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Hummer to go downhill and fade away

I guess you forgot to paste the write-up.
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Here's a news item from June 2008 related to the topic. It was posted at:

but I got it from the Google cache, so it may be disappearing from the internet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
By Adam Bulger
Sean Corbett photo
Hopeful Hummers on a Connecticut lot.

The most recent issue of Ultimate Hummer features an article proclaiming that "Hummer hate is hot," going on to note with horror that a Hummer was vandalized and covered with environmental messages.

The article's tone is defiant and angry, but there's a problem: Ultimate Hummer magazine was last published in the fall of 2007. The New York office phones are answered by a "this number is no longer in service" message.

It's just one of many signs that the Hummer wars are over. By almost any measure, the Hummer haters have won. These behemoths are languishing on the sales floor. General Motors, which owns the Humvee brand, says sales in the first half of 2008 were about half of what they were at the 2006 peak of 71,524.

In Connecticut, the Hummer is mostly box-office poison (though they're still selling in Fairfield County; see companion story). Speaking off the record, one Hartford-area Hummer salesman said, "The market for SUVs has crashed." An owner, who has had his low-mileage, nearly mint-condition Hummer on the market for months, told me he's decided to simply keep the thing. A man who recently purchased a Dayton, Ohio Hummer dealership was offered his money back by GM.

GM has recently indicated it may sell or shutter the brand. The truck, once considered the ultimate American automobile, could reportedly wind up in the hands of Indian, Chinese or even Russian auto manufacturers.

For years, Hummers have been an environmental whipping boy. But North Haven resident and Hummer owner Chris Velardi argues that the original, diesel-powered Hummer (named the H1 when the H2 was released) is relatively more fuel efficient than the ones that followed.

"Hummer really got a bad name when the H2 was created," Velardi said. "The H2 goes 8 to 10 miles a gallon on gasoline," Velardi said. "Ours get something between 11 and 14 miles per gallon. Which isn't fabulous. But none of the pick-ups out there get very good mileage."

Velardi, a prolific poster on the Hummer fan site, blames GM's over-saturation of the Hummer market and dilution of the Hummer brand for the Hummer's downfall.

"When the Hummer went from being a military vehicle to the mass-market H1, the buyers were a specific group of people," Velardi said. "They liked to go off-road and appreciated the capabilities of the vehicle. And then AM General sold the rights to GM, and everything in the world became Hummer. There was Hummer cologne, Hummer sneakers, Hummer bicycles. They ****** out the name like it was going out of style."

But could the gas-guzzling Hummer be saved with alternative fuels? Tai Robinson, the owner of Intergalactic Hydrogen in Utah, thinks so. "We're basically taking big monster trucks and turning them into economy cars," Robinson said.

Robinson's company modifies Humvees, allowing them to run on a variety of efficient fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel and propane, but he's most enthusiastic about natural gas.

"Our most prominent focus is natural gas, which is the most economical fuel you can use. In Utah, natural gas is 63 cents a gallon," Robinson said.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger borrowed one of Intergalactic's cars for an Earth Day photo op in 2004. Ultimately, though, the Governator didn't buy a green Hummer from either Robinson's company or the half-dozen others specializing in fuel-efficient Hummer conversion. Instead, GM gave him one of three of its own hydrogen-burning Hummers.

An engineer reportedly needs to be present when Arnie drives the car, and it can only be driven within the range of specific fuel stations. Despite the Schwarzenegger brush off, Robinson said business has been brisk.

"It's always made more economic sense to use local fuels because they're more efficient and cheaper," Robinson said. "But now that the fuel price increase is so dramatic, business is overwhelming."

But even a hydrogen Hummer looks like, well, a Hummer, and that macho look is fast becoming the butt of a very public joke, a visual symbol of a disappearing age of conspicuous fuel consumption.

Interesting idea, that even the Hummer can be a "green" vehicle. I certainly don't think we should all be driving Hummers (they use a lot of fuel, which is a problem regardless of what kind of fuel they are using), but it suggests we don't necessarily need to "do without" to solve our economic and environmental issues. Many times "doing smarter" is even more effective.
Even if the Hummer goes green, I don't think that will reduce the cost of it.
More than just being a gas guzzler, its also quite a strain on the budget.
Moreover maintenance of the vehicle is also high.
The hummer is mainly for rich people anyways.
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