SUVs are extremely popular, so why wouldn't the Hummer brand succeed?
Last week, we pitched a proposal for GM to build ultra-luxury models by bringing Duesenberg back from the grave. We still love this idea, but it dawned upon us that there may be another brand from GM's old portfolio that might make more sense to be brought back, Hummer. The Hummer brand failed because of the economic meltdown and a failure to convince people to buy large, inefficient SUVs at the time. Times have changed, and we think that now is the perfect opportunity for GM to resurrect Hummer.
The SUV trend has become extremely popular. SUV sales are taking sales away from sedan and hatchback models, and manufacturers are rushing to meet demand. Even companies that you never thought would build an SUV are jumping on board. Porsche was the first company that was only known for its sports cars to build an SUV, and the Cayenne was a huge success. Now, companies like Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Jaguar, and Rolls Royce are rushing to build SUV models. If you look at the brands that sell nothing but SUVs, like Jeep and Land Rover, you can see that their sales are clearly better than their sister brands that don't have as strong of an SUV presence.
Take Jeep for example, the SUV brand is by far the best performing brand from FCA. Since we have established that SUVs are popular, we think that now is the perfect time for Hummer to make a return. One of the problems with Hummer was that fuel prices were on the rise, and people wanted to downsize. Now, crossovers have bucked the trend of gas-guzzling SUVs, and there are better technologies to improve efficiency. GM could offer Hummer models with diesel or hybrid drivetrains that improve efficiency. As long as the new Hummer models retain the rugged looks of the older models, the brand could be a strong competitor for Jeep or even Land Rover.
Old Hummers weren't exactly economy cars, so we would actually position these new models on the luxury end of the spectrum. GM has clearly brought its quality up from the days of the bailout, and we think that this new craftsmanship would be put to good use by building some luxury Hummer models. The Cadillac Escalade is a fine luxury flagship, but we would love to see a line of luxurious Hummer models that could compete with Land Rover models in comfort and off-road capability. We foresee a three model lineup to start things off. The first would be a stylish crossover called the HX, which would compete with the Range Rover Evoque.
The next would be a mid-size SUV that could be called the H4. This model would get power from a diesel or turbocharged engine and seat seven passengers. The final model would be a flagship EV or hybrid model called the HE. This could be GM's answer to models like the Range Rover, Maserati Levante, and Porsche Cayenne.
Hummer may not have worked for GM in the past, but today's market for SUVs is bigger than ever, and clearly brands like Jeep and Land Rover are taking advantage of the boom. Now is the perfect time to bring back a stylish, luxury SUV brand, as these are the models that everyone wants to buy.