Feeds

Hummer glummer on high oil price bummer

GM moots ditching the Governator's favourite cigar box

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.