The rumors about the Hummer brand returning to GM have been flying around for months. It seemed a bit ludicrous that GM would add another brand to its portfolio. So many vehicle companies are cutting brands to consolidate messaging or lessen buyer overload. But now it is confirmed that the Hummer gas-guzzling brand is returning.
How we know is that a new commercial that will tease its return will be shown during the Super Bowl. Yes, GM has purchased commercial time for an announcement starring LeBron James.
The Hummer will be sold as a sub-division of GMC trucks. It may in time become its own brand but initially, it is slated for a 2022 return under GMC.
Why was the Hummer killed anyway?
It was killed along with Saturn, Pontiac, and Saab in 2010 after GM declared bankruptcy. Part of GM’s government bailout hinged on it eliminating a number of brands that either didn’t generate enough profit or overlapped with other GM brands. The government felt that messaging was confusing buyers. It also felt GM couldn’t allocate enough money to effectively market new models because it has so many overlapping products released at the same time.
Earlier last year GM announced it would release 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. It’s a multibillion-dollar push to kickstart the electric revolution at GM. Obviously, GM feels there will be a huge demand for electrification by the mid-2020s.
The news is coming at a time when SUVs are red hot. Right now fuel is reasonable, and consumer preference leans toward higher seating position, security, and an image of recreation and adventure. Vehicle manufacturers love it because there is more profit in SUVs than sedans and small cars.
GM has been looking at another all-electric SUV
Last year GM was negotiating with EV truck manufacturer Rivian to do its own electric pickup. Rivian broke off negotiations after it was learned that GM wanted exclusive rights to the startup’s development work. In September, Ford announced a non-exclusive deal with Rivian to share its pickup platform. Lincoln will be releasing its own pickup with the shared platform next year.
Originally owned by AM General, the Hummer name was purchased by GM in 1999. AM General continued to manufacture the Hummer per government contracts. GM exclusively sold civilian versions.
Soon after GM released the H2 and H3 Hummers. Developed by GM, they were based on existing GM platforms. Now the military Hummer was known as the H1. AM General continued to sell it until 2006.
An all-electric Hummer SUV was never a thought at this time
At this same time, GM began exporting the H2 and H3 to 33 countries. It also opened up additional Hummer factories in South Africa and Russia.
Just before its bankruptcy, GM was exploring what to do with the Hummer brand. Sales had plummeted as oil prices shot up. Throughout 2009 multiple companies expressed interest in Hummer, but in the end, GM shut it down.
When future GM plans were part of the UAW union contract talks there were obvious indications GM was making room for another unnamed SUV brand identified as “M-Brand.” Now we know for certain that the mysterious M-Brand is Hummer.