Hummer is synonymous with big, gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, but a plan to revive the brand for electric lifestyle vehicles could be underway.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported on Friday that a tentative agreement reached between General Motors and the United Auto Workers on Thursday includes a $3 billion investment program in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant to build electric pickup trucks, SUVs and vans. The union will vote on the agreement this week and possibly end its strike.
The program, referred to as BT1, centers on a skateboard-style dedicated EV platform that will spawn vehicles for Cadillac, GMC and possibly a revised Hummer, with the first model due in 2021, the sources told Reuters. It isn't clear if the Cadillac is the model GM teased in January.
The first model under the BT1 program will be a pickup for Hummer, though selling it under a different brand hasn't been ruled out, the sources said. A performance variant of the pickup and an SUV will reportedly follow in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The Cadillac and GMC vehicles based on the electric platform will also arrive in 2023, according to the sources.
This is actually the second time that we've heard about Hummer being revived as an EV brand. In June, Bloomberg reported that GM was discussing plans to sell electric Hummers as an alternative to lifestyle-oriented off-roaders like Jeep's Wrangler and Gladiator, as well the revived Ford Bronco.
The electric Hummers could also be added as competition for Rivian which also plans electric pickups and SUVs. The EV startup has garnered immense support recently, including an investment and supply contract from Amazon. GM was in talks with Rivian to make its own investment and perhaps use some of the company's technology, though discussions fell through. Weeks later, Ford and Rivian announced a partnership with Ford injecting $500 million into the startup. Ford will also tap Rivian for a future electric vehicle.
GM and Ford have both confirmed they have electric full-size pickups in development. Tesla is also working on an electric pickup, a prototype for which could be unveiled as early as November.
In the case of GM, selling EVs under premium brands like Cadillac, GMC and potentially Hummer will allow it to sell the vehicles at a price sufficient to absorb the higher costs of producing EVs, something automakers have struggled with at the lower end of the market.
The Hummer brand was folded in 2010, together with Pontiac and Saturn, following GM's bankruptcy late last decade.