Friday, November 16, 2007

THE HUMMER : How it evolved from a military vehicle to a high-end consumer vehicle

Hummer was actually designed specifically for military use. Newly developed platform had to replace the flexible and popular Willy (Jeep). Not a small feat by all measures.

Hummers were originally built by AM Corporation, formerly the military and government vehicle division of American Motors, in its South Bend Indiana assembly plant. AM General competed in the development of a vehicle to meet the standards of the military. Consumer level hummers are based on the military High Mobility dual purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), or Humvee. The military M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles were developed to replace jeeps and lighter trucks and proved to be very efficient at moving soldiers and equipment in a variety of different environments. Located in South Bend, Indiana, AMG had introduced thousands of Jeeps before winning the Jeep replacement contract in 1983.

AMG officially named the vehicle the “Hummer.” Newly introduced hummers had all-terrain tires, had 36 inches of ground clearance and air pressure could be adjusted from the cockpit. Top speed was just over 60 mph. The Army tested the prototypes over a 5 month period. The Hummer proved to be durable, lightweight, and able to achieve high performance ratings. The U.S. Military liked the prototype and AM General begun to produce a series of different High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle prototypes.

Other specialized versions of Humvees served as battlefield ambulances and shelter carriers. In 1991 AMG introduced the Heavy Hummer (M1097), which had ability to handle heavier loads (up to 10,000 pounds). They are used a cargo carriers, troop carriers, ambulances, automatic weapons platforms, missile carriers, surface-to-air missile platforms and much more.

The first civilian High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, the Hummer, entered the market in 1991 and soon grew immensely popular. In 1992, AM General began production of versions of the Humvee, called the HUMMER for civilian use. Known as "the world's most serious 4x4," Many consumers welcomed this new edition in auto world because of its mobility and strength.

Hummers gained immense popularity in 90s when two Hummers traversed the rough terrain between London, UK and Beijing, China. Then in 1991, due to public demand, AM General announced that it would produce the Hummers for the civilian market.

Although most folks bought Hummers as novelties, for cruising around town or off-road, some were also sold as specialty vehicles. They were adopted to fill a multitude of different roles, ranging from ambulances and, industrial vehicles to fire trucks that could access rough boondocks areas.

By the late 1990s government curb had rolled back sales of the Humvees, and the civilian market never really took off. General Motors has been very active and effective in licensing the Hummer. In 2003, the Hummer H2 – a smaller version of the Hummer H1 – entered the market. Hummers are now becoming immensely popular with civilians and now are a part of automobile industry. Though Hummers have developed a massive fan following it still has its drawbacks. Hummers have very poor fuel economy. In addition to this Hummer are also said to appeal only because of their heavy body and dominant size. In 2005 General Motors is rolled out the 2006 HUMMER H3 midsized SUV. With the big thing in, hummer owners can kick a fashion statement. After all size does matter.

Check out this Hummer for Sale at One Stop Motors:

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