Hummers. From the battle ground to the bachelor party.
The Hummer has gone from the background of war to the #1 choice of party vehicle. Odd but true.
Hummers were originally designed by American Motors Corporation (AMC), and were built in the USA. They replaced the military Jeeps that were produced by AMC up until the late 1980’s.
In 1979, the army was needing a new multi-purpose, heavy duty vehicle that could follow and withstand the tracks of army trucks. Several automotive firms worked to develop such a vehicle and eventually AMC was awarded the contract to supply the vehicles to the armed forces.
The first contract in 1983, had a 1.2 billion dollar price tag and it was to produce 55,000 of the vehicles deemed a “Humvee”.
GMC had planned to sell a civilian version of the Humvee in 1980 due to the persistence of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The civilian vehicle would have the same structure and most of the mechanical components of the military vehicle, but with gloss paint, space for multiple passengers, AC, sound insulation, improved upholstery, stereo systems, wood trim detail, and more.
It is said that Arnold was intrigued with the vehicle when he saw an army convoy of them while filming one of his movies.
Later GMC introduced two additional models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle the H1. GMC continued to build the H1 until it was discontinued in 2006. By 2006, the Hummer was exported and sold to 33 countries then in late 2006, GMC began producing the Hummer H3 in South Africa for international markets. The Hummers built there were initially only left-hand drive, but later right-hand drive versions were added to satisfy Australia and other markets.
The H2 was also assembled in Russia from 2006 to 2009.
On June 3, 2008, one day prior to GM’s annual shareholder meeting, Rick Wagoner, GM’s CEO at that time, announced that the brand was being “reviewed”. This was due to the decreasing demand for large SUVs as a result of higher oil prices. It was at this point that Indian automakers, Mahindra & Mahindra expressed interest in purchasing the brand. From here on forward deals were created and and failed and as of today the only model still made in the USA is the H3.
Now you can’t see an episode of the Orange County Housewives without the women getting into a Hummer limousine in their high heels and miniskirts. The Hummer has also become the ‘go to’ vehicle for bachelor parties, concerts, football games, and other high profile events.