General Motors will revive the Hummer name to sell a new family of electric pickups and SUVs, according to media reports.
The vehicles will be sold under the GMC nameplate.
Reuters reported in October that GM planned to build a new family of premium electric pickups at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2021 and was considering reviving the Hummer name.
The Wall Street Journal reported GM’s decision to move forward on Friday. GM declined to comment.
GM is considering selling the battery-powered truck in existing dealerships under the marketing name “Hummer by GMC,” Bloomberg reported Friday.
GM also has a large SUV in the works for Hummer. It will be produced soon after the pickup truck if the brand relaunch proves successful, Bloomberg reported.
If the company follows through with that plan, it would address the two biggest problems that doomed Hummer 10 years ago: its gas-guzzling image and its costly network of stand-alone showrooms.
Hummer, a rugged, off-road brand with roots in the military, was dropped in 2010 after GM’s 2009 bankruptcy that also resulted in the demise of Pontiac, Saturn and Saab. GM eventually shuttered Hummer after a deal to sell the brand to an obscure Chinese machinery maker was blocked by Chinese regulators.
GM acquired the Hummer brand in 1998 and sales of the vehicle peaked in 2006 before declining precipitously at the end of that decade as gasoline prices soared, hurting demand for the 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H2.
GM plans to build four electric vehicles at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan by the end of 2023, LMC Automotive told Automotive News in November.
Detroit-Hamtramck was one of four U.S. plants slated to close last year as part of a sweeping restructuring plan, but it was spared by the new labour contract with the automaker that UAW members ratified in October.
GM agreed to invest $3 billion and use the factory to build electric pickups and vans.
Production of the rumoured Hummer and another EV likely will start in 2021. It will be followed by electric Sierras and Escalades in 2023, LMC Automotive said.
The investment moves the automaker into a part of the EV market that is largely untested and where GM has a higher likelihood of turning a profit, analysts said.
Ford, Tesla and Rivian are also planning electric pickups.
Electric versions of pickups and SUVs – the heart of the U.S. market – could help Ford and GM generate the significant sales of EVs they will need to meet tougher emission standards and electric vehicle mandates in California and other states.
The Trump administration is moving to roll back those standards – and eliminate extra credits that automakers receive from EV sales – but the electric trucks are a hedge if California prevails.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.