FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, May 12, 2006

End of an Era? Hummer Sunsets the H1

After the 2006 model season, Hummer will discontinue its H1 model SUV -- the original, modeled after the military HumVee, which caused a sensation when introduced to the civilian market in 1992.

Although Hummer's parent company GM denies it, one has to wonder if the H1's atrocious gas mileage (10 MPG) had any bearing on the decision in this age of $3+ gas. Always considered a tiffany product aimed at celebrities and others willing to pay $130,000 and up for a status symbol, the H1 was never a big seller in terms of volume. And people who can afford that much for a car are among those least affected by higher gas prices. Nevertheless, the H1's sales were off 14% from 2004.

Perhaps posterity will look back on the H1 as an artifact peculiar to our time, among the first victims of a broader cultural shift in attitudes surrounding energy and the environment. Or, they may see it as simply another exotic vehicle that had a respectable 14-year run.

Source: MSNBC