End of the line for Hummer

1999 Hummer wagon

GM announced Wednesday that it was closing down the Hummer brand after it failed to complete its sale to a Chinese firm. Although they promised to honour existing warranties for the ones still on the road, this will mark the end of the famous and infamous brand.

Hummers became very popular in the 90′s and up until gas prices spiked a few years ago. Then came the final nail in the coffin during this past recession. The Hummer was first seen as a “real man’s car” with its massive size, stature and design. They even had Arnold Schwarzenegger promote the truck to show that the ultimate “macho man” drives it. I remember when the first civilian Hummers (as opposed to the military ones) came out and I really wanted one. The drive was not that comfortable because the suspension was not up to par with other vehicles on the road but, it just looked really cool. When you use to come to a full stop at a red light, the car (I use that term loosely) would rock back and forth just to remind you that it has a serious suspension underneath you that can climb a mountain.

However, it soon became notorious for incredibly bad fuel consumption. It even began to be promoted by its critics as a vehicle that supports terrorism because the large amount of fuel it requires helps funds terrorist friendly, oil countries in the Middle East. When prices went up about 2-3 years ago, people started trading in their Hummers for normal sized cars. This was the beginning of the end for the vehicle that was both loved and hated for many reasons. It was a vehicle brand that gave people the feeling of invincibilty and also made people think about global politics.

My hope is that at some point in the future, when we come up with a renewable energy solution for cars that does not harm the planet or require us to import it from unfriendly nations, the Hummer will make a return using that new energy source. Until then, it will only appear in our memories and collectors’ garages.