General Motors Hummer, long the choice of wealthy, pretentious, self-absorbed, egomaniacs has been a loss leader ever since the crude hit the fan. Swollen, lurching, gaudy and imposing, the Hummer always projected an air of “F*#k off, ass munch–you wanna’ care about the environment, step aside…I got work to do.”
After months of sleepless nights wondering with what to do with Hummer, “Generous Mothers,” (a per name UAW members use for GM,) announced the swollen behemoths will no longer be built in America. A preliminary deal is in place for its sale to a foreign firm. Rumor has it that the buyer is Chinese.
After joining Chrysler in bankruptcy, GM seeks ways to erase decades of debt to rise triumphantly from its smoldering ashes. GM’s last posted profits in 2004. Since then, 88 billion dollars have slipped through its fingers.
Hummer’s sale is considered ancillary to other ideas under consideration to make the ailing company financially viable.
I thought the Hummer a dud at first glance, which for me was in 1982 , when I saw the butt-ugly bruiser being built in South Bend by AM General for the military (they also built a revivalist version of the Studebaker “Avanti,” which I thought was pretty sweet.) Even among popular land schooners of the day (like the Electra 225 and Oldsmobile 98,) the Hummer was formidable– more akin to something useful to explore the moon’s surface than to move people and things about the blue planet.
Its utility came from its flexibility, brute strength and ability to conquer challenging terrain. When I noticed its fuel consumption–6 miles to the gallon (gas was around 80 cents a gallon)–I thought that along with its base price of $28k, (my Accord cost $7,000) it was totally impractical for mass use, even by a military noted for reckless spending. I was young and naive.
The Hummer did prove to be a valuable military vehicle but wound up being asked to do too much. Years later, with gas hovering at $1.60, I was amazed to hear that GM was sincerely interested in adapting this battering ram of a vehicle for consumer use. The rest is history. GM was right.
Self-absorbed narcissists responded in droves. As a domestic vehicle, it was just plain stupid. Still, there were waiting lists for these belligerent box-like bastard sons bred when American greed met Reaganomics at its worst. But at least I’m on record as hating them on sight.
It’s hard to find empathy for corporations that make such obviously bad decisions, but growing up near Lordstown, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with GM. They screwed some of my best friends, but had it not been GM, I suppose it well could have been someone else. I just hope they can –that we ALL can recover from this.