Hummer was founded in 1992 when AM General began marketing a civilian version of the M998
Humvee military vehicle. Soon after, General Motors purchased the brand and expanded the line to
three vehicles: the Hummer H1, H2 and H3 models, each smaller than the previous. During the 2008
economic crisis, GM put the Hummer brand up for sale, but found no takers after the only bid on the
brand fell through. GM decommissioned the brand in 2010.
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 unlikely to revive Hummer due to weak consumer demand for the
vehicles as fuel prices increase and consumers become more efficiency-aware.