Given that General Motors shut down the Hummer brand over seven years ago, you’d think that the vehicle that started it all would be long since out of production. But you’d be mistaken.
AM General isn’t just still producing them, but producing them hand over fist. In fact it just signed a new contract worth over half a billion dollars in orders.
The $550-million contract will see nearly 3,000 of the rough-and-tumble military vehicles sold to US allies around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Jordan, Slovenia, Bahrain, Colombia, Bosnia, and Kenya.
The order represents roughly a quarter of the $2.2 billion, 5-year maximum term of the contract that AM General received less than a month ago from the Pentagon as part of the US Army’s Foreign Military Sale framework. The overall contract is for 11,560 vehicles – which may not sound like that many in the grand scheme of things, but amounts to more than twice as many civilian H1s as GM ever sold under the Hummer brand.
At a quarter of the total, this latest order alone amounts to nearly as many H1s as GM sold in the US between 2000 and 2003, inclusively. Those were the Hummer brand’s most successful years on the consumer market, and the new contract is just for foreign militaries, valuing each at roughly $190,000.
Though no longer branded as “Hummers,” the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) are essentially the same vehicle that launched in 1992 and would later become known on the civilian market as the Hummer H1 – popularized by its use in Operation Desert Storm and by celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
General Motors bought the civilian brand in 1999, spinning off of it the smaller Hummer H2 and Hummer H3. But the industrial giant ultimately shut down the Hummer brand (along with Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab) during its bankruptcy restructuring in 2009.
AM General continued manufacturing the HMMWV for military applications, just like it always had. The company based in South Bend, Indiana, also builds the new Multi-Purpose Truck platform (also for military applications), the wheelchair-accessible Mobility Ventures MV-1, and the R-Class for Mercedes-Benz (which exports them exclusively to China).