back to article Hummer glummer on high oil price bummer

General Motors has revealed it is planning to offload its iconic Hummer business, because sales of the tank-like range of SUVs and trucks are, well, tanking. The US car industry as a whole is suffering amid rising oil and steel prices and general economic malaise. GM plans to scale back production by mothballing four of its big …

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Anonymous Coward

real title:

"americans dont learn and make same mistake twice?"

but then thats not really news huh?

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Happy

Hummers are for idiots

My 2000 Honda Civic 5spd sedan is still getting 40mpg. No special mods or tweaks. I just remember to change the oil and filter, and once in a while I remember to check the air pressure in the tires. And it's not even due to my amazing driving karma - my teenage son is using it to commute for work this summer, and he's shooting for 500 miles on a single (11 gallon) tank.

So why don't more cars get good gas mileage? No incentives to date. At least, until recently, with gas prices here finally moving to where they probably should have been.

I'm all smiles, even if it still costs me over $40 to fill my tank. 'cuz I'm smug like that.

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Guy
Flame

Well Now

I have to say, I'm sorry for the people losing their jobs, and in many ways some of the SUV's that are going we're good vehicles (Although yes, they were stupidly large, gas guzzling behemoths) but they were comfortable, and very hand if you have a lot of kids to transport etc.

However, having said that, the Hummer is a truly terrible machine, I've driven one a few times (rentals) and their horrible. All manly steel on the outside, and the worst sort of plasticy rubbish you could imagine inside, rough ride, too much road noise and from what I can understand a worse crash test rating than a small sub-compact.

Some cars look rubbish, but are actually quite good vehicles (Fiat Multipla - I'm looking at you) then theirs these, they look good if you like military styling and pretending your Rambo, but are just awful in every other regard.

If the global oil crisis causes the demise of this senseless brand, then I say well done to the oil monopolies, you did us a favor. (Just try to find a way to use the plants to make cars that will sell rather than shutting them down, the workers did nothing wrong)

Oh and in other news, does anyone know when Top Gear is starting again? I'm out of the country and need to know.

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Anonymous Coward

Lardis

What on earth are the Sceptic Tanks going to do ?

How are you going to squeeze four American arses into a nissan micra rather than a Hummer (do the yanks actually know what a hummer is in the UK ?)

Answer - Dr Who to the rescue with the Lardis

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Silver badge

Good news for barge fans

Fancy an 03 XJR? £17k to you sir. £60k new.

03 CLS55 - same area. Not bad for 500Hp. Over £80k new.

Convert to LPG.

Anyone with an interest in large, gutsy saloons and other large, bargey cars can get in there these days for remarkably little money - the bottom is falling out of that market at the moment.

Steven R

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Thumb Up

Best line ever.

... we suggest a range of flat pack trailers, powered by broken dreams.

- best single line i've read all year!

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Dead Vulture

100 miles for $30

Which is what we pay in the UK for a normal sized 1.6 l car anyway if you work it all out. I find that I get 400 miles out of a full tank which now costs me £55 so all in all, I reckon that if I moved to america, bought a hummer I'd still be in pocket in the long run.

The vulture for the governing body that is literally bleeding us dry

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$30 for 100 miles!??

What are they moaning about, my omega will use £35 in 100 miles.

And while I'm here, is it just me that is horrendously outraged by those greenies on TV and radio claiming that running a car is cheaper today than it ever has been? WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SMOKING!

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Stop

100 miles on $30

Boo flippin hoo... I have a Grand Voyager and with petrol at the current price I would be lucky to get 100 miles on thirty *pounds* worth of petrol.

When I bought my gas guzzler petrol was near enough 50p a litre less at the pumps, that's why I now work within walking distance of home and save five grand a year in travel costs.

I love how our chums over the pond think they are seeing the impending apocalypse now that petrol has reached the heady heights of 50p a litre.

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Linux

Does not surprise me

When I am driving to or from work on the M4 and pass Porches and other type cars all I think is what a waste of money to keep them going with the current prices.

I keep a spreadsheet of my fuel costs and between 19-04-08 to 01-06-08 the price of deisel at the pumps has gone up 13 pence.

April 19/2008 Sainsburys Deisel 112.9

June 01/2008 Sainsburys Deisel 125.9

That is one big increase.

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Alert

Interestingly ...

A friend told me of a divorce case recently here in the US where the couple were actually arguing over who got the Hummer... in that neither of them wanted it and was doing everything to make sure the other party got it. With gas prices doing what they're doing there is no market for them whatsoever.

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Unhappy

$30 for 100 miles??

That's what I get in my diesel Golf at 40+ mpg. But then again, that's at UK fuel prices.....

thanks Gordon.

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Coat

@lardis

"(do the yanks actually know what a hummer is in the UK ?)"

I don't know what a hummer is in the UK, but Bill Clinton knows what a hummer is in the US....

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Unhappy

100 miles for $30?

That's 15 quid!!!

Which, with petrol costing £1.17 per litre in the UK, means that a bog-standard family saloon doing 35mpg will get you the same distance for the same price as a Hummer.

So, for what it costs to run my Mondeo in the UK, I could run a Hummer in the US!!!

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Alert

Only tasteless Americans

... and gangster wannabes would ever consider that hunk of junk worth buying... especially the morons that drive them on the streets of London! WTF drugs were they smoking when they thought that would be a good idea?!?!

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Bronze badge
Alert

$30 for 100 miles? My heart bleeds

My Ford Focus does 37mpg (supposedly).

At £1.12.9 per litre (here in the cheap norf!) thats £13.85 per 100 miles.

at an exchange rate of $1 = £0.51208 that means my normal family car costs $27.05 to cover the 100 miles.

Give it another week and it'll probably be over $30!

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Bronze badge
Stop

Not just idiots - soldiers too!

I don't really want crazed insurgents shooting at me at all, but if it happened, I don't think I'd choose to be in a Honda Civic.

Oh yeah - and don't forget the gangs of drunken hen-night girls driving round city centres in stretch hummers. What are they going to do?

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Stop

$0.30/mile?

= about £0.15/mile. Costs the same to run a Hummer in the USA as to run a Ford Focus in the UK then....

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"with its sub-13 miles to the gallon fuel economy"

i seem to remember top geartesting one of these and averaging around 3-4 miles to the gallon.

I'll stick to my motorbike i think, It only costs £10 per 100-150 miles

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Paris Hilton

@AC, Re: Lardis

Er, yes, we do know what a hummer is in the UK. Some of us anyway.

I'm curious about the revamping the entire line though. What would that be exactly? Rebadging some Smart For2s?

Although I'm sure in the multi-million$ salaried CEO set that sales of the current line are still doing just fine.

De rigeur 'Paris 'cuz she probably knows what a hummer is in the UK'

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US Gallons are 20% smaller than UK ones

The US gallon is about 20% smaller than the UK gallon, at least it was before you went metric.

So "13 miles to the gallon Hummer H3" is 15 or 16 MPG in proper money.

And "GM will begin production of a new small car in 2010 that'll aim for 45 miles to the gallon" is aiming for 53 Miles Per Blighty Gallon.

Top be more precise:

1 UK Gallon = 1.2 US Gallons

1 US Gallon = 0.832 UK Gallons

= 3.78541 Liters

It's $4 a gallon at my local gas station, who fortunately sell petrol as well as gas, that's 53 pence a liter. Not that long ago it was half that price.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jamie

I see your sad geekiness and raise you even sadder geekiness.

I have been spreadsheeting my mileage costs since 28/09/07 when unleaded was 92.9 pence per litre.

Filled up today: unleaded 114.9 pence per litre which is an increase of 22p or 23.6% or about 3p per month.

Big question is: how much of that increase is duty / VAT / assorted taxes? Gordon may be feeling my pain but if he reduced the duty and tax to what it was back at the end of last year he would still be making as much revenue* as he needs** and our pain would be a lot less.

*OK, I accept increased fuel costs will increase government spending but that should only be a few pence per litre, not the whole shebang.

**assuming he did his job and costed the budget properly in the first place.

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by comparison...

Diesel here went from £1.17 to £1.38 per litre over 7 days. Is that a record?

Oh, and whilst I can squeeze about 1000 miles out of a tank if the trucks don't mind being slipstreamed, it now costs over £80 to fill it instead of the £60 that didn't fit 6 months ago. Hmmmmm - that's 25% inflation. Nice one Gordon.

Would our pond neighbours kindly consider forking out $2.80 PER LITRE before moaning.

No icon - can't afford it after putting a pint in the tank.

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Stop

@ Lardis

"How are you going to squeeze four American arses into a nissan micra rather than a Hummer?"

This is a trick question as American's don't travel together in cars. You'd be hard pressed to find 4 Americans in an automobile of any size, thus squeezing the more typical *one* of our fat arses into a Micra would probably just about work, said driver feeling all the better for the improved gas mileage they're getting as they drive in formation with the rest of their family contained in 3 identical Micræ.

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Coat

there is a good side

The upside to the nosedive in popularity of the big gas guzzlers is you can pick them up second hand for a song. I got a 4.7L Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, 30,000 miles on the clock, totally mint 4 year old for, wait for it, £5000. I don't do a high milage so I don't care if it's expensive to run.

Mines the one with the car keys in it

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Flame

30 greens to the 100

At the oil prices as high as they are I'm actually quite proud of my vehicle. It's got 2 wheels, costs absolutely nothing in petrol, keeps me trim, gets me to work faster than any other form of transport. For all those who don't know what the hell it could be - it's a bicycle. Ooh ooh did I say it's got green cred as well?

Flame: cos we need to burn some more oil, raise the price, burn some more, raise the price even more, get the lazy "merikans" using pedal power.

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bike

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride it where I like

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ Lardis

I've sat in one of the ugly things and they have naff all more actual room as far as I can tell. Headroom especially is rubbish. Anyone who says they need SUVs because they have x many children or inches of flab is full of it.

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Anonymous Coward

A note to GM

Dear GM

in the UK to hum can mean to smell bad, hence hummer = stinker

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Thumb Up

Toyota finally beat GM

... as the best selling brand in the US, this year.

That was a huge wake-up call for them, and you could see their attitude change from "whaaah, where's our next handout?" to "oh crap, people really don't want to buy our garbage, we better get moving or we're dead"

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Stop

I wish they would ACTUALLY innovate

So they consider making smaller gas-powered cars innovative.

I wish they would ACTUALLY innovate and bring cars to market that don't consume gasoline at all. Such things as affordable electric-only cars with reasonable performance come to mind.

I reaslise this technology is still largely fred-in-a-shed so is still too expensive, but with a big car company behind it that has the potential to sell millions of units, that could all change.

Paris because the car companies are demonstrating about the same level of intelligence.

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Why Americans feel sort of Shell (oil) shocked

There are two important items to remember about the price per gallon of gasoline in the U.S. The first is simply the greater distances involved - outside of the major cities, most people put more than a thousand miles a month on their cars just getting to and from work and running basic errands. Carpooling sounds nice, but again, the less urban of an area you live in, the less likely it is to actually work out - a small business employing 50 people is likely to have them all coming from all different directions. As for public transit, with a few rare exceptions, it is a total loss if you aren't in a major city.

The second factor is just the rate of change. Gasoline prices have almost doubled in 4 years. It's not so much that people can't adjust to the current prices of gasoline, though if you were to talk to most of them that's the impression you would get. Rather, it's the years of 20+% inflationary pressure that's getting to people.

Oh, and a final comment @brimful: You can take your "lazy merikan" comment and shove it. I don't see many people of either of our nations offering to get ran down on long, narrow 55 mph roads by tired drivers with a cell phone in one hand, a coffee in the other, a hairbrush in the third, driving in the rain. :)

-Daniel

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Biodiesel

My last fill up was on the 23rd of May. £1.15/L. This has risen from 78p/L on June 15th last year when I first started using it.

My car is reasonably roomy (a Citroen C5 Estate) and reasonably economical - around 37MPG on average, a recent 633 mile trip was done on one tank (63 Litres to be precise, the tank holds in theory 65L).

It could probably do better if I didn't drive while wearing diving boots.

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Go

Keep a head of the tax man

I used to get 450 miles out of a tank on my 2000 TDI Rover 45,

but not wanting to let the tax man win, I'm now getting 600

miles out of a tank with some uber careful and slow driving, keeping it a under 10p a mile, and I'm currently theorising that it's possible to get 700.

It starts to become a crazed fasination after a while.

Next step Doc Brown style modifications.

Drill lots of holes everywhere to reduce body mass,

Throw out spare seats

1950's style skinny tires, and of course a portable fusion reactor ;-)

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About time the manufacturerrs felt the heat

Seen enough interwebby boards where the more enlightened amongst our American cousins are crying out for decent European cars like the Focus, whereas they have 10 year old rehash of 20 year old technology. The bitter irony is that their neighbours in Mexico get the European designed cars...

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Paris Hilton

@sooty

> i seem to remember topgear testing one of these and averaging around 3-4

> miles to the gallon.

Was that the mil spec diesel version?

Not too long ago I was in Paris having a stroll around, was at the Arc de Triomphe, where someone was showing off his Hummer by driving 'round and 'round, chirping his tires, revving the motor, and otherwise being a dick. Wonder how many MPG he was getting.

de rigeur Paris, because I was able to use both Paris and hummer in the same sentence, but I didn't need to tell you that, now did I.

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Joke

old joke

[quote]"(do the yanks actually know what a hummer is in the UK ?)"

I don't know what a hummer is in the UK, but Bill Clinton knows what a hummer is in the US....

[/quote]

...about $50, same as in town?

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Pirate

Charting Petrol consumption

I have been charting my petrol consumption since early 1996 when I bought my first car until a couple of years ago when I stopped driving. I remember putting leaded petrol in my tank at 59.9p a litre (occasionally 57.9p a litre). When I finally gave up I was putting ultra-low sulphur unleaded in the tank at well over £1 a litre.

Now, in answer to the question about tax/duty, the actual tax take does increase as the price goes up, but not as much as you would expect. The duty is a fixed amount, and the tax on the duty is also therefore fixed. All that changes is the duty on the cost of the petrol. Now fuel duty at the moment is just over 50p a litre, with tax that will go to just under 60p a litre. The remaining cost of petrol is 17.5% tax, it is that proportion that increases with fuel price increases. So the fraction of petrol price that is tax that increases when the price goes up is only about 10p a litre, and only about 1/7 of the total tax take from fuel.

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Alert

run them all down...

Americans drive big trucks and SUVs so they can drive aggressively, cut off Honda Civics, run bicyclists into ditches-sidewalks-telephone poles, kill the neighbors pets and prove that global warming is BS.

After driving efficient Japanese cars for 30 years...it is nice to see the new trend....

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Coat

Re: US Gallons are 20% smaller than UK ones

45USMPG =53 ImpMPG. Half of the 2000-2005 japanese superminis (not even the most recent ones) beat that.

Anyway, it will be nice to see the SUV monstrousities off the road. Though IMO, neither fuel prices nor the special Brown taxes will do that. People who drive them today, will drive them tomorrow.

There is a solution however. All band M taxed cars should have a huge sign above the number plates which says: "I HAVE A SMALL PENIS" or "I AM A WANKER". Ditto for any car that costs above 50K£. This will solve the fuel efficiency problem in a jiffie.

Me coat. The one with "I drive a 55MPG car" on the back.

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Alien

Ignored

US automakers have ignored the fuel efficiency thing forever and are once again, caught out. Lots of morons out there who still want the hummer crap but GM finally realizes that's a dead end.

Sad really. GM especially could have been the one to innovate hydrogen cell cars as they WERE large enough to have started building the infrastructure. Or any other promising tech. Now they are sucking hind tit again. I'll bet Wagonner's bonus doesn't suck though.

Cheers,

Mike

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Come to think of it

Maybe they should get rid of the 4x4s as well?

Bicycle races are coming your way

So forget all your duties oh yeah

Fat bottomed girls they'll be riding today

So look out for those beauties oh yeah

On your marks get set go

Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race

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Happy

@Sarah

You weren't on a hen night by any chance were you?

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Silver badge

Kids & SUV's

If you really, really need to move a lot of kids ... I think thats what the minivan was made for, wasn't it? Town & Country, Grand Voyager, etc. They actually have *space* for people, and relatively good fuel efficiency.

SUV's, on the other hand, usually are 7-seaters (Dodge Durango) or just standard 5-seaters (Grand Cherokee) so there is absolutely no reason to actually choose an SUV.

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@ Evil Graham

There wouldn't be a lot of difference between a Humvee and a Honda Civic if there are crazed insurgents about (although the sane ones are probably more dangerous).

Unless, of course, you got round to putting armour on them - which neither have as standard.

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm

I think in all the dick waving people may be missing an other blaring sign of a real and sustained recession hitting us as opposed to the previous few times it's been spoken about.

I'm so glad we won the olympics, and that we're investing in high quality modern systems in both power, IT and, security... O wait...I guess I'll keep my manual can opener close.

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I like my gas hog

But then it's 23 years old and looks like I don't have insurance cause of the hail dings and rust spots, but then again, people don't try and muscle me on the road either. When they see that old metal beast and know that the plastic car they're driving really is just that, they tend to give me room. so what if I'm only getting 10mpg... I'm still working on tuning it up. It runs, has cold A/C, it's paid for, and it's HARD to dent. I'm only concerned about the idiots on the road that don't know how to drive... and even then not so much, cause even a hummer wouldn't do too much damage to my car unless T-boned. Gotta love the old full sized yachts.

of course, it does help that I only drive about 5 miles (one way) to work so I don't have to fill up too often.

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Bob

What GM SHOULD do

Selling the Hummer brand seems like a bad idea, since I can't imagine anyone who would buy it for much.

Instead, I think they should keep the "premium brand" concept of Hummer and its military styling, while moving toward smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs with those characteristics.

Imagine a unibody-construction hybrid Hummer about the size of a Ford Explorer that gets maybe 20-24 mpg and has all the goodies inside. I believe that's entirely possible. Maybe consider diesel as well. Hummer would continue to be a niche player for people who want a (relatively) large, military-styled, total-luxury vehicle.

As for myself... I've been driving small cars for a LONG time.

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One of the great mysteries of the Universe

Is how GM is still in business with their butt-ugly, unreliable, neanderthal products.

One of the best laughs of last year was seeing that the poor old Transformers had landed on Earth as GM vehicles.

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Heart

Daniel is right

Daniel hits the nail on the head. SUVs are popular because they are convenient and comfortable. And get this, still fairly affordable to operate. While the Hummer brand has been pillaged as a symbol of excess, the H3 is very nice ride, comparable to many mid-size SUVs in both weight and fuel economy.

Let's not forget that we Americans don't generally struggle with our dentistry. When you guys get that part figured out, then you can make fun of our driving habits.

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Reg should lead...

The Reg staff should lead the way - everyone get on a bike (one bike each, that is) and do a pub crawl to show how much fun environmentally friendly gas-free cycling can be. The last man or woman capable of 50 metres in a straight line followed by a u-turn and 50 metres back is the eco-warrior of the year.

Pictures please. Video preferred but leggo will do.

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