Feeds

Hummer glummer on high oil price bummer

GM moots ditching the Governator's favourite cigar box

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

General Motors has revealed it is planning to offload its iconic Hummer business, because sales of the tank-like range of SUVs and trucks are, well, tanking.

The US car industry as a whole is suffering amid rising oil and steel prices and general economic malaise. GM plans to scale back production by mothballing four of its big vehicle plants, saving $1bn annually.

It seems Hummer, with its sub-13 miles to the gallon fuel economy and tonnes of military-chic metal, could be the first casualty, at least in its current form. At current US gas prices, a 100 mile round trip in a Hummer H3, the "mid-size" model, costs about $30.

Richard Wagoner, appropriately-named CEO of the world's biggest autowagon maker, told the firm's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday: "At this point we are considering all options for the Hummer brand everything from a complete revamp of the product lineup to partial or complete sale of the brand."

The fewer Americans who are buying new cars these days are looking for a smaller, more efficient set of wheels, not the gaz-guzzling trucks and 4x4s whose high margins bolstered Detroit's bottom line as it failed to innovate throught the 1990s and early 2000s.

Wagoner acknowledeged the new religion, saying: "We at GM don't think this is a spike or temporary shift. We believe that it is, by and large, permanent." GM will begin production of a new small car in 2010 that'll aim for 45 miles to the gallon, AP reports.

The oil crisis of the 1970s provides a salutory tale for GM, Ford and Chrysler. It saw the rise of Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota, which made hay on small, cheap runarounds. Meanwhile Michigan communities were devastated and thousands of jobs lost as the US brands continued to churn out cruise liners on wheels.

If GM does decide to hold on to Hummer (after all, who'd buy it?) we suggest a range of flat pack trailers, powered by broken dreams. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.