February 1, 2020

Hummer Returns In 2021 As An EV - And A GMC

provided photo

provided photo

All of the air is being sucked out of the automotive universe with upcoming all-electric pickups like the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150, and Tesla’s angular Cyber Truck.  And then, there’s the onslaught of electric SUVs like the Tesla Model X, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Rivian R1S, and Mercedes EQ.  Lincoln just announced Rivian, of which Ford took an ownership stake, will build it an electric SUV. 

As General Motors was being out-Hummered by the competition, it realized it has a Hummer of its own. 

Hummer EV To Debut During Super Bowl

You’ll have wait until next year and visit a GMC showroom to buy one, but we’ll have a preview of the new Hummer EV during the Super Bowl.

“GMC builds premium and capable trucks and SUVs and the GMC HUMMER EV takes this to new heights,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC.  “We are excited to debut our revolutionary zero-emissions truck during the biggest night in advertising.”

From the time GM bought the brand in 1999, Hummer had the potential to be more than a gas-sucking super truck capable of stomping Smarts with a single wheel.  Hummer must always be capable off-road, but it doesn’t have to harbor a V8 engine to deliver astonishing performance. 

Beyond cutting edge styling that recalls Hummer’s bruiser past, the truck will have a powertrain that delivers 1,000 horsepower and 0-60 mph in just 3 seconds.  While you’ll see a preview during the Super Bowl when GMC debuts its “Quiet Revolution” campaign, you’ll have to wait until May 2020 to see it fully exposed.  It all seems like a brilliant way for GM to cut through the clutter in a rapidly expanding market.

“The sudden explosion of announcements surrounding EV pickups is bringing a whole new level of heat to the truck wars,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.  “This comes at a good time:  truck market share hasn’t been this high in 15 years, and people are paying more than ever for bigger vehicles loaded with more options.”

According to Edmunds, full-size truck market share was 14.4 percent of the U.S. market in 2019, the highest portion since pre-recession 2005 when it hit just over 15 percent.  And, prices of today’s trucks are rising right along with their market share.  In 2019, the average transaction price for full size trucks reached $49,543 – an all-time record.

“With almost as many expected entrants hitting the EV pickup market as there are mainstream pickups available right now, it seems increasingly difficult to stand out,” Caldwell said.  “GM is smart to use the Hummer name, which already has a lot of built-in equity compared to other brands, but it is pretty ironic that the nameplate of the biggest gas-guzzling beast that consumers rebelled against during the recession is now going to be resurrected as an EV.”

Storied GM Detroit Plant Dedicated To EVs

Perhaps more remarkable is where the GMC Hummer EV will be built:  GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant – a facility that ushered in automated manufacturing in the 1980s, but was scheduled for closure as the automaker discontinues its full-size sedans and Volt plug-in hybrid.  GM recently announced the plant will become its first dedicated to the production of electric vehicles.

Beyond the Hummer truck, which begins production in late 2021, the plant will build the Cruise Origin – an electric self-driving vehicle aimed at the ride sharing market.  Think “automated Uber.”  GM committed to investing $2.2 billion in the plant, saving 2,200 jobs, and it will spend an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and projects needed to launch the new electric trucks.

“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said Mark Reuss, GM president, during a press conference at the plant.  “Our electric pickup will be the first of the multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”

GM has also committed to investments in building electric cars and crossovers at its Lake Orion, Michigan assembly plant, a battery lab in Warren, Michigan, and a $2.3 Billion joint venture with LG Chem to manufacture battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio.  It seems GM is putting a lot of money towards its dreams of an all-electric future.

Storm Forward!

Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.

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