What Happened to AM General, the Hummer’s Original Owner?

AM General was the original producer of the Hummer. General built its stock of off-roaders for the military. As time went on, the company changed hands, and the Hummer brand was purchased by someone else. 

According to AM General, its company’s history goes back quite a ways to the days of horse-drawn wagons. Over the years, many changes have taken place, and today we see a brand-new version of the Hummer, which promises to bring many improvements to the table. 

The resurrected GMC Hummer 

Close shot of older Hummer grille with Hummer spelled out under the main part of the grille.
Hummer | Getty Images

The GMC Hummer can come back to the market due to its EV powertrain. With the transition from gasoline-powered vehicles, the Hummer can now provide plenty of off-road capabilities without the damaging effects fuel has on the environment. 

While it still kept some of its original features, GMC modernized it and improved upon it as well. The new powertrain consists of three electric motors producing a combined 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque, unheard of in an SUV or any electric vehicle. 

You can expect 11.5-inches of ground clearance with this Hummer, but that’s not where it stops. Using the Extract mode, you can increase the gap between the ground and the underbelly of the vehicle to 15.9 inches. Giving you more room for crawling over uneven terrain. 

How did we get to this point?

It all began with the Studebaker company that opened its doors in 1852 in South Bend, Indiana as a horse-drawn wagon producer. In 1861, it landed its first wagon contract with the Army branch of the military. In 1902, Studebaker began producing automobiles but didn’t discontinue the wagon business until 1919. 

It would eventually be bought out by Kaiser-Jeep, which would sell its General Products division to American Motors, who renamed its company American General. By 1964, it had built over 112,000 heavy-duty trucks for the military. Humvees were produced in 1983 for a five-year contract, but they continued to sell them until 2012. The Hummer came into play around 1992, and it earned the moniker, “world’s most serious 4X4”. 

The Hummer was somewhat of a failure when released to the public in the early 1990s. The first generation was 16 feet long, seven feet tall, and seven feet wide, drank approximately a gallon of gas in less than 10 miles, acceleration time for a 7,500 lbs vehicle was terrible, it went from 0 to 60 mph in 18 seconds, and the price was $71,000. GMC bought out the Hummer brand in 1999 and released a slightly better version in 2002, but it still wasn’t quite up to snuff. 

What the 2024 GMC Hummer promises to deliver

We thought it was gone for good after GMC filed for bankruptcy and quit making the Hummer, but it appears that isn’t the case. The automaker brought it back to life and fixed one of the biggest problems it had before, which was its fuel economy. 

The 2024 model offers a 300-mile driving range with its new electric powertrain. If you opt for the Extreme off-road package, it will be much less, but still worth it. Acceleration time improved significantly. Before with the gas-powered model, it took almost 20 seconds, but with the EV version, a 0 to 60 mph run takes 3.5 seconds for the SUV and 3 seconds for the truck. 


How Efficient Is the GMC Hummer EV Pickup Battery?

As for cost, it’s still quite high at around $105,000 to start, but that’s for the Edition 1, so you might get by a little cheaper with the base model. When will we see it? It’s reportedly coming out toward the end of 2023. 

The Hummer has always been an iconic vehicle, despite being terrible to drive and keep fueled up. It looks like GMC has resurrected it to be a much better offering than what we’ve seen before. As for AM General, they haven’t given up yet. According to Defense News, KPS Capital Partners bought them out to save it from financial ruin, and it plans to make some big moves in the future.