Hummer H1 Reaches The End of the Road
Saturday, May 13, 2006
The Hummer H1, the biggest, toughest sport-utility vehicle on the road, could crush anything in its way -- except poor sales.
Cheering just about every other driver on the road, General Motors Corp. yesterday said it was ditching the H1 by June.
The vehicle, which delivered a shot of in-your-face masculinity, has a price tag of $140,000, weighs 5 tons and gets less than 10 miles to the gallon. But sales have slowed to a trickle. GM has sold fewer than 100 this year.
Many see the H1 as a symbol of personal excess and American over-consumption. The H1 has been the target of at least a half-dozen attacks by radical environmentalists, and the Web site FUH2.com has posted photos of thousands of people giving the H1 the center-finger salute.
"It's the ultimate statement of outrageous excess," says automotive consultant Daniel Gorrell of Strategic Visions in San Diego. "It's the statement of 'I will run over you and crush you like a bug.' "
GM has steadily expanded the Hummer line but shrunk the models' size. In 2002, GM introduced the H2, a medium-size version, and last spring it brought out the H3, the smallest of the group. The H3, which sports a 5-cylinder engine, is popular, but the entire Hummer group has been outsold this year by the Toyota Prius, a gas-electric hybrid. A key member of GM's board of directors has suggested that GM scrap Hummer altogether to save cash.