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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    real title:

    "americans dont learn and make same mistake twice?"

    but then thats not really news huh?

  2. Del Merritt
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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

  5. Steven Raith

    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

  6. Jon Foster
    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!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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

  8. Phil

    $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!

  9. Simon Painter
    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.

  10. Jamie
    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  12. Colin
    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.

  13. Mike
    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....

  14. Eponymous Cowherd
    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!!!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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?!?!

  16. Ian Stephenson Silver 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!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  18. Martin
    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....

  19. Sooty

    "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

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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'

  21. Jonny F

    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.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  23. Slaine

    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.

  24. John Freas
    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.

  25. Ceilidhman
    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

  26. brimful
    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

  27. Sarah Bee (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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A note to GM

    Dear GM

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

  29. Anonymous Coward
    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"

  30. Neil Cooper
    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.

  31. Daniel

    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

  32. Steve Davis

    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.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    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 ;-)

  34. Arnold Lieberman

    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...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  38. Tom Turck
    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....

  39. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  40. Mike Morris
    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

  41. brimful

    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

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Sarah

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

  43. Daniel B.

    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.

  44. Kwac

    @ 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.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  46. Jason Harvey

    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.

  47. 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.

  48. Mike Richards

    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.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  50. ImaGnuber

    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.

  51. Andrew Tyler

    Hummer

    The saddest thing about the recent Hummer's is that they're hardly Hummer's at all. The thing that made the original Humvee a Humvee was that it had hubbed axles giving it tremendous ground clearance which made it a good off-road vehicle, which was, of course, the point of the whole thing. The new ones are just ridiculously large, ugly bodies on a standard leaf-sprung pickup chassis. They have no redeeming features unless you are specifically looking for a car that will let people know you are an asshole. I suppose it's nice of these people to provide me with that service saving me the trouble of actually having to speak to them to find out though. Expect the number of Boxster sales in the US to skyrocket.

  52. multipharious

    Giant engines...

    Last time the US went from monster engines to efficiency was horrendous. It is hard to argue the appeal of the 50s and 60s and early 70s cars. Even a fairly standard family truckster had at least a V-8 351 or 350 under the hood (bonnet.) Then suddenly the advent of the American four-cylinder engine...cringe. Weight saving and high efficiency. I remember the four-cylinder Mustang that was not worthy to carry the badge. It was the Dark Ages. Unfortunately this was at the same time that the Japanese started kicking our asses too, so to keep costs low they cut quality again and again.

    During the Dark Ages, an ex-girlfriend's mother used to drive an older station wagon with a whopping 450 or so cubic inches of displacement. She refused to sell it because she used to delight in absolutely crushing sportscar drivers with newer cars and puny wind up engines at the stoplight. This grocery getter could actually E/T like a champ due to the massive engine. It was quite clearly an anachronistic beast from another epoch.

    We may be witnessing an end to an era, but this whole cycle has happened before - back in the 70s...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Hummers are more than just a fashion statement!

    On July 4, 2007, I was involved in a severe auto accident that has changed my life forever. I was hit from the rear by a person driving a mid-size car that was traveling in excess of 70mph. Thank God I was driving a large Crew cab p/u truck. That was the only thing that saved my life. Having to replace my vehicle do to the accident, and realizing that the size, construcion, and weight of my previous truck was the only thing that saved my life, I chose to purchase a H2 Hummer. Sure I may piss of the environmentalist because of the high fuel consumption of the H2, but I know based on the construction of the H2, the very large frame design, and the high weight, myself and my family are better protected from a severe impact than in a small, light weight, fuel efficient car. Since owning this vehicle I have also discovered the extra power and off road capabilities are an added bonus that have been usefull in everything from outdoor recreational activities to assisting other motorist in need as well as two unfortunate emergency situations. This is just my point of view and I don't expect that it will change those who just don't like the H2 for whatever reason.

  54. Jack Barker

    Still waiting for fuel efficiency

    30 years ago I got 55mpg from my moggie thou that was already 20 years old, still waiting to match that (apart from a horrendous drive down West Africa in a 2cv) even though I'm now driving diesel. Economical cars could work but please could I have one?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    scumbags

    Boohoo GM, looks like you should've gone with the EV1 huh?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or you can buy an Audi Q7

    From a road test in Car Magazine...

    "On our 700-mile test drive, petrol consumption varied from 24.3mpg on the freeway to 17.0mpg on a brisk cross-country drive. Clearly thirsty work."

    But since it's not American, nobody will mention it.

    Pip, pip!

  57. Zac
    Coat

    @Slaine

    Someone else crazy enough to tuck in behind a truck on the motorway then: I got nearly 800 miles from a diesel 106 commuting from Bristol to Gloucester.

    Apparently the closer you go the more economy you get per mile according to the Mythbusters: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-transport/follow-that-truck.html

    I would get pretty close and knew I'd be minced if anything went wrong.

    As to Hummers and their demise, about time but they will always be around in one form or another as there are many people in the world that need an extension to thier ego/ penis size/ height. As for them being safe due to size, indeed this is true as you will definitely kill all the folk in the car you crash into. But what the hey, as long as you're ok.

    Mine's the one with the Evil Knievel picture and white tassels.

  58. Herby Silver badge

    ...But we need big vehicles...

    Has anyone ever traveled with someone (for me it is my "significant other") who needs to take the venerable "kitchen sink" to feel "secure". Yes, you need a nice big vehicle (me: I use a Ford Explorer!) just to carry all the stuff. The 4-5 day outing trip needs all sorts of large bags, and comfort items (drinks, food, etc.) just to go. Yes, of course, I'd like to "travel light" and take the nice speedy Porsche 356 that I used to drive. The problem is that with the wife's stuff, the thing would be "overgrossed" to day the least.

    That being said, the Hummer is just about the worst vehicle I've ever seen. The only thing it is good for is B-roll on CSI-Miami. In the catagory of bad vehicles (uglyness, functionality, etc..) the only thing that MIGHT rate worse is a Cadillac Escalade, which I rate as the ultimate "pimp-mobile". Ugly and boxy. If you are going to get something like that, get the "original" H-1 like the military uses. Yes, it will go everywhere, yes, it is ugly, yes, it is noisy, yes you can carry armor plating, but it will get you there! No, it is not a "lady's car", no "girly men" need apply.

  59. James
    Go

    @John Freas

    HA! hahahhahhaaaaaaaaa, Funniest comment in the thread.

  60. Dillon Pyron
    Happy

    And the worst thing is ...

    ... watching all the idiots in the parking lot with the engines running while somebody runs inside the store "for a second".

    My Fit (Jazz to you) gets me around 32 mpg around town. It's only got 1800 miles on it and I haven't made a road trip with it, so don't know about highway miles. And it's got plenty of room.

    My 96 Civic 5 sp coupe regularly got me 35-38 mpg on the highway. At 75-80 mph. With the rear seat down, I was able to carry four slicks, a jack and a reasonable tool kit in the back. Oh yeah, "never raced". (Not really slicks, BFG R1s)

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Guy

    some people might say that it doesn't matter how terrible your orthography is as long as you have something to say, I personally feel the other way, that if you have something to say and want others to respect what you have to say, you should show respect for others first and care about your orthography.

    * we're good vehicles => we are good vehicles => doesn't make sense

    you meant to write "were good vehicles"

    * their horrbile => doesn't make sense

    you meant to write "they're horrible" which is short for "they are horrible"

    * theirs these => doesn't make sense

    you meant to write "there's these" which is short for "there is these" which is technically not correct either as it should really be "there are these".

    Note, I mean no offese and I am not saying you're wrong, I'd simply like to encourage you to take orthography a little more seriously ;-)

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Taxes

    Every time we have a fuel crisis the chancellor plays Mr. good guy and makes out he is doing us a favour by suspendig a planned rise.

    Clearly this is a lie as its worked out on a % basis so if fuel rises he gets his increase (and more) anyway.

    What I really don't understand is why it is not a fixed amount. Clearly when the budget is set he works out his figures and plans say a 2p rise based on the current price. So why not just make it a fixed amount. So say annouce that for the next year the tax levy will be say 80p per lite. That way as fuel rises (or god forbid drops) he still gets what he budgeted for.

    Truth is there is nothing the government likes more than rising fuel prices as it fills all the big holes in their financial policies.

    I guess since they have all but banned smoking they have had to get that revenue from somewhere and now that they are trying to stop everyone drinking expect even more increases to cover the tax lost.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Kwac - Optional armour

    Hmmm, you raised a good point there which needs addressing.

    How about if we send the drunken hen-night girls in a Hummer out against the insurgents (crazed / non-crazed, delete as applicable). Who would win then? Can you make functional Molotov cocktails from Bacardi Breezers? Is there such a thing as a kevlar boob-tube? I think the Reg should investigate this in depth.

    Before you answer too hastily, consider the carnage in your average British city centre on a Saturday night.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Bike riding greenies

    Bet you live in a F**cking city or large town?

    I do ride a bike (yes I did about 15 miles on it yesterday).

    One problem, I live 10 very hilly miles from work, where there is almost no public transport, except the train, but as that takes 2 -3 hours each way, I think not.

    Then I can be called to go to any part of the country at a moments notice, should a system fail, maybe with a server thrown in the boot.

    How do I tell my boss the site will be down for a few days while I pedal to site.

    Live outside of your bubbles and see how most of us non city folk live.

    Granted I could move closer to work, but as it's a shithole, I'd prefer not.

  65. heystoopid
    Thumb Up

    So the journey around the "Mobius Loop" continues

    So the ghost of Chairman Ronnie's "It seemed like a good idea at the the time but was really crap for every consumer some thirty odd years down the track " still haunts the land of the imprisoned and paranoid !

    One of life's irony's , for Jimmy Carter was right and the Chairman was wrong at every avenue has been proven in the fullness of time as hyper stagflation returns to blight all lands from bad choices done in another era !

    For as they say those that do not learn from history are but doomed to repeat the same mistakes as they follow the "mobius loop" to it's conclusion , for the writing was on the wall January 10th 2001 in plain sight and had been so since 1973 !

    PS Interesting fact about the entire range of vehicles being canned by GM , is that in none of those mentioned will the standard roof A, B & C pillars support the weight of the vehicle ! Interestingly in that 3% of of all accidents involving the vehicle rolling over amount to almost one third of those killed in motor vehicle incidents !

    So one could say in closing the plants where less then 35% of the annual production is actually sold in any twelve month period GM is about to reduce the road toll a decade later by a startlingly large percent point !

    As for the SUV drivers thus the question becomes are you wearing a full racing car bone dome or have you fitted a full racing car roll cage and if the answer is no "welkome to a wing and prayer one foot planted firmly in the grave driving style"

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    boo bloody hoo

    At current exchange rates petrol here in the uk costs $9.23 per US wet gallon.

    US wet gallon = 3.785411784 litres

    UK petrol per litre = £1.25

    exchange rate = 1:1.95012

    Cry me a bloody river.

  67. Tom Austin
    Thumb Down

    @AC "Daniel is right"

    ...and blow me down, an American commenting on British dentistry. Oh, how my sides are splitting. Oh, the wit. Oh, how relevant.

    Let's see if we can follow your devastating logic a bit (I've got some time to waste): are you effectively saying that Americans should carry on driving SUVs and Hummers and other assorted useless vehicles with shitty mileage because -- wait for it -- their teeth are in better condition?

    Coward, you're a moron. But I suppose your teeth look great.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    More fuel efficient cars required

    Get a Smart roadster Brabus / Smart ForTwo, naff reliability and impratical but does 255 miles on £22 (At 2007 prices) worth of petrol thanks to its 0.7litre turbo engine. Wouldnt ever want one again but i always loved its fuel economy.

  69. Daniel Silver badge

    @Jason Harvey

    "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."

    Why don't you get a bike.

  70. jason Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Hello America....

    .....and welcome on joining the rest of the world in the 21st Century.

    It will take you a while to aclimatise but most of us have managed over the past few years. Nice to see you.

  71. Perpetual Cyclist
    Flame

    And why is gas $4 a (US) Gallon?

    Because the world is burning oil fast than it is pumping it out of the ground. It has been for the last 18 months.

    The US is heading rapidly for $5 gas very soon. They are importing 1 Million barrels a day LESS than they are consuming. Their (commercial) storage tanks run dry in 4-6 weeks at this rate. The headline oil price may have slipped from $135 to $122 in the last couple of weeks, but it is just pausing for breath.

    There is also a global shortage of diesel fuel. This is the primary cause of the oil price rise. Demand is growing even faster than for petrol, and the uses are even more inelastic. I anticipate we could facing diesel fuel rationing in the next two years.

    We are in an unprecedented and PERMANENT energy crisis.

    Adapt, or go without.

  72. Markus Imhof
    Stop

    @ Stu Reeves

    Ok, I take up your challenge:

    - I live ~15 km from where I work (should work out around 10+ miles)

    - hilly might be the correct description (our bedroom is almost exactly at 600 m sea level, my office at around 450, with a couple more valleys inbetween)

    - I could be called to any other company or customer's location at short notice, that's why we have a handful of company cars in the yard and two 24-7 rental companies with delivery in the phonebook

    - there is some useable public transport (1/hr, 10..30 minutes travel), but who needs it?

    We don't have a car. I sold mine ~12 years ago. Where we live now, I'm a member of a (commercial) car-sharing group, so if I need a car for private use, I can get one at a fair price, usually on short notice. For company use, see above. But for commuting or shopping? All done by bike.

  73. Jamie
    Linux

    @Brimful

    Do you live in a place like London?

    I currently live ~26 miles from work. Thing is I could move closer to work and housing would be cheaper but then the wife would have to drive those miles and she hates to drive, but has to as she works for the government.

    Bike may be a good idea as with public transportation, but if you don't live in places like London UK, Toronto CA, or New York US, then this is not actually that economically feasible.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC - Orthography lesson

    You probably meant to start your sentences with a capital letter and spell "offence" (or "offense" if you are American) correctly, but hey - we aren't all perfect.

    Glass houses and all that.

  75. Graham Bartlett

    Travelling heavy

    As for travelling heavy, I play in a band and also rent out my PA rig and sound-tech skills to other bands/events, so I have a Citroen Berlingo. I can easily fit all the PA rig, all my guitar gear, *and* all the other guitarist's gear into the back of it, and still have room for the guitarist and the singer. At that, it's still only about two-thirds loaded - I can still see out of the back window. I get 40mpg out of it whilst doing 80mph down the motorway fully-loaded. It was cheap to buy, is quiet to drive, and is being very reliable.

    So why would anyone want an SUV that costs more, has less luggage space, is noiser, and uses more fuel...? Geet wise and buy an MPV instead.

  76. Tom Turck
    Boffin

    Bikes...and Humvees

    I live 7 miles from work and could easily bicycle at least 6 months of the time, if the roads were not full of humvees and monster trucks driving like idiots, trying to run everyone down.

    As for rear enders my Honda Civic survived 3 rear enders from big V8 boats without any need for repair.

    Another fun fact is that when I lived in Kentucky and the good old boys would try to run the Honda off the back kountry roads with their Ford V8 Pickup trucks, I could hit turns at 60 mph and laughed pretty good watching them hit the ditch in my rearview mirror...and pick up gas in the next county too

  77. Martin Lyne
    Black Helicopters

    EV

    With a bit of commitment we could be seeing the EV9+ by now. But no, Hummers are what we have.

    Painfully, we'll probably use petroleum until it's all gone, then infrastructure will fail without it and we won't be able to make the things we do need in the amounts we need it. Apocalypse!

    Every time I see a Hummer filling a whole lane I think "wanker", it's not just their money they're burning, usually my lungs (should get a mask for cycling). Fashion victims to the extreme. Couldn't they make them out of plastic, hybridise them and well.. anything. Let people have stupidly large vehicles, as long as they have a lower safety rating (evolution removing the ego-trippers) or some revolutionary engine that won't burn the rainforests, eat our babies and extinguish the sun.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Mr ChriZ

    I know what you mean. I used to have an old style BMW325i which was great fun. Fast but very thirsty. My job moved 27 miles down the road so I sold the BMW for a Skoda Fabia 1.9 diesel 'cos I couldn't afford the fuel costs for the BMW.

    My fun now comes from getting the best MPG I can. Since October 2005 when I bought the car I've been keeping my fuel info on a PocketPC. My average MPG since 2005 is 61.97MPG the best on a single fill-up is 65.96.

    It's actually quite good fun sticking to the speed limit but trying to get the best MPG. A few changes in driving style make all the difference.

    Yes I'm an anorak but you have to get your jollies how you can on the commute to/from work.

  79. Karl Lattimer

    @Guy

    You should probably learn the difference between they're and their and there...

  80. Ben
    Thumb Up

    Hummer ?

    Yeah , what is THAT SMELL ?

  81. John Stag

    Can they really not see this coming...?

    They're in financial trouble so what do they do? Make bigger and bigger SUVs...

    Are they really that stupid?

  82. Matthew

    Amazing that thes cars were so popular

    they sold over 70,000 of them back in 2006 alone, curious that the market has changed in such a short space of time.

    Can't say it will be a shame to see the back of this it never seemed to be particularly good at what it did, although weighing over 2 tons and still returning 16MPG is reasonable achievement but if fuel economy is a concern you shouldn't buy a big or powerful car. Never been one to get upset about someone else's car though.

    Given the huge mileage cars generally do in the US a lot of the high revving little Euro/Jap cars we have over here just wouldn't go the distance. Anyone arguing that US engines/vehicles are generally less efficient than their Euro/Jap equivalents just hasn't looked at the figures.

  83. Perpetual Cyclist

    And to reply to my own comment...

    The price of oil jumped $6 back to $128 this evening as (presumably) US refineries realised that the price wasn't going back down any further, and if they didn't buy now they would be facing shortages.

    You ain't seen nothing yet!

  84. Glen Turner

    @Taxes

    Oh yeah, set the taxes on energy to be fixed. As time passes the more energy-efficient industries get taxed relatively more heavily than inefficient industries. Why do energy inefficient industries need a tax break -- do we want to encourage more of them?

    Mind you, current taxes are without carbon-pricing and mainly without pollution-pricing. The pain for petrol users has barely began :-(

    Oh, and the people with the GM EV1 comments: where's the energy coming from. California liked electric cars because they moved pollution out of Los Angeles to electricity generators in Oregon. Just moving pollution about isn't an adequate response to reducing carbon emissions. In any case, that electricity doesn't exist anymore -- California had electricity rationing a few years back and will again. Oregon doesn't want any more of California's pollution and the Californians won't build any more power plants for themselves.

  85. TimNevins

    Strangled at Birth

    Watch a 2006 documentary called "Who Killed the Electric car"

    Shows how big business got together to stop dead electic cars in '99.

    They show the cars being collected literally at gunpoint and then being taken in perfect condition to be scrapped and then put in a landfill.

    How many people here know that US car companies in the 30's used to buy up all public transport in every town and then destroy it?

    Supreme court ruled against them and fined them about 10 dollars.

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