The 2022 GMC Hummer EV truck debuted Tuesday with 1,000 horsepower and up to 350 miles of range. It marks the return of the Hummer name after a decade-long absence and is the most ambitious electric vehicle General Motors has attempted. Here are three quick takes.
This is how major vehicles will be revealed going forward
The unveiling during Game 1 of the World Series on Fox and during The Voice on NBC could only have been bigger if done during the Super Bowl. A two-network debut complete with LeBron James providing voiceover for the commercial. On Fox, World Series play-play man Joe Buck neatly set up the spot and told millions of viewers that the order bank was now open. Then the Hummer debuted in what looked like a cut from the next Transformers movie.
OK, this is not how every major car will be revealed, but the direct-to-consumer, as-many-eyeballs-as-possible, made-for-TV (or social media) event will be a key strategy going forward. In the last few months, the Detroit, Los Angeles and New York auto shows have all played leapfrog with dates, confusing many observers. The pandemic has obviously exacerbated the decline of auto shows, but if you’re an automaker, why share the spotlight in a convention hall? Most car reveals won’t be network TV spectacles, like the Hummer, but streaming services and other platforms will make a lot more sense than traditional means as companies compete for new buyers.
This is how the Tesla Cybertruck should have looked
Most would say the Hummer is pretty cool looking. The headlights, the grille, the blocky fenders and huge wheels — yeah, this looks straight out of central casting. It’s what you expected the reborn Hummer to look like, nominally now in the service of the GMC brand. Tesla made the Cybertruck a bit too crazy. Sure, it’s attention-getting. But look at the Tesla. No one can objectively say the Cybertruck is aesthetically pleasing, from the shape to the features. It’s out-of-step with the graceful Model S and Model 3 sedans. The Hummer is futuristic, has interesting elements — like underbody cameras for off-roading and a T-top — and a massive presence. It doesn’t need to do more. The addition of Super Cruise technology, however, is a nice touch.
GM is serious about EVs
The Hummer leads a blitz of EVs from GM, which is quietly yet ambitiously laying out an electric future. The company is retooling three factories to build electric vehicles as part of a $2 billion plan to upgrade its North American operations. Cadillac’s future, anchored by the Lyriq crossover, will lean heavily electric, and the company promises other EVs across its portfolio. Underscoring this, GM is developing its own new electric propulsion system, Ultium Drive, and its own battery cells. With Daimler, Volkswagen, Ford and many others investing heavily in EVs, GM is showing it’s not going to sit idly by.