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MOAB, Utah — For those who just had to have a Hummer H2, it didn’t matter that it wouldn’t fit in a typical suburban garage, cost more than $50,000 and burns through a tank of gasoline quicker than a Britney Spears marriage.

When the H2 stormed the market in 2002, it may have been utterly impractical but it was a hulking status symbol that screamed disposable income and individuality.

But the thrill is gone — or at least waning.

General Motors Corp.’s Hummer brand sales are down 26.4 percent so far this year, according to Autodata Corp., with demand for the $100,000-plus H1 falling 22.4 percent and H2 sales off 26.5 percent.

Sky-high gas prices haven’t helped. Neither has the barrage of criticism from environmentalists. Mostly, though, Hummer is no longer the freshest thing on four wheels.

Buyers like Larry Porter of Vienna, W.Va., bought an H2 because it didn’t look like anything else on the road.

“I like cars other people don’t have,” said Porter, 37, a development director for a Catholic school system and a former investment banker. “With the H2, you weren’t going to see yourself in the mirror as you drove down the road everyday.”

Soon enough, though, he couldn’t go to the gas station without seeing another Hummer. So Porter traded his H2 for the new flavor of the month, the Chrysler 300C sedan.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner acknowledged the issue last month when he quipped to shareholders that Hummer was a “fashion statement” that had fallen out of fashion, at least temporarily.

Despite the cool-down, GM still has ambitious plans to expand the high-profit brand with new offerings like an H2 SUT, a pickup version, and the H3, which will be the smallest Hummer yet.

“The H2 is 2 years old,” said Mike DiGiovanni, general manager of Hummer, during a media event here to promote the new H2 SUT.

“After two years, most vehicles in this competitive industry are going to go down unless you put a lot of incentives on it.”

Once immune from incentives and other marketing stunts, GM has put cash on the hood of Hummers over the past several months, including $2,000 on the H2.

“The H2 was the hottest thing to own a year ago, but the pent-up demand has been met,” said Wes Brown, an analyst at the Los Angeles market research firm Iceology. “It’s had its moment.”

George Peterson, vice president of automotive consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, Calif., said the falloff in Hummer sales was expected.

“The market’s maturing,” Peterson said. “People are just waiting for the next big thing. This always happens with things like sports cars.”

While Hummer has come under attack from environmentalists for its thirst for fuel, analysts and dealers don’t blame the brand’s sales slide entirely on the spike in gasoline prices.

“When a person buys a Hummer, they know what it is. Gas is not a factor,” said Ken Reszczyk, sales manager at Detroit Hummer in Southfield. “Let’s face it, people are paying $1.50 for a bottle of water.”

Plans are under way to introduce more fuel-efficient engines and power trains, including diesels, for Hummer models.

“There’s no reason why Hummer cannot be more fuel efficient,” DiGiovanni said. “We’re never going to be class leading but there’s no reason we can’t get better at it.”

The Hummer H2 has been hurt by quality problems, too.

“Too many squeaks and rattles, although those things will improve over time,” Peterson said.

After a sluggish winter and spring, sales are beginning to bounce back, helped by nicer weather and a generous lease program, said Detroit Hummer’s Ken Reszczyk.



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"...Soon enough, though, he couldn’t go to the gas station without seeing another Hummer. So Porter traded his H2 for the new flavor of the month, the Chrysler 300C sedan."

Isn't America grand!? It's no wonder our economy easily eclipses every other economy on the planet.
 

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The rappers have STOPPED with the Hummer's and kept their Caddy's and Benz's. Get ready, because the 300C is going to be a hit with rappers.....
 

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the 300c will be a hit with rappers for about 2 months, then it will be gone, trust me.

H2's still show up in videos, but escalades will always be the king of the rap community...

considering the escalade is still hot, and its going to get its new version in a year or two, I dont see Escalade letting up on its top spot anytime soon.
 

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why is it that people expected the H2 to continue selling like it was? our best month was well over 100, and of course you can't sell that many of the same vehicle. H2s are still popular, they're just not selling in the numbers they were before. sales down 26.4%? we expected it, somewhat, and it may dip a little more until the H3 comes out. then there will be another spike, and another cool down period. it's the way things work. everyone tries to bash Hummer and it's stupid. it's the best run GM division, in my opinion. they are no compromise. they have brand standards and stick to them, and i commend that. if people hate Hummers, great, but there is still a huge faction of people who love them.
 

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The rappers have STOPPED with the Hummer's and kept their Caddy's and Benz's. Get ready, because the 300C is going to be a hit with rappers.....



And then the 300C will dominate the word...school buses will be 300Cs......police cars will be 300C's.....hearses will be 300Cs....Air Force One will change from a 747 to a 300C and then the military will stop using Hummers and start unsing 300C's for combat duty.....then......

For the most part the 300s that I see are being driven by tourists as rental cars..I have seen a few a Hemi Powered 300C's that are actually owned by people, but alot of the ones I have seen are rentals.


Wow...no one saw this comming....a high profile, distinctive, trendy, "gotta have" product that experiences a decline in sales after a extremely good sales period during introduction....wow...what did people expect...that the Hummer sales would just continue to climb and climb like they have for the Beetle and PT Cruiser and Thunderbird...and MINI...... :rolleyes:
 

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Hense the problem with 90% of the niche vehicles, the novelty wears off and sale plumit. This is really my concern when it comes to (and I hate to say it) the GTO. This is the time that they shoudl be selling like hotcakes right now and then taper down later. It's not just GM in this boat, the T-bird, Excursion, have suffered this same fate,and I believe the Crossfire,SSR will as well.

A certan amount of practicality must be built into these vehicles for them to survive i.e. Vibe and P-T cruiser still have everything needed for day to day driving. Anyways this is 1 man's opinion the flavour of the month is just that good for a month.
 

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Originally posted by ilaoc77+Jun 25 2004, 06:14 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (ilaoc77 @ Jun 25 2004, 06:14 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-gmwsag@Jun 25 2004, 01:46 PM
The rappers have STOPPED with the Hummer's and kept their Caddy's and Benz's. Get ready, because the 300C is going to be a hit with rappers.....
A "Hit".... Uhhhh.. no

it starts at just over $23,000 What car that starts that low is a hit now? uh.. can't think of any myself.

i'm already starting to see them everywhere i go (on the way at least) I highly doubt that sedan is going to be any kind of a "hit" with the bling-blingin' crowd. [/b][/quote]
He is talking about the 35,000 dollar 300C, not the stripped down 2.9 V6 version. I highly doubt you will see a base 300 in any music video...........
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The new products alone are not going to make sales skyrocket. I really hope that the H2 gets DOD, that way there would be less complaining about the fuel economy.
 

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I think they lost the exclusivity to the vehicle. Producing 35,000 vehicles a year will do that. I think they should produce less and make sure that they are hard to get again. H3 will be a different story because it is going after a different market. The ANSWER to the angry gas mileage tree huggers! :pain:

The H3 will probably tapper the H2 sales off even more. Again, stop producing so many damn vehicles and maybe you will make some money.
 

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The thing that gets me is the people that buy these vehicles just because they are the latest in thing. The H2 was built to serve a purpose and it was not for being a daily commuter for work, although to each their own. It was built for the trail and that is what it should be used for IMO. Hence all of the Hummer Clubs that exists for people that actually use their Hummers the way they should be used. This being said I am sure GM was marketing on the fact that is was going to sell just because it was the newest thing to hit the market from the Hummer Brand. When I think of a Hummer though, I picture and Off-Road vehicle. I don't see 24" chrome wheels and 40 series tires that cost more than my truck. This being said, I think GM needs to take a serious looks at marketing the Hummers in that respect. A real factory trail vehicle would be awesome. More basic interior suitable for and off road environment, winches, mud terrain tires, diesel engine, removable doors, improved AWD system, and the list could go on and on. No Bling, Bling just a capable off road vehicle...
 

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IMO- Had the H2 been offered with an independent rear suspension and a Duramax Diesel, more people would have jumped on it.

Then again, if the Suburban/Yukon XL had a Duramax option... You never know.

I have several customers who switched from their Suburbans to the Excursion Diesel. These are people who swore up and down that a Ford product would never reside in their garages or driveways.

My $.02

Jim
Gravana Tuning
 

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if i could have my pick between the H1 and H2 it would be the H1, its the same thing the army drives its just taken off the regular assembly line and a few minor changes are made. thats what made it cool, it could run over a civic and cross a river. you don't need leather seats and onstar to do that. the H2 is like the H1's spoiled, chubby son that constantly disapoints his dad. the point of the hummer was 'i spent over 100,000" and it --doesn't-- have leather seats"

Civic :plasma:
 

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I just like the fact that GM is back in the picture. They've rolled out some great concept to driveway vehicles, and the people who can afford them will enjoy them. I don't enjoy my commute, so i take 'em out on the weekends.

:downloading:
 
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