All Hummer cars originate from a military vehicle; the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). ‘HMMWV' is quite a mouthful, so soldiers shortened the name to Humvee's. When AM General began to produce similar cars for the civilian market, they dubbed them ‘Hummer'.
The Humvee was a 1.25-ton truck that was intended to replace the M151 and other light tactical vehicles. In addition to the Humvee line, AM General also provides parts and training support for all of its products. AM General's Engineering and Product Development Center also provides systems technical support for various other military vehicles. AM General has spent years cultivating a reputation as the ‘world leader in the design, engineering and production of military and special purpose vehicles'.
Today, Hummer is a protected name owned by General Motors. In 1999 AM General sold the name to GM, but continued to manufacture the Hummer, while GM became responsible for selling the vehicles on the market. To replace jeeps and lighter truck, the military introduced M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. Jeeps and lighter truck had begun to show signs of wear and tear, and also inadequacy as early as the 1970s, so a new and improved type of vehicle was heavily sought after. The Humvee offered exceptional speed, agility and mobility and was constructed upon a multi-purpose platform that would accommodate a broad range of configurations.
The Hummer H2 was debuted in 2003; a smaller and lighter version of the Hummer H1 that still had room for six passengers. The new ‘next generation' of sport utility vehicles, the H2 was assembled at a new factory in Mishawaka by AM General. The H2 was considered a capable multipurpose vehicle and is used in large cities as well as in off-road conditions. A pick-up truck variety of the standard Hummer H2 was the Hummer H2 Sport Utility Truck (or SUT). GM now had responsibility for marketing and distributing all HUMMERs and in April 2002, AM General was converted to a limited liability company.
The H2, which was built under contract by AM General at a specially constructed plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, shares GM's GMT820 truck platform with the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. All three of these vehicles are constructed in three different GM plants though, and differ in many other ways. The final frame assembly of the H2 is made up of 3 sections; the front uses a modified GM 2500-Series utility frame, the mid-section is brand new and is completely boxed while the rear section uses a modified GM 1500-Series frame that is upgraded for the 8,600lbs gross vehicle weight. The 08 Hummer H2 can achieve 0-60mph in just 8.2 seconds.
The H2 had standard features that included AC with tri-zone climate controls, cruise control, tilt leather wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, 8-way power front seats, memory system, 6-disc CD changer, premium sound system, outside-temperature indicator, rear radio controls and a compass. For an additional price, options included a power sunroof, rearview camera, adjustable rear airbag suspension, DVD entertainment system, night vision, navigation system and universal garage door opener.
Featuring a massive truck frame, the H2 has a wider-than-average track firm that may offer stability against overturning, especially in comparison to the better-known light truck SUVs. The H2 is marketed as both an off-road vehicle as well as a general purpose vehicle. Due to mass marketing by GM, it is more commonly used as a passenger vehicle on typical roads. The H2 is also a very popular vehicle for a limousine conversion, along with the Ford Excursion.
For 2003, the Hummer H2 was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award. For 2009 a special Black Chrome Limited Edition version of the truck was launched.
By 2005 the next Hummer was released, the Hummer H3 which is even smaller than the H2, and marketed as a midsized SUV. The H2 and H3 Hummers were found to be the most ticketed cars in the U.S. according to a study by ISO Quality Planning in January 2009. Some tax benefits were available for owners of vehicles over 6,000 lbs which under the U.S. income tax code, it can be deducted from specific forms of income.
From 2003 until 2007 the engine in the Hummer H2 was a 6000 6.0 L V8, and for 2008 it was the 6200 6.2 L V8 engine. In 2008 the base price MSRP for the H2 was $53,286. Originally the H2 had high resale value, but unfortunately price depreciation has increased rapidly over the recent years and the H2 commonly sells for less than 40% of original price after 2-3 years (according to Newsweek).
By Jessica Donaldson
For 2002 a total of 18,861 H2's were sold. This number leaped up to 34,529 in 2003 then went down to 28,898 in 2004. But 2005 the numbers rose to 33,140 but then plummeted to 17,472 in 2006, down to 12,431 in 2007 and even further down to 6,095 in 2008.