Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally! Hummer reaches the end of the road

Good riddance:
Hummer, the brand of big sport-utility vehicles that became synonymous with the term “gas guzzler,” is being shut down after a deal to sell it to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart, General Motors said Wednesday.

G.M. said only that its planned sale of Hummer to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Company “cannot be completed,” without giving a reason, but the $150 million deal had been stalled as the companies awaited approval from the Chinese government.
Mum may be the word from General Motors, but Tengzhong has issued a statement saying the deal couldn't go through because it could not obtain the government's approval within the agreed-upon timeframe.

The deal's collapse means the end of the road for what is possibly the most wasteful and useless series of vehicles ever sold to civilians. Even before today's death knell, however, Hummer had been cratering:
Hummer sales have fallen 78.3 percent this year, the third-steepest decline behind fellow castoff brands Pontiac and Saturn. At the end of January, there were fewer than 2,500 Hummers in stock, and GM had suspended production at its Louisiana plant pending completion of the brand sale.
Of course, it's not like automakers won't continue to build and sell SUVs. But Hummer was the epitome of the SUV craze: huge, inefficient, and licentious, with a fuel economy so awful that it was exempt from CAFE standards and not rated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Hummers have such a high curb weight that they aren't even legal to drive on some streets.

Since their introduction, Hummers have been cleverly marked to insecure and carefree suburbanites as a status symbol, even though their ancestor (the Humvee) wasn't designed for commuting or city driving.

Even in rural areas, Hummers are not as versatile or useful as, say, a pickup truck, which is better at carrying cargo and towing trailers.

We have always felt that since Hummer serves no moral or useful purpose, it would be better that it didn't exist. Now it won't, and that's a cause for celebration.


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