May 15, 2006

GM cancels Hummer H1

South Bend, Indiana – Production of the “original Hummer”, the H1 Alpha, will end this year, announced General Motors. Its manufacturer, AM General, will convert the H1 assembly line to produce more military Humvees. GM will continue to produce the Hummer H2 and H3.

AM General and GM have sold around 12,000 H1 vehicles since 1992, but only 98 were sold during the first four months of 2006. During that time, the H3, built solely by General Motors in its Shreveport, Louisiana plant, sold 16,582 units.

Last August, GM introduced the H1 Alpha, using its Duramax 6600 6.6-litre turbodiesel, which provided 46 per cent more power than the previous H1.

“We’ve had 14 very successful years of production with (the H1),” said AM General President and CEO James Armour. “During that 14 years our engineering organization has come up with several very significant enhancements to the vehicle, many of which have found their way into the production of the Humvee, helping to keep the Humvee, the military version, the state-of-the-art vehicle that it is today.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the production and actual retail sale of the Hummer H1 have fallen to a level between 200 and 300 vehicles per year. At that level of sales, the GM dealers tell us that with a vehicle that costs $145,000 – $150,000 (U.S.) each, it just becomes too difficult to find customers willing to pay for that vehicle, pay that kind of price for that vehicle, especially since we have not been able to change the body style for the last 14 years. In the automotive industry, a 14-year production run without a significant body style change is very rare, very unusual indeed.”

The H1 was sold briefly in Canada through a limited number of specialized dealers. Production of the H1 will be phased out at the end of the 2006 production year, probably around June, Armour said.

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