Requiem for Hummer
General Motors is ready to shut down Hummer. That was the big news earlier this week after the company’s deal to sell the Hummer brand to Tengzhong, a Chinese machinery company, collapsed. The passing of Hummer gave opinion writers, pundits and bloggers—and the general public—an opportunity to reflect on the vehicle that perhaps best represents the excesses of the SUV era.
From the beginning, Hummer was a lightning rod, eliciting strong emotions from people who loved and hated the quintessential gas-guzzler. We collected final remembrances of the Hummer from across the web, and hope you will add your reflections and condolences.
GM Gives In To Good Taste, Closes Hummer Division
“Auto decal makers and window-tinters of the world are in mourning this afternoon…They’re stopping production of the controversial phallic stand-ins…I propose that, at midnight ET tonight, all Hummer owners across the country pause their Girls Gone Wild DVDs and join me in a moment of silence for the fallen giant.”
- From The Consumerist
“In response to GM’s announcement, flags across oil-rich Saudi Arabia were lowered to half-mast while the entire Exxon/Mobil board of directors were seen at a group grief counseling session. On Wall Street, oil speculators were jumping from windows while in Michigan, some people were mourning the possibility of a world without Hummers.”
- From Detroit Free Press
Hummer’s Long Overdue Death
“Driving one of those militaristic behemoths used to be a status symbol, but after gas prices topped $4 a gallon in the summer of 2008, people began to rethink the excess. In 2008, GM sold 27,485 Hummers, down from 35,000 in 2003. In 2009, after announcing it was putting the brand up for sale, GM sold only 9,000.”
- From Forbes
Hummer’s Demise a Sign of the Times
“As a symbol of conspicuous consumption, or of a lack of regard for the environment, the Hummer makes its owners look distinctly out of touch with the current public mood…It seems even the Chinese authorities are steering clear of the beast. “The brand proposition of Hummer itself goes against the strategic outline of the Chinese government, which is mainly that they want to produce energy-efficient vehicles,” explains Klaus Paur, North Asia director for market research company TNS.”
- From BBC
The End of Really Big
“Being big and powerful is essential to our national identity. It’s what we feel makes us better than the countries with older histories…Our bigness also expresses itself in the form of military might, a (now somewhat tarnished) genius for making money, and a gift for innovation (the point of which is to stay bigger and better than the rest). All of this, at least for a long period in our history, found perfect expression in our automobiles—of which the Hummer was the gargantuan, gas-guzzling apotheosis.”
- From The Daily Beast
What are your thoughts about the demise of Hummer?