HUMMER has revealed that its year-to-date sales are up 53% so far this year, carried high on the wings of the H3, the brand's "smallest" SUV. As a matter of fact, HUMMER's other model, the larger Tahoe-based H2 has seen its sales dwindle faster than a tank of unleaded in its gullet. In June, H2 sales were off 52.4% compared to last year, down 48% the next month, 24.3% the next, and off 11.7% last month. Meanwhile, the H3 was up 10.4% in June, up 24.1% the next month, up 10% the next, and rose 21.5% last month. As of September, GM had sold 12,562 units of the H2 (down 31.9%) and 40,381 units of the H3 (up 120.8%). Clearly, the H3 is carrying this brand.

It seems the HUMMER brand is still an attractive option for those seeking the image of an urban warrior. As sales of other truck-based SUVs have fallen in line with the H2's, the H3 appears resistant to this correction, most likely because it's seen as a more responsible choice than its big brother, yet still a HUMMER. Of course, lots of vehicles tread lightly on the earth compared to the H2, but the H3 is no Escape Hybrid. It's still a vehicle that weighs 4,700 lbs. and gets an EPA estimated 15/20 mpg (Any owners out there who can tell us what mileage they're seeing?). While it's much more capable than said Escape off the beaten path, that won't save it when the allure of the HUMMER name fades and consumers realize they don't need a vehicle with a 36.5-degree departure angle to pick up the kids from soccer. This shift in perception has already happened to every other truck-based SUV, and it will happen to the H3 eventually, too.

GM, however, seems perfectly content to enjoy the H3's resilience while it lasts, though for HUMMER's sake it better have an even more responsible alternative in the works if the brand hopes to carry its momentum forward. Something in the size of a Wrangler, perhaps?

[Source: GM]


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