In this day and age, it can be easy to say “out with the old and in with the new” without giving it much thought. But make no mistake—nostalgia still sells, despite all of the newer products that are being churned out by the capitalist machine. Whether it be film reboots, Pokemon cards, or even outdated vehicle fads like the Hummer, there’s always going to be a market out there for sentimental goods.
In the case of the Hummer, the success of its reintroduction into the current era will depend on how GMC modernizes it. If the automaker can learn from its past mistakes and make the necessary improvements, the Hummer could end up making a historic comeback this decade.
It’s Been A Rocky Journey
Back in the 2000s, Hummers were everywhere. Its military background and rugged look made it an instant favorite among car enthusiasts. It even gave Jeep, which was the go-to manufacturer for military vehicles, a run for its money. Matt DeBord of Business Insider made this insightful comparison to illustrate that point: “The Jeep didn’t have a lot of power. Jeep couldn’t pull a lot of stuff. It couldn’t carry a lot of people. It had no armor.”
It didn’t hurt that high-profile names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Tyson, and even Britney Spears owned Hummers either. Eventually, the Hummer rose to luxury status, costing up to $100,000 per unit depending on the model. Yet, despite the fact that the Hummer was built to withstand harsh conditions, it could not weather the storm that was headed its way.
Environmental activists were hellbent on shutting Hummer production down, accusing the boxy vehicles of being “pollution machines” and even setting fire to them in protest. Their wish would soon be fulfilled in 2007 and 2008 when gas prices skyrocketed and the financial recession disrupted the market—Hummer sales tanked and General Motors had no choice but to shut down the brand in 2010.
A New Direction
Today, General Motors is hoping that their new version of the Hummer will fall back into the public’s good graces. Unlike its gas-guzzling predecessors, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV will be 100% electric, so it will produce zero emissions while still delivering the same massive horsepower that it is known for. Additionally, its ability to generate instant torque can improve its towing and hauling capability beyond even its strongest diesel contemporaries.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will initially debut as a pick-up truck, with an SUV version to arrive later on. The Edition 1 model retails at $112,000, so it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It will be in direct competition with other EV trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck and the Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck, so it will be interesting to see just how much the nostalgia factor will help it stand out.