has been the foundation for the automaker's Hummer brand. Based on the military's Humvee, the about 12,000 put on the road since 1992 defined the Hummer name.

"It's a reflection of where we're going with the Hummer brand," Hummer general manager Martin Walsh said of the decision. "The Hummer DNA still resides in the Humvee. ... It will always be the core from where we come."

GM expects the last H1s to be built next month.

Walsh said Hummer plans to focus on models with broader appeal instead of the niche-market H1. Since taking over the Hummer name in 2000, GM has introduced the still hefty H2 and a midsize H3 sport utility vehicle.

The H1 gets about 10 miles per gallon, but Walsh said rising gas prices didn't factor into GM's decision. He noted that H1 buyers typically have been less sensitive about gas prices than most other drivers.

Auto analyst Erich Merkle with the Grand Rapids consulting company IRN Inc. said the decision fits with steps GM has taken to bring the Hummer brand to more mainstream drivers with the H2 and H3.

"They're going to continue moving Hummer in that direction," Merkle said. "It's a great brand. There is a lot that can be done with that in terms of leveraging its ruggedness and toughness."

Merkle added that the kind of drivers who buy the H1 don't worry about things like gas prices.

"It's really one of those over-the-top vehicles," Merkle said. "It doesn't really have much of a place in everyday society. You can't put it in the parking ramps. Parking spaces can't accommodate it."

The H1 attracted well-heeled drivers looking for a military-style vehicle with an intimidating stance. For the 2006 model year, the H1 was offered as a high-performance H1 Alpha that costs about $130,000 to $140,000. The 2004 model year H1 sold at a base price of about $106,000.

The vehicle first was marketed to the public as the Hummer in 1992 by AM General, which also makes the military version. Under a 1999 deal, GM bought marketing rights to the Hummer name and called the vehicle the Hummer H1.

Hummers often have been associated with celebrities who owned them, such as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was AM General's first civilian customer, buying a custom-made conversion of the military model as well as civilian production models.

Schwarzenegger once owned a fleet of Hummers but now has just three. The California governor's aides say he rarely drives them anymore.

The Hummer's critics include the Sierra Club, which has faulted the vehicle for its bulk and poor gas mileage. Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's global warming program, welcomed the news, which comes as Congress tackles fuel economy standards and some drivers face $3 gas prices.

"The timing is pretty amazing," Becker said.

Last year, GM sold 374 H1s, down 16 percent from 447 in 2004.

GM is working to turn around its North American automotive operations and this week announced its first quarterly profit since 2004. Last year it announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs and close 12 facilities by 2008. It also has stockpiled parts in case workers at supplier Delphi Corp. go on strike.

AM General, which builds the H1, H2 and Humvee in Mishawaka, Ind., said it doesn't plan to cut any jobs as a result of the decision. It said workers there were expected to be shifted to military production.

With the war in Iraq, the end of H1 production comes at a time when military demand for Humvee has increased, said AM General spokesman Craig MacNab. Publicity surrounding the Humvee in the Persian Gulf War -- and the drop in military demand afterward -- helped lead to the civilian model.

"The military production is way up, the civilian production is way down," MacNab said. "You can't make a business case for making any investment in the civilian vehicle. ... It's a good time to stop."

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What the...

If this was closer to April 1 I would seriously think it was an April Fools joke. The introduction of the H3 was bad enough... now they're cutting the H1????

They are really trying as hard as they can to kill this brand, aren't they????

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The H1 was more of an image thing than anything else for the brand.

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Well, All the H2 is a Suburban frame right, and the H3 is a Colorado.. So, why pay more for a H2 when you can have something better looking with the same chasis?

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I had a friend who did product placement for a company in LA, and Hummer was one of the clients, so for 3 years he had various new H-1's to drive. I've spent hours in the H-1 over those years, and I think the trade off is worse than driving a Lotus Exige as a daily driver because you want something edgier than a Miata. The H-1 sat four uncomfortably, didn't hold much, didn't go very fast, and was louder than your average airport. It also didn't fit in many garages, parking structure entrances, and got truly shi77y mileage. The H-1 was redundant the instant the H-2 appeared. The H-2 did about 9/10ths of what the H-1 could (and really, unless you were going to invade a foreign country, did you need that extra 1/10th?) with better gas mileage, an actual liveable interior and better performance- at a much lower price, which is why it was the knock-it-out-of-the-park hit it was.

Maybe they can do some special program to tart up the military spec ones for teh die hards who really won't settle for the other models.

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:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

The H1 has more manliness in its exaust note than the entire fleet of H2s and H3s combined. All the real Hummer fans (myself included) have never even considered the H2/3 to be real Hummers. I make a motion to change Hummer's name to BUMMER (Bull$h! + Hummer) to more accurately reflect the new direction of the Hummer brand.

I second that.

Motion granted. Meeting adjourned.

Oh come on, who cares?

The H1 was a fossil in today's market. Yeah, it was a novelty, but were you ever really going to buy one? HUMMER needs to be more forward-thinking if it wants to survive. Models like the H3 are saving this brand, not some prehistoric behemoth that's a target for everyone who ever planted a tree to point to and bash. The H1 isn't what draws people into HUMMER showrooms anyway. The H2 took that prize years ago. I guess I'm in the minority when I say it won't be missed. Good riddance. :wink:

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Well, since the H1 was pretty much why Hummer exists in the first place, maybe consider having a "special order" program instead?

Great way to jack up the price :D

Speaking of which, maybe they should make a diesel version of the H2 as well, since this replaces some void left by the H1.

Edited by ToniCipriani

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A similar NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/13/automobi...=th&oref=slogin

May 13, 2006

Largest Hummer to Go the Way of the Dodo

By MICHELINE MAYNARD and NICK BUNKLEY

DETROIT, May 12 — General Motors is preparing to give a final salute to the hulking Hummer H1, the ultimate in sport utility might and, to its many critics, the ultimate in environmental incorrectness.

G.M. said Friday that it expected to stop building the H1, flagship of its Hummer line, next month. The move comes 14 years after it first went on sale to the public.

The H1, originally called simply the Hummer, and lately known as the H1 Alpha, is derived from the military vehicle called the Humvee.

The wide, rugged Jeep-like vehicle captivated many television viewers, who watched it trek across the Iraqi desert during the Gulf War. Hoping to capitalize on Humvee-mania, its maker, A.M. General, quickly brought out a street-legal version.

Despite its $140,000-plus price tag, rough ride and a fuel economy rating of about 10 miles a gallon, well-heeled buyers and celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger snapped up the H1 when it first reached the market in 1992.

"It started out as a huge image boost for G.M. — everyone knows what a Hummer is," said Ron Pinelli, the president of Autodata, an industry statistics firm in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

About 12,000 H1's have been sold to the public, including 4,000 by G.M., which bought the marketing rights to Hummer from A.M. General in 2000.

Since then, G.M. has added two slightly smaller Hummers, the stately H2, introduced in 2002 and the relatively petite H3, which went on sale last year.

Perhaps because there are more choices of Hummers, or because H1's moment of military chic simply has passed because of the conflict overseas, sales of the H1 have plummeted.

G.M., which sold 875 H1's in 2000, sold just 374 in 2005, and 98 in the first four months of 2006, according to Autodata.

With diesel fuel prices around $3 a gallon, it costs more than $150 to fill up the H1's two gas tanks, which together hold 51.5 gallons.

And with G.M. on a push to recast its image as a green company, "it's time for it to go away," Mr. Pinelli said of the biggest Hummer.

Environmentalists, who have used the H1 as an automotive punching bag since it first heaved onto American streets, could hardly contain themselves.

"It's one thing if it's carrying soldiers to and from a fight," said Daniel Becker of the Sierra Club, which maintains an anti-Hummer Web page called "Hummerdinger.org." "It's another if it's hauling lattes home from Starbucks."

For its part, G.M. said high fuel prices were not the reason it pulled the plug on the H1. Instead, G.M. said Hummer's maker, A.M. General, "will dedicate its engineering, manufacturing, marketing and dealer resources to bringing more new or significantly revised models to market."

Despite the decline in H1 sales, Hummer dealers expressed disappointment that the gargantuan vehicle's days were numbered.

"The H1 is where it all started," said Ben Olin, sales manager at Ed Schmidt Hummer, a Maumee, Ohio, dealership that was one of the first in the country to sell the H1. "There's a lot of heritage that goes along with it."

Mr. Olin sold just two H1's last year. Many buyers, he said, are now turning to the less overbearing H2, which is based on the Chevrolet Tahoe S.U.V.

Indeed, G.M. has sold more than 100,000 H2's and more than 50,000 H3's, based on the Chevy Colorado pickup, since each went on sale. Leo Karl III, president of Hummer by Karl in New Canaan, Conn., said he was surprised at G.M.'s decision to discontinue the vehicle after investing money to make it street-legal. The H1 has a "beautiful interior and unbelievable" 6.6-liter, turbo diesel V-8 engine, Mr. Karl said.

Mr. Karl said he would miss the H1. "If there's one vehicle on the road that's like nothing else, that's it," he said.

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Oh come on, who cares? 

The H1 was a fossil in today's market. Yeah, it was a novelty, but were you ever really going to buy one? HUMMER needs to be more forward-thinking if it wants to survive. Models like the H3 are saving this brand, not some prehistoric behemoth that's a target for everyone who ever planted a tree to point to and bash. The H1 isn't what draws people into HUMMER showrooms anyway. The H2 took that prize years ago. I guess I'm in the minority when I say it won't be missed. Good riddance.  :wink:

Agreed, good riddance..it was complete nonsense, IMHO.

If I could afford a high dollar prestige SUV I'd get something good looking that would actually be enjoyable to drive like a Cayenne Turbo S or Range Rover Sport, not a crude, primitive military vehicle..

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I won't miss it and I don't think GM will miss it either. I go to the International Auto Show in Boston every year, and I've sat in one of those things ever year since it became a GM division and every time I do it I ask out loud "who would buy one of these things?"

RIP for sure.

That could be. This whole decision still . . .

Posted Image

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I'm sorry, but to lots of off-road enthusiasts, the H1 was the only Hummer that mattered. You just lost loads of fans to Jeep, GM. Nobody cares about the pussified H2 and H3. You may as well just kill the rest of the brand.

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bad move GM.

They should make 1 for every dealer and have what someone said a custom order policy. Its what draws people in to fealers like the Sky and Solstice. And Z06

You can buy Surplus Army hummers though which are even better.

like http://www.real4wd.com/default.asp?mnu=4

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I'm sorry, but to lots of off-road enthusiasts, the H1 was the only Hummer that mattered.  You just lost loads of fans to Jeep, GM.  Nobody cares about the pussified H2 and H3.  You may as well just kill the rest of the brand.

Unfortunately, sales don't bear you out on that.

Hopefully, they can do H-1's by special order.

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I'm sorry, but to lots of off-road enthusiasts, the H1 was the only Hummer that mattered.  You just lost loads of fans to Jeep, GM.  Nobody cares about the pussified H2 and H3.  You may as well just kill the rest of the brand.

Yeah, and out of all those "off-road enthusiasts", 25 went to a HUMMER dealer and actually bought one last month.

The vast majority of consumers don't even know the H1 is still being produced. Go sit in one and you'll quickly understand why.

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vast majority of consumers don't even know the H1 is still being produced.  Go sit in one and you'll quickly understand why.

i dont think offroaders care about seat comfort. in fact i doubt it has aything to do with that at all, with "sitting in it"...that trend has passed.

if arnold didnt have one, nobody would want one.

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Whether or not the H1 is a nice vehicle or whether it sold, it is what made Hummer known. It is what gives Hummer it's credibility in the market for such vehicles. When people think of ultimate all-terrain vehicles, I wouldn't be suprised if the first vehicle which came to mind was the H1. It is a badass vehicle and I'm pissed off to know that it's leaving...

Without the H1, Hummer just isn't Hummer.

Edited by Nick

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Whether or not the H1 is a nice vehicle or whether it sold, it is what made Hummer known. It is what gives Hummer it's credibility in the market for such vehicles. When people think of ultimate all-terrain vehicles, I wouldn't be suprised if the first vehicle which came to mind was the H1.  It is a badass vehicle and I'm pissed off to know that it's leaving...

Without the H1, Hummer just isn't Hummer.

i agree... the H2... well it must be 2nd to something, without the H1, or something in its place... Hummer really isnt what its cracked up to be... its like taking the corvette away from Chevy... or taking the art & science away from cadillac... when you do that you dont have a brand image any more...

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Unfortunately, sales don't bear you out on that.

Hopefully, they can do H-1's by special order.

The H1 is waaaay too large and heavy to be of any value off-road. If I wanted to get serious about off-roading, I'd get a Rubicon.

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The H1 is waaaay too large and heavy to be of any value off-road.  If I wanted to get serious about off-roading, I'd get a Rubicon.

Thank you! That is just the question I was going to ask fully expeciting the answer that you gave. The H1 is too large too navigate the drive thru line at McD's, therefore it is too large to go the majority of off road opportunities. Or so I would opine.

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reminds me of mcbain from the simpsons...1 highway

zero city.

merely a status symbol. it doesnt matter what it looks like on the inside or where it can go off road...the price and size say it all.

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Thank you!  That is just the question I was going to ask fully expeciting the answer that you gave.  The H1 is too large too navigate the drive thru line at McD's, therefore it is too large to go the majority of off road  opportunities.  Or so I would opine.

It was never really meant to navigate through tight spots and climb up mountains...not to my knowledge anyway. You give it wide open terrain though and it will dominate. The HMMWV is meant to transport troops quickly and safely over nearly any type of terrain you throw at it. Offroading doesn't just cosist of navigating tight trails and climbing mountains. When you're in an H1 you creat your own trail. :AH-HA_wink:

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All the more reason to dump it.

reminds me of mcbain from the simpsons...1 highway

zero city.

merely a status symbol.  it doesnt matter what it looks like on the inside or where it can go off road...the price and size say it all.

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