AM General announced today that it will officially unveil its civilian offering, the HUMVEE C-Series, at the International Defense Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi next week. The venue and locale isn’t an odd place for AM General to be exhibiting, but the choice to unveil a civilian model on the other side of the world at a conference that civilians aren’t allowed to attend begs the question: Is the C-Series actually meant for….civilians?
The release even says, “The HUMVEE C-Series Kit is designed and intended only for civilian commercial use and will not be sold for military purposes,” yet…it’s debuting at a conference that in order to attend you must prove to be a “bonafide member of the defense industry.”
AM General – this is your chance to do something remarkable. Please don’t screw it up.
To be sure, even a kit-car civilian Humvee wouldn’t be a vehicle just anyone would purchase – but the fact the first audience to lay eyes on it will governments and defense contractors is indicative that AM General doesn’t believe that civilians in North America are the target market.
That’s not to say that civilians weren’t, or aren’t still in the target market – but perhaps the market approach has shifted after lackluster demand over the last three months on the ordering site. We can’t confirm low ordering levels, but requests for information on volume or the ‘viability determination’ of the kit have gone unanswered by AM General – with today’s announcement being the only communication since October from the automaker.
We suspect the official line will be, “In addition to enthusiasts in the United States, AM General believes the C-Series will appeal to citizens around the world.”
Hopefully AM General will consult someone with civilian automotive marketing soon if they plan to actually sell to….civilians. Or, they’ll stop trying to pretend via a line in a press release that defense contractors or governments aren’t in their target market.
Complete release from AM General after the jump.
AM General HUMVEE Civilian Series
Makes World Debut at IDEX 2013
Website Updated to Include New Photos and Additional Kit Options
ABU DHABI, Feb. 15, 2013 – The AM General HUMVEE Civilian (C) -Series Kit will make its world debut at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) tradeshow held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Feb. 17 – 21, 2013, booth 03-B07 in the U.S. Pavilion.
Initial orders for this one-of-a-kind kit are now being taken at the newly updated HUMVEE C-Series web site, genuinehumveekit.com, for the base price of $59,995.00.
“We are very pleased to debut the kit here in Abu Dhabi,” said AM General Executive Director Commercial Services, William Thompson. “It represents a major milestone of moving from the concept stage, to the reality of having a completed kit available for public inspection. The IDEX Show is an ideal venue for AM General as we’re responding to the rapidly increasing global demand for our products and services.”
The HUMVEE C-Series Kit will offer the best in industry mobility technology with a host of off-road ready options, including AM General’s Central Tire Inflation System, electronic locking differentials and others. The initial C-Series offering is a soft top body style.
The C-Series kit is capable of a 2-ton payload and up to 10,000 pounds of towing capacity depending on the powertrain you choose. It also offers a 4-wheel independent suspension, geared hubs and torque biasing differentials in the base model kit. A majority of the kit’s intricate sub-assemblies are provided complete, saving the purchaser most of the labor intensive assembly normally associated with a kit building project. The sub-assemblies are manufactured in Mishawaka, Ind., by the ISO registered, award-winning AM General factory workforce.
Each of the kit’s individual items offers vast improvements over past commercial offerings, providing customers with the latest in off-road technology. Additionally, the existing kit accessory market has expanded technologies – both in mechanics and electronics – to better support the project car builder, allowing future customers to develop unique and striking customizations.
The HUMVEE C-Series Kit is designed and intended only for civilian commercial use and will not be sold for military purposes. Kits sold outside the United States are subject to U.S. export laws.
AM General designs, engineers, manufactures, supplies and supports specialized vehicles for commercial and military customers. AM General has more than five decades of experience meeting the changing needs of the defense and automotive industries, supported by its employees at major facilities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and a strong supplier base that stretches across 43 states.