• Dec 11, 2007
Japanese fashionistas are getting a three-ton present from the General this coming spring when it will begin shipping HUMMERs to the Land of the Rising Sun. Martin Walsh, HUMMER's General Manager, told the Detroit News that despite slow vehicle sales in Japan, the island nation will become another niche player for GM's iconic off-roader.

Although Walsh remained mum on what models will be making their way across the Pacific, we were surprised during our recent trip to Japan when we saw a few H2s and H3s making the rounds on Japan's congested motorways. The HX concept revealed yesterday would be an obvious candidate for consumers abroad, and we're convinced that an H5 kei-car would be a winner if HUMMER ever decided to think small(ish).

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      How many of these does GM plan on selling? Three?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Next popular sport in Japan:

        Hummer-drifting

        Too bad you'd take out half a block in the process.
        • 7 Years Ago
        there's a huge demand for American cars in Japan, the Hummer will probably do quite well there.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There's a huge demand for WHAT? When I lived there, (12 years, moved back to the US in '04), the very last thing in demand over there was an American car. In fact, I bought a 2 year old Chrysler Stratus for the whopping sum of $3000. I'm sure demand may have had something to do with the price? And I had a choice of literally dozens of cars of the same age, as they were just decaying at the sole dealership in Tokyo.

        It would do you well to research this a bit further, rather than spout off uneducated guesses at how the world works. There's not one place I've been outside the US where there exists a prime market for American cars. A notable exception is Europe, (for the Mondeo and Focus), two chassis that weren't developed in the US. And their sole factor for popularity is value for money, something the Hummer brand isn't exactly renowned for. Look at how well this truck was received in the UK.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's a bit of an agressive response,

        What I've read, is that the big thing over there is American luxury cars, you'll see people rolling around in Buicks, Caddys, Lincolns, or whatever they have over there. There's not a demand for Chrysler Stratus anywhere, that's for sure. It's a more recent trend than 2004, but the American luxury brands are gaining popularity in Japan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Chrysler sold 6500 units in Japan last year. Ford, 6,200. I can't find published numbers for GM, probably better for my own peace of mind. The fact is, even with the introduction of the aggressively styled "Dodge" brand this year, American cars total less than 1% of Japan's new car sales. And in a country where gas is 33% more expensive than in the US, I have a feeling that it's going to continue this way for a while. On top of the styling, quality, or efficiency issues, there's the trade imbalance that impacts the American brands. Even more so than here in the US, there's a strong fuel-efficiency market there, with lighweight fuel-sipping cars being all the rage. In an economic slump similar to our own, Japanese car sales have fallen again, with small cars deftly beating everything else. It's just a market we can't compete in, not with the American cars you and I would recognize. Now, a Euro-spec Focus or Ka, that may be competative, but not an H3. And certainly not any of our sedans.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Look at how well this truck was received in the UK."

        (Finally) Found the link for the Top Gear video where the guys talk about the Hummer H3. It's at the very end of the video, and I have to warn you, this is the uncut "TG News" edition, containing some profanity. Now, I don't agree with their anti-American sentiments, but wholeheartedly agree on their Hummer H3 stance. Have a lookie:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMlYuODkG0E
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well Hummer is a rather unique vehicle which is a good thing that helps in the Japanese market. Great graphic by the way Autoblog!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can see GM's marketing slogan now:

      "Hummer, the brand of choice among hip Yakuza".
      • 7 Years Ago
      The most pointless vehicle for urban Japan's traffic congestion and narrow and non-grid streets.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @Will

      "It's just a market we can't compete in, not with the American cars you and I would recognize. " What in god's name are you smoking? We can compete with our products. I am taking a guess that you drive an import since you are the one that seems to be saying idiotic comments. You seem to have conviently ignored the improvements to GM's stable (CTS, Enclave etc..) Maybe you should move back to Japan since you think their products are so much better?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually, I have a Chevy HHR, the "Shnog". (Google it). And a Chrysler 300C. And I think there's quite a renaissance going on in the halls of Fomoco and GM. But the Enclave and CTS, great examples of how things are getting better for us, wouldn't work well overseas. You see, gas is MUCH more expensive than it is here, neither model has a diesel (popular in Europe), and they're too big. Well, the Enclave is HUGE.

        Another big issue with your theory is that neither car is exported, yet. The current CTS will be selling in Australia in 2008, but that's it. Right now, the 1st gen CTS, STS, SRX, Escalade, and BLS are sold in Europe, and none of those cars are brag-worthy, as most are as old as the hills, and BLS is basically a rebadged Saab.

        I think the issue here is that our US auto industry's recent improvements are jsut that: recent. It's going to take a while for our (US Manufactured) autos to catch up, while our overseas developed cars (for overseas markets, Ford, Opel, Vaxhaull, Holden) are doing very well.

        Keep in mind the difference between American-developed cars, and American branded cars. I give you, as an example, the Ford Mondeo as an excellent Ford, but it's not American.

        But otherwise, I agree with you. When the renaissance trickles into the cars that we actually export, the world's stigma against American cars will change.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Last time I checked, the Japanese base their auto tax on the size of the engine. So I don't find it a surprise US car don't do so hot over there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      While I agree the Mega Cruiser is a smaller copy of the Humvee, the H2 is nothing more than a tarted up Tahoe for the market segment the Mega Cruiser was serving.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What I'm saying is that it looks like GM is going after a market that Toyota abandoned in 2002. This seems like it would be such a small number that is best left to the specialist importers that are already bringing them into Japan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree that the H2 is nothing like the H1. The H2 is sort of baised on the 2500HD frame. Not realy a Tahoe, but I can go along with that. But what market segment did the mega cruiser serve? Did they sell that many non military versions? Did any make it to the US to compete with the "tarted up Tahoe"?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thats a little different than your first post, but ok, thats cool. But if they can make a splash with a high profile auto and get the GM name around, whats wrong with that? I think they would be better served getting the Volt to the market here and in Japan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Japan has had their own Hummer for years, it's what the American was copied fromif you ask me.

      http://www.megacruiser.com/
        • 7 Years Ago
        HUMMER is a brand name, not a H1 Humvee civi version that can't survive driving over an anti-personell mine like the military version can. H2 is a copy of the Mega Cruiser. Does that straighten things out for you a little better?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Japan has had their own Hummer for years, it's what the American was copied from if you ask me." FWI, the HUMVEE, the military version was first delivered to the US army in 1985. The Toyota megacruiser you linked to was first in production in 1995. Now who copied who?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Mega_Cruiser
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Mobility_Multipurpose_Wheeled_Vehicle
        • 7 Years Ago
        Americans didn't buy many H1s either, but the H2 and 3 have exploded, which is what GM will probably export. GM has always produced the Hummer, seeing as it won the military contract for the Humvee. I wouldn't call the H1 a "tin can" either, that thing's pretty rugged, and from experiences I've had with the civilian and military versions of the vehicle, they're quite similar.

        and my Dad drives a Plymouth Voyager not a Crown Vic, haha
        • 7 Years Ago
        The humVEE is not the humMER, that company was founded in 1995.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The idea of selling these things to civilians as luxury vehicles did not come about until after 1995. GM didn't get ahold of the HUMMER brand until 1999. The civilian tin can H1 has about as much in common with the HUMVEE as your dad's Crown Vic does with a highway patrol interceptor. And in case you missed my point. Japanese have had the option to buy one of these useless things since 1995. They didn't buy very many.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Hummer is the civilian version of the Humvee, there was a demand from off-road enthusiasts, etc... and GM took the Humvee and threw a livable interior in it and sold it. Yes, it's the same company
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just seems too large a vehicle for Japan. Rural China or Australia maybe but not Japan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tankdog, The H2 is the second generation of the H1 made more for the average person. The megacruiser is a copy of the Humvee. Get over it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      PS The H1 isn't even on sale anymore. Hummer is still a full line posermobile dealer without it though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nissan freak I suggest you do a little research. The HUMVEE is a product of AM General. Not GM. GM bought the rights to HUMMER in 1999. AM General continues to do the manufacturing of the H1 for the military. All the other smaller HUMMERS are just rebadged GMs. I don't know why you keep going on about the H1 because that's not what's going to Japan. The Megacruiser is much closer to a H2, and probbly 2x as capable off road, not that buyers of these thing care about that. In Japan, off road is usually a golf course.
      • 7 Years Ago
      excuse me but...

      who needs a hummer.... and why?
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