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A universe all its own: How AM General sold the first civilian Hummer

Published in blog.hemmings.com

If there’s one thing the upcoming Hummer EV will share with its internal-combustion forebears, it’s excess. Ridiculous excess. Big ol’ ‘Murican-style keep-it-coming-’til-the-wheels-fall-off excess. After all, what would a Hummer be if it weren’t loaded down with superlatives (not to mention the weight of America’s relationship to fossil fuels)?

Whatever shape this new Hummer will take, however GM will position it, it’ll still have a legacy to live up to – a legacy that, once established in the first Gulf War, became cemented in 1992 when AM General decided to sell a civilian version of the HMMWV.

The truckmaker had never sold a vehicle to the general public prior to the Hummer so, even though it already had one committed customer in mind, AM General had to come up with a new strategy for selling the rigs: position them as the most capable off-roaders on the planet, only barely civilized.

Several years later, GM had a somewhat different approach to marketing the Hummer H1 and its progeny, but for now it’s worth digging up a couple videos that AM General produced to show just how capable the Hummer was, just to compare and contrast with how GM will go about selling this electric Hummer.