If you thought the gaudy American truck and SUV manufacturer Hummer was long gone, then a report claiming General Motors’ interest in reviving the nameplate for an all-new lineup of EV 4x4s might come as a surprise.
In the midst of GM renegotiating its contracts with the United Auto Workers union, part of the delay in reaching an agreement allegedly comes from the automaker’s slow decision-making on how to proceed with future product development.
According to a Reuters report, GM is looking to reintroduce Hummer as a premium brand with production taking place at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2021. As of today, that plant solely manufactures the Cadillac CT6.
The new plan is allegedly called the “BT1 Electric Truck and SUV Program,” and it’s said to be the main focus of GM’s new $7.7-billion investment for all of its assembly plants over the next four years. Of that $7.7 billion, the BT1 truck program supposedly makes up nearly $3 billion, all of which would go into overhauling the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is also a part of GM’s new proposal and labor deal with the UAW. That would result in an annual output of around 80,000 electric vehicles.
The BT1 program also includes new EV truck models for GMC and Cadillac, both of which would be scheduled for a 2023 debut as part of this agreement. But the Hummer proposal has yet to be finalized.
GM President Mark Reusss previously hinted at the potential possibility of reviving the Hummer brand under these pretenses back in June.
General Motors seems to be following in Tesla Motors’ footsteps in how it structures its new electric vehicle ventures and initiatives—start by establishing a premium footing, then work down the price ladder to offer more affordable options.
“It makes perfect sense to hit the high end of the market in order to generate some revenue that might actually turn a profit,” said Sam Fiorani, the vice president of global vehicle forecasting at Auto Forecast Solutions, in an interview with Reuters. “Putting a Hummer badge on anything is a great idea for General Motors because half the marketing is already paid for. Making it environmentally friendly is just icing on the cake.”
Fiorani anticipates GM could pitch the new EV Hummer with an MSRP of around $90,000-$100,000, landing it square in the battlefield of Tesla’s Model X and Rivian’s future electric pickup truck.
Despite the new proposed plan, GM’s desire to move more firmly into the EV space increases investment risk since the all-electric truck and SUV market remains largely untested and unproven. In the end, GM is betting that its continued success with large models could be doubled by jumping on the EV train and combining the two together.
At present, nothing is set in stone as this is only a proposal. Around 48,000 UAW workers are expected to cast their vote over this agreement and contract within the next week. Should an agreement be met, it would bring an end to one of the automaker’s longest strikes which has cost the manufacturer around $2 billion thus far.