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Hummer - The Car Maker that changed the SUV idea

The Hummer is one of the most important vehicles ever built because it almost single handedly created the market for SUVs. Like its predecessor the Jeep the Hummer was a military vehicle that found a civilian market and quickly became very popular. Unfortunately that popularity has waned and now the company is going out of business. The Hummer is really a victim of its own success, now that everybody is producing SUVs there is too much competition for the company to survive. It appears that 2010 will be the last model year before the company shuts down production.

Originally the Hummer was created for the military as a multipurpose vehicle. It was designed for the army to allow for off road driving by soldiers. The first thing that most people noticed about the original Hummer was how wide it was. The reason for this was so that it was as wide as a tank and the wheels could ride in the tracks created by the tanks. Although Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to claim credit for bringing the brand to the civilian marketplace the truth is that AMC the original manufacturer had planned to do this right from the beginning. Eventually the brand was sold to General Motors, although AMC continued to actually build the Hummers and they were made available to the public.

The original Hummer was very big and very expensive and although there were some sales GM quickly recognized that if the brand was going to be successful it was going to have to become smaller, cheaper and more practical. This resulted in the introduction of the H2 and H3 which are actually based on GM pickup truck chassis. Although technically different from the original hummer and certainly smaller they are no less revolutionary. These were the vehicles that created the SUV, which are now one of the largest selling vehicle types on the market.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like the Hummer brand is going to be around much longer. When GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 Hummer wasn't included in the process. They did this because GM were hoping to sell the brand. This hasn't happened and the future is unclear. For a time it looked like Hummer might be sold to a Chinese manufacturer but this didn't happen, apparently because they couldn't get approval from the Chinese regulators. With no other buyers General Motors have announced that they are shutting down production and that 2010 will be the last model year. Unless somebody steps in to buy the company the Hummer brand would appear to be dead. Which is a shame for a vehicle that completely revolutionized the automotive industry the way this one did. The only good news is that the company is offering deep discounts to sell the remaining inventory, if you ever wanted to own a Hummer this could be your last chance.