The Humvee on which the M998 and Hummer H1 were based, was developed by AM General, a subsidiary of American Motors (AMC), for the military. The High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or "Humvee") was selected out of several bids given to the U.S. Army in the early 1980s. The civilian model M998 / H1 was exactly the same as the military model with the exception of consumer-grade interior materials and additions such as stereo systems, sound insulation, and air conditioning. AMC built the Hummer throughout its life, even after the GM buyout.
Despite a bad reputation from environmentalists, the Hummer series sold relatively well in the North American market. The Hummer H1 and H2's size was a problem and selling point for many. Their large size meant that they were exempt from many federal motor vehicle rules and that they were difficult to park and often did not fit into standard-sized garages. Poor fuel economy was another problem. The smaller H3 was marketed to counter these issues.
In racing, the Hummer brand was not particularly prolific. Off-road legend Rod Hall competed successfully in the BitD and SCORE in the stock class using a factory Hummer H3 with only race- specific modifications for the vehicle (roll cage, shock absorbers, tires, etc). Hall's Team Hummer took a total of 11 production-class wins at the Baja 1000. Off-roader Robby Gordon raced a heavily- modified H3 in the grueling Dakar Rally from 2006-2013 to mixed results, finally dropping the Hummer in favor of his modified Super Truck for Dakar 2014. GM retains brand ownership, but is unliekly to revive Hummer due to weak consumer demand for the vehicles as fuel prices increase and consumers become more efficiency-aware.