HUMMER’s CEO Jim Taylor answered questions about 2010 production and the possibility of diesel models in the U.S. in part 1 of the latest Ask Jim series – and today we’re bringing you more questions and answers about future models such as the H4. Included is Jim’s comment about having 5 new HUMMER models within 5 years. Enjoy!
Questions & Responses
Name: Travis Muirbrook from Laketown, UT
Question: What is the timetable for production of the HX and how closely will it follow the concept?
Jim: A vehicle very similar to the HX Concept will become a reality. For competitive reasons, I can’t divulge any more specific details at this time. Once the sale is complete, we will be working feverishly to bring a vehicle extremely close to the concept in design, size and capability to market within the next three years.
Name: Anthony from NY
Question: Mr. Taylor,
First off I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Its something all Hummer owners enjoy very much Im sure.
My question is in regards to the Hummer HX (H4).
How likely is it that we will see the removable top/doors we saw in the concept?
I think this is a huge selling point for this vehicle and I think it would be a shame if it did not make it into production.
A lot of us envy the Jeep Wranglers ability to go topless/doorless but do not want to buy one due to the poor ride as a daily driver. I think if we saw this in the smaller Hummer it would be a great hit.
I for one, know that I would base my purchase decision on that and judging by others responses on the internet to the HX concept I think others would also.
Also in regards to the HX, there were reports that GM had already started the process to produce it by 2010.
If this is true, I would think most of the ground work has been laid already for it. Does this mean we will see the HX (H4) sooner rather than later or does the deal with China change that?
Jim: GM halted work on future HUMMER models when it put the brand up for review in June 2008, and as such, it will take 2-3 years to bring a new model like the HX to market. We are currently reviewing all aspects of the work that was done historically on future models, including design, platform, suspension and powertrain to ensure that the vehicles we bring to market live up to the brand promise of unparalleled capability and responsible performance. Clearly, a reconfigurable design such as the HX enhances the ownership experience, as well as the capability for off-road use. Stay tuned for more details of the HX and other new or redesigned future HUMMERs.
Name: Joe Orzel from Connecticut
Question: I’m extremely excited about Hummer’s future, what is taking so long to have new vehicle news to arrive?
Jim: The typical development time for a new product is approximately four years from conception to production. In 2008, we introduced the new, award-winning HUMMER H3T, but after that, GM halted all work on HUMMER models while the brand was under review. Once the sale is complete, we will work diligently to revive the new models currently in development, as well as begin work on new models that had not yet begun. You can expect to see five new or significantly revised models from HUMMER within the next five years.
Name: Ken Neilson from Johannesburg, South Africa
Question: Hi Jim – When will right hand vehicles be produced for delivery to South Africa and other right hand drive countries? Also will the H2 be available in right hand drive as opposed to us having to convert left hand drive vehicles?
Jim: Under terms of the sale of the brand, export H3 production, including right-hand drive is being moved to the Shreveport, La. assembly facility. We are working diligently to transfer the tooling and expect to resume production within the first half of 2010. We currently do not have any plans for a right-hand drive version of the H2, but will continue to evaluate demand.
Name: Brodie Teeple from Detroit, Michigan
Question: As it stands now the 2008 and 2009 H3’s are far better than the 2006 and 2007 models in some very key areas. The older model owners can very easily go and find the upgraded parts from the 08/09 H3’s and transplant them into older H3’s to make them not only stronger but more capable without any modification. I’m mainly talking about the tie rods, front halfshafts, the cast iron front carrier and of course the front locker.
Now the new V6 in the 2010 is a great power plant [EDITOR’s note: The 2010 engine remains unchanged – a 3.7L Inline 5 with a 5.3L V8 option]. I’m sure I will be getting calls soon about the availability of them and what it takes to get one in their H3. Also Martin Walsh was interviewed recently at the NYAS and discussed briefly the diesel power plant. He mentioned that it will not likely be the same as the over seas diesel but a new diesel all together. Now these are great, exciting changes to the H3 but have these been made to be backwards compatible with the 06-09 models like the previous upgraded parts have been. If you ask any non-alpha H3 owner if they could upgrade one thing and one thing only in their H3 they would say one of two things. They would either ask for a larger beefier front diff like a D44 or they would ask for a larger more powerful power plant.
Now I and most whom take their H3 off road understand that 90%+ of the Hummer H3 owners throughout the world never take them off road. With that said this small percentage of the off road community are the ones that answer questions about our H3’s when we are at the gas pump or grocery store by random people stopping to ask questions. We are that group out on the trails getting the rest of the off road community to show interest in this amazing little vehicle. We are the reason the weak parts got upgraded to better performing parts.
With all that said, will Tengzhong, yourself and people like Martin Walsh continue to take care of your smallest but most important group of Hummer owners in the way that a company that believes in their product as much as their client base does can and should do. If it was a mistake or was cost effective or if it was meant to be, GM took care of this niche group of people by introducing the upgraded parts that were backwards compatible. Can and will Tengzhong be capable of the same efforts especially with the introduction of these new exciting power plants. There should be no reason we should not be able to go out and buy some motor mounts and a new PCM and drop these new power plants in our older H3’s and get a warranty with it. How great would it be for the new Hummer to offer something like this along with any other mechanical upgrades that we dont know about yet. If and when the second generation H3 comes among us I would like to tell people its a great machine but my first generation H3 is and always will be a great vehicle.
Thank you for your time Jim.
-Owner of 08 Base & an 08 Adventure
Jim: While I cannot be sure what information was provided in the past from former HUMMER general managers like Martin, I can assure you that off-road capability will continue to be the foundation for any vehicle we produce. My team fully understands and appreciates the fact that owners like you use the vehicles in the manner for which they were designed, and it is feedback from the field that will enable us to continue to improve the capability and durability of current and future models.
Our service and accessory teams are also working on making retrograde components, such as the front locking differential available for previous model year vehicles in which those features or components were not available.
As one owner at The HUMMER Club Drummond Island event so elegantly put it, “You continue to build them, and we’ll continue to break them.” So we’ll keep building them, and building them better.