HUMMER is going down under. GM Holden Executive Director Sales, Marketing and Aftersales (say that ten times fast), Alan Batey, just made the announcement at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. After announcing 16 other new models that will be arriving for 2007 and beyond, Holden pulled back a huge curtain to give Australians their first glimpse of the HUMMER H3.

Despite sentiments suggesting that high fuel prices and falling demand for SUVs represented an awkward time to launch a 4,800-pound military-inspired vehicle, Holden said it believes in HUMMER's "iconic design and absolute, unparalleled off-road ability".

"No, I think it's a great time to launch HUMMER in Australia," Batey said, "I think the response to it is going to be awesome. The SUV is down but it is still sizeable, and it's for [Holden] to conquer because we're currently not there. But it is a niche, it's not going to be a mainstream seller."

Only the H3, powered by a 3.7-litre five-cylinder gas engine will be available, at least initially. Other engines and bodystyles might follow, but Holden marketing director Alan Batey says, "There are no plans as yet. We'll see how the H3 goes before looking beyond it. I tell you what, I've been driving it around town and it really gets a lot of attention... At the end of the day people will buy HUMMER because of the brand, what it stands for, and the looks." The first H3s will begin arriving in Australia in mid-2007. Those vehicles will be built at GM's Port Elizabeth facility in South Africa. No pricing was announced.

[Sources: GM, Drive.com.au]