2. October 2018

Comments Off on HUMVEE Maker AM General Up For Sale

HUMVEE Maker AM General Up For Sale

AM General Humvee C-Series Kit CarIf you’ve ever dreamed of owning your military vehicle manufacturing company, here’s your chance. HUMVEE maker AM General has hired an investment bank to seek out potential bidders for the South Bend, IN – based company, according to Reuters.

Until HUMMER was shut down, AM General produced the H2 for General Motors. The H2 assembly plant was later used to make the MV-1 from Vehicle Production Group and the Mercedes R Class. In 2017, AM General sold the commercial assembly plant to SF Motors, a California-based electric vehicle company.

AM General LogoAfter a few quiet years, AM General had several major announcement in 2018. In February, there was a relatively small, $12M deal for 60 HUMVEES. In June, AM General introduced a new, tougher HUMVEE with updated technology. But the biggest news came two weeks ago, when AM General announced a $560M deal to produce up to 2,800 HUMVEE Ambulances.

Closing the largest deal in years likely spurred AM General’s private equity owners to seek a profitable exit sooner rather than later. The military truck landscape has changed dramatically over the last 40 years, and AM General isn’t as dominant as they once were.

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23. January 2016


HUMMER in 2016 – State of the Brand

HUMMERH3Offroad540It’s been a while since we provided a quick ‘state of the brand’ address for HUMMER – largely because there hasn’t been any real significant change (as expected) and the most promising updates we’ve discussed. However, here are a few key points for those looking to catch up on the HUMMER brand and what’s going on in 2016.

HUMMER Website

GM still hasn’t shuttered HUMMER.com, where visitors can go see very brief descriptions of the vehicles that haven’t been sold on dealer lots (as new vehicles) for over 5 years now. The same is true for brand websites for Saturn and Pontiac – and all three have similar designs and goals: get people interested in these brands switched to what we actually sell. I don’t blame them, but some of the links are dead, like the links to the now non-existent facebook pages.

HUMMER’s Facebook Page

GM’s handling (which was actually outsourced) of the HUMMER facebook page was atrocious. It came across as unauthentic, and even patronizing at times to brand enthusiasts. I actually ‘un-liked’ the HUMMER facebook page before it was merged with GM’s mothership facebook account. It was hard to do, but it was unrecognizable once it was handed over to some intern at an outsourced ad agency. I’m happier that they put it out of it’s misery, but they could have kept it alive – or given it back to the HUMMER community that remains strong.

HUMMER Communities

There are still active HUMMER communities – some based mostly online where advice on maintenance, repairs, or where the hell to find parts for an orphan brand. Some have local chapters that have meet-ups or plan trips.
The HummerGuy.net Facebook Page – a shameless plug! Come join over 2,600 other HUMMER fans. Share a picture while you’re there.
HummerForums.com – still one of the most active communities, you can find recent posts and goings on.
Hummer4x4Offroad – For being one of the later entries in the game, they have a robust following, active community, and an all around friendly group that’s still passionate about the brand.
HummerNetworkForms – Still the go-to H1 / Humvee board.
HummerXClub – still relatively active and doing events around the U.S.
Elcova – Used to be go-to forums for H2, but seems to be slowing down more than others in the group.

HUMMER Service

Service is still being handled by certified dealers or your friendly neighborhood repair shop. Nearly everything is out of warranty now except for some longer powertrain warranties or the rough idle issues that a lot of owner received notice by mail about. HUMMER.com has a search tool to find a certified service center (some sort of GM dealership).


HUMMERs continue to have some of the best resale values. Looking back on models 5-10 years old, H2s and H3s still retain an amazing percentage of their original value when compared with other vehicles in its class. You can find hundreds of Jeep Commanders for under $10,000 – but an H3 under 10,000 is rare. Very few vehicles are investments, but some hold their value better than others due to their quality, style, and desirability – and HUMMERs are in that group.


GM still doesn’t have any plans to bring HUMMER back. Even with gas prices reaching 15 year lows, there is so much more to bringing a brand to the market – especially one like HUMMER. In the age of compliance standards and liability testing, one must have mass market appeal to make a go at developing a line of vehicles, and HUMMER doesn’t have that.

Having said that – GM has been left out of the rugged, off-road niche for a while now. There has been rumors about the GMC design studio working on what would be a competitor for the Jeep wrangler that would have some HUMMER design cues, but other than some off-hand comments in early 2015 we haven’t seen anything of substance come about.

Automotive news wrote an article called, “GMC takes first step onto Jeep terrain,” but the 2016 Acadia Denali is hardly the move that off-road enthusiasts are looking for. It’s also not what GMC was hinting at. Knowing the mindset of GMC’s lead designer (the same designer that brought us the HX), there are some amazing ideas floating around behind closed doors – it’s just a matter of them making business sense and convincing the suits at GM that people are thirsting for these types of vehicles.

If they need any more convincing, perhaps they should look at Jeep Wrangler worldwide sales, which are now 3 times what they were compared to the years HUMMERs were in production.

No one can say for certain, but we’re hopeful in the next 12-24 months GMC will introduce a Jeep Wrangler competitor instead of watching Jeep continue to set new sales records.

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1. February 2015

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GMC to Dealers: Thoughts on Jeep Wrangler Competitor with Cues from HUMMER Brand?

GMC Concept Wrangler CompetitorThe HUMMER brand name may be gone – tossed out of General Motors’ portfolio along with Saturn and Pontiac, but rumors continue to swirl that may indicate the spirit of HUMMER still lives within the 2nd largest automaker in the world.

The Latest News

The latest is an article from The Wall Street Journal that indicates a “new vehicle” was discussed with dealers that “would borrow cues and capability” from the HUMMER brand. GMC has been working on such a vehicle in their design studio for nearly a year (that we know of), and the new boss at GMC, Duncan Aldred, mentioned working on new products like an “active all-road, Wrangler-esque type of vehicle,” in an attempt to shake the image that GMC can’t produce unique vehicles.

When there’s talk publically and privately about a potential new vehicle for an entire year, it typically indicates something very real. It’s not just idle conversation or design dreaming. More likely than not, it’s Aldred trying to make a name for himself and the GMC brand.

The Jeep Wrangler Market

US Jeep sales continue to climb – more than doubling their annual sales from 82,000 in 2009 to 175,000 in 2014. Those numbers reflect both an interest in lower-end, off-road capable vehicles and also Jeep’s dominance in that segment. Jeep currently has no direct competition.

The next closest in size and capability would probably be the Land Rover Evoque, which is nearly double the MSRP of the cheapest Jeep Wranglers and offers a more refined ride and stylish exterior – which is to say that it’s practically a completely different market. The Landrover Discover Vision concept may be getting closer, but even if that makes it to production, I still have a hard time putting it next to the Jeep Wrangler and calling it a true competitor.

GMC Wrangler Competitor Concept

Jeep has shown that there’s a market (and they own it) for inexpensive, off-road vehicles. Breaking into that market is easier said than done, and consideration to the following would be well advised:

Price Point:

It’s going to be difficult to beat the cheapest Jeep Wrangler on price alone. At an entry price of around $22k (well-equipped at $32), it’s going to be near impossible to differentiate on price. The best bet will be to come in at the same price point, or 2-3k higher, but make the step-up in price well worth it.

Exterior Styling

Jeep has a lock on the most iconic styling for about half a century. That said, it won’t be a sleek and stylish exterior that will win the hearts of this market or convert Jeep owners – it will need to look (and be) undeniably tough, rugged, and purpose-built. There must be no doubt upon seeing it that it is built for off-road driving. You need to be able to put it next to a Wrangler, and have people say they’d rather take the GMC off-road or through the snowstorm. This is a big reason why the H3 didn’t convert many Jeep owners. Yes, it was capable – but it didn’t look as capable to a layman. Laymans are the ones who make and break models and brands because they make up the majority of car buyers.


In order to win over the non-laymans (i.e., those who won’t be won over by styling alone), it needs to be a capable vehicle. The HUMMER HX had more impressive stats nearly all the way around when compared to the Jeep Wrangler (Approach angle, Departure Angle, Breakover Angle, and had 30% more ground clearance), and a GMC competitor would need meet or exceed a majority of these capabilities to truly convert those looking for an off-road experience.

Timing/Release Date

Jeep is set to overhaul the Wrangler for 2017. That said, overhauls to the Wrangler haven’t been as drastic as every other vehicle – with styling staying nearly the same and offering marginal improvements in capabilities and creature comforts. GMC would benefit from a release date not too far off. That’s easier said than done, since a concept hasn’t even been produced and displayed to gauge interest (unless they take the HX concept feedback as proof of concept, which, is probably true to an extent – hence them working on the new vehicle). In all likelihood, a GMC concept would be revealed at one of the major auto shows this year or next. Depending on how ‘production ready’ it looked would help determine an actual release date. 2017 would be very fast, but not impossible if they’re already green-lit the vehicle. 2018 would be much more likely, since there are currently no indications that a vehicle is out of concept stage at and into pre-production and regulatory testing.


Jeeps are notorious for having few creature comforts and having a cheap, plastic, rickety feel. Jeep fans would describe it as “no-frills” and “rugged” – but when I drive around town when I’m not off-roading (most of the time), that’s not the experience I want. I suspect I’m not alone. If GMC made the interior a little less chincy than the Jeep Wrangler, it would likely win over those who don’t spend a majority of their time offroad (nearly everyone).

Final Thoughts

Of all the recommendations above, exterior styling and price-point would be the most critical for success followed closely by capabilities and a few interior refinements. I know there are a lot of off-road warriors that will disagree, but until off-road warriors purchase the majority of vehicles, those priorities will allow a GMC competitor have a fighting chance against the Jeep Wrangler. If the vehicle is a success, it will allow for more investment and design upgrades to increase off-road capability down the line.

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11. November 2014

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GMC Inching Closer to Producing Jeep Wrangler Competitor

We’ve long talked about how HUMMER would make a resurgence under GM’s new structure, and it’s always centered around GMC. In fact, GM at one point considered never having HUMMER as a stand-alone brand, but rather releasing models under the GMC label (“e.g. GMC Moab). There were rumors in March about the GMC design studio […]

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3. March 2014


In-Depth: General Motors Designing HUMMER-Like Vehicle In GMC Design Studio

Back in 2010 officials at General Motors said that releasing HUMMER models under the GMC badge was “discussed,” but that no plans existed to release any such vehicles “anytime soon.” Fast-forward four years and GMC designers are telling folks at The Car Guide that a vehicle following in HUMMER’s footsteps is currently being worked on. […]

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17. February 2014

Comments Off on HUMMER in 2014: Retaining More Value than Any Other Vehicle

HUMMER in 2014: Retaining More Value than Any Other Vehicle

HUMMER in 2014: Retaining More Value than Any Other Vehicle

“I have to confess, we checked the numbers a few times on that one,” said the VP of Research for Canadian Black Book about the HUMMER H2 retaining more value than any other vehicle. Black Book is well known among dealers in the US and Canada as a leading source of vehicle values for dealer […]

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2. August 2013

Comments Off on Ohio Fire Deparment Mods Old Humvee into Brush Fire Truck

Ohio Fire Deparment Mods Old Humvee into Brush Fire Truck

Thanks to last year’s chicken dinner, the Plymouth Fire Department was able to mod an H1 into a fire-fighting tool used for brush fires. We’ve seen some rescue-type Humvee/HUMMER H1 vehicles in the past, but never with sprayers like this. Given all the brush fires we’ve seen in Texas this year, this doesn’t seem like […]

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15. February 2013

Comments Off on Civilian HUMVEE to Debut at Non-Civilian, Military Event in Abu Dhabi

Civilian HUMVEE to Debut at Non-Civilian, Military Event in Abu Dhabi

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 […]

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15. November 2012


Rod Hall Returns to Baja 1000 with HUMMER H3

HUMMER may not be an official sponsor of Rod Hall Racing anymore, but that won’t stop Rod from running an H3 from his collection in this year’s Baja 1000. The 2012 Baja 1000 the 45th running of the famed race, and Rod has entered in every one – and been quite successful. Hall has captured […]

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12. November 2012

Comments Off on HUMMER Seeking “Ultimate Fan” for Social Media Interaction

HUMMER Seeking “Ultimate Fan” for Social Media Interaction

General Motors may not have any staff devoted to HUMMER anymore since ending production several years ago, but they still own the brand name and the legacy – both of which are valuable assets. The social media agency in charge of managing the HUMMER website and facebook page, which we’ve been sharply critical of in […]

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30. October 2012


AM General Confirms HUMVEE C-Series Kit Car, Reveals Pictures, Opens Ordering

AM General Confirms HUMVEE C-Series Kit Car, Reveals Pictures, Opens Ordering

Would you like your HUMVEE in Khaki, Green, or Sand? Nearly three months to the day, AM General is making official the (previously “speculated”) story of their first civilian offering in over a decade: The HUMVEE C-Series Kit Car. According to the official release, the C-Series will share many parts with the military HUMVEE body […]

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