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General Motors is pressing Hummer dealers to finish expensive stand-alone dealerships by March 2005.

So far only six of 167 Hummer stores in the United States have completed the Quonset hut-shaped stores mandated by the automaker. But Hummer marketing director Marc Hernandez says more than 90 percent of Hummer dealers are on track to meet the completion deadline.

The company has a powerful inducement: Dealers who don't comply risk reduced or no allocations of the third Hummer model, the 2005 H3.

GM originally wanted all dealers to have the new stores by Dec. 31, 2004. But the company moved the date back to March 31, 2005, to give dealers more time.

"H3 comes next year, and we're not going to delay again," Hernandez says. "It's time for everyone to live up to their commitment."

The requirement to build the Quonset-shaped dealerships is part of the Hummer franchise agreement, so Hernandez says the company is not pushing dealers unduly to build the stores.

Says one dealer who declined to be identified: "We just feel a little rushed."

GM has been meeting with dealers to review their building plans and establish "gates," or progress checkpoints, such as site-plan approvals from municipalities.

Regulations in some cities and towns don't allow for the unusual design of the dealership's Quonset hut style. Hernandez says the company will be flexible in these cases.



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Does every dealership have to have a stand alone Hummer showroom? I know that most of the Hummer dealerships in my area are combined with Cadillac dealerships, which is really not a bad place to have Hummers.
 

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The Hummer dealer in Baton Rouge has land for their new Hummer, Saab and Saturn dealerships. I was told the new dealerships would be open in February 2005, so they're cutting it close.
 

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although i like the new style of the dealerships, i don't like the fact that it's mandated. it will be very expensive to maintain a stand alone dealership for such a limited model line. not to mention, with gas prices what they are these days, how much longer are people going to be wanting big SUVs? that's worth thinking about.
 

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one appeal of GM is the massive dealer network. i'd rather buy my hummer (though i'd rather not buy a hummer) at a pontiac/hummer or cadillac/hummer dealership in town, not at a stand-alone hummer dealer 1000 miles from home. but i obviously don't 'get' hummer, and maybe those that do want their own dealerhips.

when sales drop and hummer folds, the buildings will make great boat dealerships. paint the roof to look like a wave. surfs up! actually, they should offer hummer test drives up the roof!
 

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Maybe they just want Hummer to be thought of as a more stand-alone car line so as to not dilute it? Sure Caddy-Hummer dealerships are great but the only one around here is a Chevy-Hummer dealership. They probably just want Hummer owners to feel more exclusive than your average GM vehicle buyer.
 

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maybe they plan to expand their lineup. couple of more variations of the h3 and an h2t? could also be that cross shopping with escalades and tahoes that makes gm want hummer to isolate the their shoppers.
 

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The dealer in my area is also a Chevy/Hummer dealer. I thought they were just renovating, but the structure being built resembles the exoskeleton of the above picture.
 

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GM should push the dealers to renovate. If dealers want to sell luxury trucks with huge profit margins, they should do their part to build the brand equity. My friend bought his H2 at a place that also sells Chevy and Pontiac. They have H2s for sale alongside minivans, Aztecs, and Cavaliers. He cross-shopped the new Range Rover and was impressed that their dealer had a test track, wood floors, and one-make focus. Fortunately for Hummer, the cost differential was too great for my friend to ignore.

If Hummer wants to compete with brands like Land Rover, Hummer needs to compete at every stage from engineering to retail.

Too many GM dealerships take the trail-mix approach to sales. The local Buick/GMC/Pontiac/Cadillac place at least has a separate showroom for Caddy, but it looks like a crowded afterthought. The Mercedes dealer down the road has a virtual palace. All of us know how big Cadillac's quality advantage is, but the average buyer sees Cadillac treated like a side business and Mercedes in center stagee. When was the last time you saw a small Mercedes corner on the edge of a Dodge/Jeep supercenter?
 

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I agree, Hummer is its own unique brand and should be sold that way at unique dealerships. I think it will only help to grow the Hummer brand and I think it would boost sales as well. Good to see GM trying to get Hummer into its own market segment, like it should be...
 
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