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CARS REVIEW - HUMMER



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Hummer is a brand of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) sold by General Motors, also known as GM. They are based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or Humvee. The Hummer is one of the larger SUV types, with commensurate high fuel consumption.
Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, formerly the military and government vehicle division of American Motors, in its South Bend, Indiana assembly plant. AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hummer as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hummers were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the HMMWV received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year.

In 1992, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer". According to sources, they began doing so after Arnold Schwarzenegger asked them to; apparently, he was impressed by a convoy of HMMWVs that drove by during his filming Kindergarten Cop in 1990. In 1998, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continues to build the H1 and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.As of 2006, Hummer has gone international with selected importers and distributors in Europe and other markets.Since October 10, 2006, GM has been producing the Hummer H3 at its Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa for international markets. Hummers at the Port Elizabeth plant will be built both for local South African consumption and for export to Australia (for the 2008 model year), Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. As of October 2006, Hummer vehicles are marketed by about 300 dealers in 34 countries. 173 of those are in the U.S.The H2 is also assembled in Kaliningrad, Russia, by Avtotor, starting in June 2004. The plant produces a few hundred vehicles annually, and its output is limited to local consumption (five dealers in Russia initially).On May 12, 2006, GM announced it would cease production of the original H1 Hummer.GM CEO Rick Wagoner has said the Hummer brand of trucks will run on Biofuel Powertrains in Last Year's Los Angeles International Auto Show. Schwarzenegger has subsequently had one of his Hummer's converted to run on biofuel and now promotes this approach.The Hummer H1 is basically a HMMWV built for civilian use; it has no armor or weapons fittings. However the powertrain, chassis, body, suspension, etc., are the same. The H1 differs from the HMMWV in having a civilian interior, including trim, comfortable seats, stereo radio, and air conditioning as standard options. As a result of its commercial use, features introduced in the civilian Hummer have been incorporated into improved military versions. The H1's electrical system is 12-volt, with the two batteries wired in parallel. The HMMWV runs on a 24-volt system, where the two batteries are run in series.Since all Hummer vehicles have heavy-duty capabilities, they have been employed by owners for aid in large disaster situations. Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies (HOPE) was created by the efforts of The Hummer Club, INC. and the American Red Cross. Together, the two organizations train Hummer owners with CPR and First Aid skills, and basic off-highway skills so that they may assist victims during a disaster situation.Today, more than 200 owners have undergone HOPE certification and many assisted during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.Many Hummer clubs have also developed local collaborations with law enforcement, fire, search and rescue and civil air patrol squadrons. In addition, many owners who use their Hummers off-road adhere to the Tread Lightly! trail ethics program when operating their vehicles on public lands.Throughout the US, and international markets, there are groups of Hummer enthusiasts. They use the vehicles for off-road driving and recreation.Along with other heavy passenger vehicles Hummers have very poor fuel economy. For instance, the H2 in one engine configuration averages about 15 mpg (US) (16 L/100 km) on highways, (10 mpg or 24 L/100 km on the street), has a curb weight of over 6000 pounds (2722 kg), and has relatively high maintenance costs. Also, just like an average SUV it is not taken off the paved roads by an average consumer to justify its off-road capabilities.What sets Hummers apart from other large SUVs and pickup trucks is that their large size that results in this elevated fuel consumption has lost most of the utilitarian justification. While design of heavy pickup trucks is intended for transporting large objects in construction work, for instance, or an SUV van can be viewed as an alternative to a mini-van for transporting large groups of people, the main appeal of a Hummer is that it looks big and dominant.
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