Hummer H1 Coming to China

Published May 10, 2017 by Sean Jackson

The suburban tank, known as the Hummer H1, will soon grace China’s streets. reports Humvee Export created a new Hummer H1 that will appeal to China’s wealthy car owners. News of the revelation went down at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show.

Details of the New H1

The new Hummer H1 comes with a staggering price tag of more than $150,000. “There’s a niche market,” remarked John Costin, who’s President of Humvee Export to Car and Driver. “There are people who want to have the most fun at 5 or 6 miles per hour.” It’s hard to argue with Costin’s logic. After all, the new Hummer H1 weighs 7,700 pounds, making it the perfect adventure vehicle for those with a lot of cash and a hunger for off-road adventures. The plan, according to Fox News, is to build 100 C-Series vehicles this year. Production of these behemoths will happen at the VLF factory in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The C-Series won’t deviate much from those road warriors that graced American driveways years ago. To power these oversized vehicles, there are several engine choices available including the 6.5-liter diesel V8 engine. This engine comes in three different output options such as the 190-horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque; the 205-horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque or the 250-horsepower with 440 lb-ft of torque. For owners craving the epitome of power capabilities, they can choose the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine. This engine generates an impressive 430-horsepower and 424 lb-ft torque for plenty of acceleration and off-roading prowess. In some regards, the idea of producing the vehicle the size of the Hummer H1 in China, where traffic congestion is insane in metropolitan areas, seems counterproductive. At the same time, for off-road enthusiasts or car collectors, having a new version of what amounts to the Hummer H1 that used to sell in the United States is too good of an opportunity to pass up. It’s important to note this isn’t a test to relaunch in the United States. GM decided to halt production of the Hummer vehicles back in 2006 and the C-Series doesn’t qualify for U.S. production under the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, according to Fox News. This is due to the fact that while GM stopped selling Hummer H1 models in 2006, the manufacturer contracted to make the model, AM General, continued to make versions of the H1, including C-Series kits in 2013, as NESN reports. Because it has been under production this whole time, it doesn’t qualify for reproduction under the current act.

Hummer H1 History

In many ways, the Hummer H1 was the perfect embodiment of the American vehicle. It was loud, it was rugged and it could kick some serious butt. The H1 took its origins from the M998 Humvee--an AM General design-- and was produced from 1992 through 2006. In many regards, the popularity and use of the Hummer H1 mirrored what happened with the Jeep. Both vehicles were designed for military use. The Jeep became one of the most effective weapons of World War 2, earning soldier’s respect. When they came home after the war, the demand for these capable vehicles rose to the point Jeep had to make them. The same thing happened with Hummer. Once designed for military use and especially prevalent during Desert Storm, people saw the Hummer H1’s capability and decided it would be fun to drive a tank that offered performance benefits such as wading through water up to 30 inches deep or handling a grade as steep as 60 percent. Another appeal of the Hummer H1 rested in its appearance. It was simply a suburban tank. Those who could afford the vehicle enjoyed the status symbol it conveyed. It was the SUV equivalent of driving around in a luxury vehicle. These factors, along with a huge celebrity endorsement from Arnold Schwarzenegger, set the stage for the successful launch of these vehicles. What made these vehicles successful in the beginning was the limited production allotment. To demonstrate, in the first year the Hummer became available for sale in the United States--1992--it sold only 316 units. Popularity began to increase as more people saw these road warriors and wanted to have one. The best sales years for the Hummer H1 were in the mid-90s through 2000. However, as gas prices started to spike, people became less enamored with the Hummer H1 due to its incredibly low fuel efficiency--most models earned less than 15 mpg. Therefore, with tighter emission standards and declining sales numbers, General Motors decided to stop making the Hummer line in 2006.

2006 Hummer H1 Alpha

In its last year of production, GM released what would be the most collectible version in the Hummer line, the Hummer H1 Alpha. This model featured revolutionary features made by GM such as its Duramax diesel engine, its five-speed Allison transmission, and a chassis frame made of high-strength steel. Together, these features made the Hummer H1 Alpha a stronger vehicle concerning off-road performance while also helping it achieve better fuel efficiency and a greater boost of power. The Hummer H1 Alpha is similar to the model being produced for the Chinese market in that it focused on delivering exceptional power. In addition, the price tag of the H1 Alpha ($150,975) mirrors closer to what Chinese owners will expect to pay for a new H1.

Our Impressions

While it will be weird to see a vehicle that resembled American culture--for better or worse--marketed to Chinese owners, having production done in the United States is another manufacturing boon. If this vehicle takes off in China, it can signify more job stability for an industry and area that needs it.

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