“No one criticizes a bulldozer for its gas mileage. That’s because it’s built to do a job,” says Mark LaNeve, GM’s VP of sales, service, and marketing in North America in a recent USA Today article. HUMMER is currently running a marketing campaign to help showcase that sentiment, with the tagline: Purpose Built. The commercials show HUMMERs as work and rescue vehicles fighting through tough terrain. “We really want to get Hummer out of the spotlight as being irresponsible and get it into an image of being purpose-built,” LaNeve says. “It’s never going to be a 60-mpg vehicle, but it’s got a role.”
The HUMMER’s distinction of being bigger and bolder worked well in the beginning, attracting high-profile trend-setters like athletes. Now that ‘going green’ and global responsibility in general has become top of mind for many – the polarizing image has become less effective. The group of HUMMER detractors is growing – but is that negative attitude just or unjust?
“Hummer has an image of being the big, ponderous vehicles,” says Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power. “Really, it gets about the same or as good gas mileage as several other (SUVs). … The name Hummer connotes a much more gas-guzzling vehicle than really is on the road today.”
Also notable is that HUMMER has only just now passed the 250,000 mark on total vehicle sales since the brand’s beginning, and the Ford F-150, which gets similar gas mileage, sold over three times that many in 2007 alone.
Jim Hall, an automotive consultant says you won’t be able to please everyone. “There are going to be these guys who get angry because you’re destroying the possibility of a snail surviving or some such thing. … If you’re building automobiles, you’re already on the wrong side” of the argument.”
Source: USA Today