Politics

Hum Dinged

|

Hummer, the oddly named militaristic vehicle that was maligned by environmentalists as a massive emitter and beloved by big-vehicle fans as the greatest thing since Killdozer, is no more. General Motors is now one for three in its efforts to spin off once-popular brands. The Guardian writes:

General Motors, the struggling car company, announced that it will wind down production of its Hummer SUV line after a deal to sell the brand to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery fell through.

"We have since considered a number of possibilities for Hummer along the way and we are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed," said John Smith, GM's vice-president of corporate planning and alliances.

"GM will now work closely with Hummer employees, dealers and suppliers to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner."

Truckasaurus!

GM in 2009 succeeded in spinning off its Saab brand but failed to get rid of Saturn. The failed, moribund government-dependent automaker is hoping to get by with Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Buick. And of those brands, does anybody really feel sentimental about GMC or Buick?

The Hummer, which supposedly pumped out four times the emissions of an ordinary car and managed a mere 14 miles to the gallon, became a reliable lightning rod for carbon emissions hawks, but was in many ways just a proxy for debate over vehicular supersizing seen in SUVs and other big rides. Hans Eisenbeis assessed the monster truckification of America for Reason way back in 2002. But the vehicle's most notable achievement was to cause confusion around the actual meaning of the term "hummer." If its retirement means less CO2 and more bukkake, well, that will be a better world for all of us.