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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hummer H3: DOA?

The Angry Engineer blogs about the disastrous GM Colorado light pickup truck. This will go down as one of the worst business decisions in the business: spend a billion dollars to develop a vehicle for a shrinking market segment (the compact pickup), and screw it up in the process.

Sorry to sound so negative on so many things (such as the Zephyr), but the Hummer H3 sounds like another disaster about to happen.

The Hummer H3 is going to be built on the Colorado platform, much the same way that the H2 is built on GM's large truck platform. So it is going to be a large, 2-ton brick, about the size of a Ford Explorer, with the less than exciting (ask Car and Driver) 220HP I-5 engine. An Explorer, BTW, can be had with a 4.6L V8; a Jeep Grand Cherokee can have a 4.7L V8. GM's answer: "It will have good fuel economy". Oh, and it will cost about $30,000.

People don't buy Hummers for fuel economy, they buy them to make a statement (of poor taste).



Anonymous said...

So how are the sales numbers for the Colorado and Canyon. I thought they were actually selling well.

Also, rumor is that the H3 Alpha model will have the turbo I5. It should be plenty powerful.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

The Angry Engineer said...

The Colorado and Canyon combined sold 16,000 units last month, or a bit more than Tacoma sales. I'll admit that those are pretty healthy numbers when compared to the rest of the segment, but the compact-truck market as a whole is looking pretty sad right now compared to where it used to be, for the reasons I outlined in my post.

The complaints specific to the Colorado would likely be even bigger problems on the larger and heavier H3. Indeed, a turbo I5 would address the power issue, but I can't see that improving fuel economy (especially not when one takes into account the H3's 4700 lb projected curb weight). I haven't seen any EPA numbers yet on the standard Atlas I5, but I'm guessing the real-world economy will end up about the same as a Tahoe with the 5.3 L V8.

Mxhdrm said...

The H3 may fit into some kind of market niche. But how long that niche will be relevant is of question. If fuel prices continue at their current rate, could there be a small economy car revolution? History repeats it self. Also, a light duty truck weighing in at 2+ tons in a shrinking market might be enough to kill the H3 on its own.

Turbo diesel or not, it's going to be a tough sell. Trucks have been moving, but I'm not as optimistic as GM. Then again, I haven't agreed with all of GM's choices recently. And with the general losing ground, I might be right.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sweet that you use a fact (GM is losing market share ever so slowly) to justify your opinions.

And you phrased your blog in a way that seems to infer that GM spent a billion dollars on the H3 platform. We all know that the H2/H3 benefit from 'borrowing' technology from the mainstream platforms from Chevy/GMC. Hummer or not, these platforms would be developed.

And the negative points about the article are primarly focused on fuel economy...which is not the point (as you stated, soft of) of buying a Hummer.

Why didn't you address the fact that it's off-road capabilities are first in it's class, and second only to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (smaller class)?

*That* is what Hummers are for - regardless of whether or not they see off-road use.

Anonymous said...

I am a sales manager at a HUMMER dealership - the H3's have been flying out of here - they have been out for about a year now and we are selling about 40 a month - last month Nationwide they sold over 5,000 H3's and that is around the average # of sales since the release. Thank you GM for making such a HOMERUN vehicle for us.

Limo said...

In our days cars are developed very fast.And People produce new cars day by day.It is good.
I like H2.I think H3 is going to be better and more powerful.

Zhanna said...

The H3 is the smallest of the three Hummer models, and though the H3 concept car was a pickup truck, and currently introduced as a conventional SUV.
As for me Hummer
looks much more prettier.
H3 is the same like H2, only smaller.