GM Speaks out on HUMMER’s Image Problem


“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

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One comment

  1. Hello Mark your analogy of a bulldozer is only half correct …. yes purpose built …. but Cat started powering bulldozers in the early 1930’s with diesel engines, takin advantage of reliability, torque and fuel economy/power traits way back. i know landcruisers are not in direct competition with the H3 but here in australia …. a friend has purchased a 2008 V8 twin turbo diesel with 195 kw( 261 hp) and 650 nm (479 lb/ft) of torque … all out a of a 4.5 litre (274.6 cubic inch) engine and gets 10.3 litres/100km (or 22.83 US Miles/US gallon) AVERAGE(city/highway)! with 6 speed auto transmission and lock-up torque converter on 5th and 6th! Btw a torsen rear differential is standard on landcruiser now … SOOO Simple 🙂 … yours murray.. btw i invite all feedback!