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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25th: Shed a tear, Arnie

Yes, Arnie, it's time for you to shed a tear. You, the man, the Terminator, the one who made famous the line, "I'll be back!", has to say a fond farewell to a vehicle that, you actually helped to make famous.


Yep, you guested it, the Hummer or Humvee, is coming to the end of its life with the US military and probably that means by extension, the end of its life anywhere. Remember this vehicle being made famous by the Gulf War? Every newscast had some form of Hummer in the shot. Originally developed as a replacement for the Gama Goat.........


......the US military wanted an all purpose vehicle, sort of an updated version of the Jeep that, was also developed for the military during World War 2. Big and extremely capable, the Hummer became the vehicle one thought of when a combat scene came to mind.

Now to Arnie. Here is a big tough star, requiring an over the top, big tough vehicle, so he went to AM General, the Humvee manufacturer, about getting one for his personal use. I mean, after all, who wouldn't want a cramped, extremely wide, relatively slow off roader to traverse the Hollywood highways and biways?


So, the pic above shows Arnold and what AM General made for him. Just what he needed to bring attention to himself and by extension the brand. If Arnie wanted one, maybe in the 1990's USA, there would be a market for this vehicle for other folks and uses. Great, if you owned a ranch or a mine or an oil field. Not so practical, if you needed to get to a restaurant downtown. But hey, has that ever stopped rational thinking in the past? No sir, it hasn't.

AM General seeing a need that had to filled, started to produce a variety of Hummers called H1's for civilian consumption.......


........and not surprisingly or maybe the opposite, they found a market for this ex military vehicle and one for which they could charge big bucks. Arnie at one time had several. Super capable, but really, who needed a vehicle that could climb mountains and fight off insurgents?



Chrysler had bought American Motors years before and lucked onto the Jeep brand, so General Motors saw an opportunity. Buy the Hummer brand and expand it like the Jeep had done and roll in all that cash that would roll in. Sounded like a good plan and it was for awhile.

 

They rolled out the more user friendly H2 (top pic) and then the smaller H3 in a variety of body styles. For a time, this was the truck to have if you were a celebrity or fashioned yourself as one in your own mind. No idea was too outrageous........

 

For Pete's sake, even Paris Hilton, that great arbiter of style, had a pink one. People it seemed couldn't get enough of the brand. But, you know it had "jumped the shark", when they started to be made into stretch limos.........


......like this one in Moscow. The Hummer was known worldwide and graduation parties everywhere had to have one to take those wild and crazy teens to the prom.

 GM even rolled out a concept for a smaller sportier Hummer, set to do battle with the Jeep Wrangler.......


But then something happened, whether it was the setback of 2008 or people getting more sense (sure, like that would ever happen) or its terrible gas mileage, but the Hummer sales quite quickly ground to a halt. So much so, that in their post bankruptcy restructuring, GM discontinued Hummer as a civilian brand and sent it back to the battlefield from whence it had come.........


But now, even Arnie's favorite had to be replaced. When the US military machine was ordering ten's of thousands of them, AM General could keep them in production. But as they are being phased out, even the orders from other countries won't keep those production lines rolling.

Still need/want one? Watch out for those government auctions, as they are being sold off a few hundred at a time. For only a few thousand dollars, you too can drive something that just might have seen action in some far off battlefield.

So, shed a tear for Arnie and ponder the biggest question of the day.......what will he drive now?

Until next time.......





2 comments:

  1. You've got to give the HMMWV credit where credit is due. It definitely earned its place in the US and Israeli militaries. It's really too bad that Canada and the UK couldn't join in. I don't know what those two militaries were smoking but that French POS that the Canadians were using and the Landrover Defender. Well, the Landrover was much better than what was being used on this side of the Atlantic. My son-in-law was in the US Army and my nephew was in the Canadian. Unbeknown to each other they both chewed some of the same soil in the middle east. The SIL thought quite highly of the HMMWV while my nephew couldn't say enough bad about those embarrassing contraptions he was forced to ride in. It's sad to see the HMMWV exit the stage but, like the original Jeep, its time has come. I'm sure we'll see something deserving of the place the HMMWV has set.

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    1. George, check out AutoWeek online to see the US military's Hummer replacement.

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