Inventory overfloweth. Update on Hummer Bummer.
December 17, 2005 4:44 PM   Subscribe

New Evidence says the Hummer inventory overfloweth trend is real. An interesting update on last month's Hummer Bummer posting. Latest inventory figures obtained from the same Californian dealership appear to confirm a pessimistic outlook and perhaps further validate the notion of an exhausted/oversaturated market for oversized vehicles. It really seems Californians aren't much dreaming these days of being your next typical owner of a gas-guzzling large persons chariot.
posted by rodney stewart (39 comments total)
Apparently this phenomena isn't limited to L.A., either; the wife and I were driving around here in Vegas the other day and noticed a gigantic parking lot entirely full of H2's much like the ones photographed on that blog posting.
posted by AaronRaphael at 4:52 PM on December 17, 2005

I predict many great things for this thread. At least I learned a new word: "sybaritic."
posted by sourwookie at 4:52 PM on December 17, 2005

Only 30 years of oil wasted due to American self-centredness and greed then. Our children will be pleased.
posted by A189Nut at 5:09 PM on December 17, 2005

There is a brand new Hummer dealer in suburban Boston that I sometimes drive by. I rarely see anyone browsing.
posted by MillMan at 5:32 PM on December 17, 2005

I wonder if any sales of Hummers were lost by people being on test drives and getting flipped off by lots of people? Its a nice thought.
posted by fenriq at 5:44 PM on December 17, 2005

How about the new Jeep Commander.
posted by stbalbach at 5:47 PM on December 17, 2005

Good thing Hummers are so boxy; soon the dealers can start stacking them.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:52 PM on December 17, 2005

It seems to me we could avoid having to drill the arctic wildlife reserve if we just siphoned the gas from these parking lots.

But then we would have to kill some grunts, torture some innocent dark skinned folks, then award contracts and tax breaks to rich business people. You know, out of habit.
posted by parallax7d at 9:24 PM on December 17, 2005

Oof! The first link calculates a sub-20% monthly turnover rate for both H2s and H3s. That can't be enough to cover the dealer's floor plan line of credit. Still, is it possible that we're looking at an off month and they'll make it up during the gift-giving season?

Economics/ecologics notwithstanding, the brutish looks of the original Hummer and even the H2 do appeal to me on some level (guess the old 'nads are still pumping...) The H3, on the other hand -- WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!? With that chopped roof it's crying for a 1" ground clearance and the trademark low-rider air shocks.
posted by Opposite George at 9:43 PM on December 17, 2005

I noticed a lot of extra toy Hummers at the toy store today. Even Santa hates them!
posted by fungible at 9:55 PM on December 17, 2005

The first "Hummer bummer" wasn't entirely accurate. From the followup post

Many of you seem to think that the Hummer piece was investigative journalism when in fact much of it was satire. The pictures are real and the 52% year-over-year drop in Hummer H2 sales is real (see the first link to the Yahoo! News article) - but other elements are inaccurate or complete fabrications...

The long and the short of it is, we found a parking lot with Hummers lined up just begging for someone to photograph them and put them on the internet, so we did it. The first few paragraphs should have made clear that we were going for the funny, rather than for the well-researched, hard-hitting expose.

posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:35 PM on December 17, 2005

I want a damn diesel VM Transport minivan. 40+ mpg diesel that seats 8 or even 12. But only for sale in the UK. BASTARDS!
posted by IronWolve at 12:05 AM on December 18, 2005
Ops, url didnt link....
posted by IronWolve at 12:06 AM on December 18, 2005

Meanwhile, Polar Bears are drowning.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:11 AM on December 18, 2005

Well ever since they came out with that "smaller" H3 model, it's just been another case of Ford fucking up a brand they bought, just like they did wth Jaguar. Is it just me, or do the Jaguars over the past few years look just like Hyundais?

They should have made a BIGGER one. Then it'd be selling.

posted by scarabic at 12:55 AM on December 18, 2005

The World says "thank you America."
posted by A189Nut at 1:21 AM on December 18, 2005

Interesting stat: "the two-ton Chevy Tahoe kills 122 people for every 1 million models on the road; by comparison, the Honda Accord kills only 21 per 1 million such vehicles."
posted by five fresh fish at 1:25 AM on December 18, 2005

GM has survived for the last decade or so on the sales of huge SUVs and trucks. Keep gas prices up for a full year and they go belly up. They might do that anyway, but if they lose huge vehicle sales they are toast. It will suck for a lot of people who work for them, are retired from them, or who work for their suppliers, think Roger and Me times twenty. However, the death will be blamed on health care costs and it will be the final blow which pushes the US toward government sponsored health insurance rather than the current system of company sponsored health insurance which puts our companies at a competititve disadvantage to the rest of the world. It has the potential to bring health care to many who right now are uninsured, but don't be surprised if we find a way to deny coverage to poor people.

Oh, and most people who drive Hummers are dumber than a box of rocks. They think everyone envies them as they drive by and have no clue that most people, even in the red states, are either laughing or cursing at them. I can think of many much better vehicles which can be obtained for $50k.
posted by caddis at 2:16 AM on December 18, 2005

I was sort of sad to see gas prices drop over the last couple of months, because I was having too much fun wallowing in the schadenfreude of watching giant SUVs pay through the nose at the pump.

"Oh, woe is me. It costs me $80 just to fill my tank!"

"Gosh, that's too bad. My motorcycle will go the same distance on about $15."
posted by Patti at 3:16 AM on December 18, 2005

So does these mean I will soon be able to afford one?
posted by poppo at 6:16 AM on December 18, 2005

Even to a liberal this post just sounds like pointless smug, I told you so, crowing. Not only that but is this beginning to echo? The numbers are true, it's getting worse, they're bad people, we are better, blah, blah...
posted by philmas at 6:20 AM on December 18, 2005

The H2 was always a rather impaired concept. It's a showboat car and most people who want big SUVs want them for (actual or imagined) practical reasons, and will much prefer a Suburban or a Sequoia. The minority who do want to show off are going to buy a Mercedes G Series, a Range Rover, or the big Lexus...

The H3 was just stupid -- diluting the exclusivity of the Hummer brand for prospective H2 buyers, with zero appeal to the midsize SUV set, most of whom can be counted to have an aversion to the brand and fairly sprint past that car down to the Honda Pilots and Lincoln Aviators.

The (original) H1, on the other hand, is a great car for the niche of people who actually need military-grade off-road transport ... and, of course, the people who want to spend $110,000 looking like they do.
posted by MattD at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2005

five fresh fish writes "'the two-ton Chevy Tahoe kills 122 people for every 1 million models on the road; by comparison, the Honda Accord kills only 21 per 1 million such vehicles.'"

The usage of these two automobiles aren't the same though, the truck is going to be used generally for more dangerous activities. For example I've rarely seen a civic fall off a logging road or get hit by a logging truck because they aren't ever on a logging road.
posted by Mitheral at 8:56 AM on December 18, 2005

Out here in suburbia, I see parking lots full of SUVs, but nary a logging road. Literally 30%-50% of automobiles around here (CT, USA) are big trucks.

We're not using these trucks for logging.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:37 AM on December 18, 2005

The point is a Tahoe is going to be used more often in more dangerous situations than a Civic. Police vehicles, construction sites, remote locations, off-road, oil fields.
posted by Mitheral at 10:25 AM on December 18, 2005


Give us a break. Tahoes are used exactly like Civics, which is what makes them so pathetic. The rationale given for purchasing one is generally some aspect of selfishness, such as the owner's desire to see over the top of everyone else, at the expense of everyone else. Or a self-satisfied notion of safety when these vehicles, when slamming into a like vehicle, are actually less safe.
posted by drstrangelove at 11:24 AM on December 18, 2005

Even thought I too am a smug SUV-hating commie bastard, Mitheral has a point. Although the police vehicle, construction site, etc. cases are probably a very small proportion of the stats, there are probably other factors not highlighted in that quote.

Quick rant. Googling shows that stat is from "High and Mighty", a book by Keith Bradsher, but I can't find any link to the primary source on the net. Hundreds of instances of people using it, but no link to the original study, which might help.

The DOT has a lot of good data. Their report contrasting rural and urban crashes says that about 60% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads and less than 4% of rural crashes occur on unpaved roads. That seems to discount the off-road, remote locations and logging road idea.
posted by formless at 3:52 PM on December 18, 2005

Many of you seem to think that the Hummer piece was investigative journalism when in fact much of it was satire.
People on the internet taking jokes seriously. I've never heard of that before.

It's stuff like this that shows that liberals are just as bad about being prejudiced as conservatives, we just pick less downtrodden people to direct our hatred at.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2005

Oh come on fff, most people who buy those behemoth SUVs never negotiate any terrain more technical than the soccer field parking lot. If I lived back in the country where I could use a good four-wheeler to access more remote trout streams I would certainly get something good. I have Defender lust for just this purpose, but the big reasons for buying these vehicles are big, bigger and BIGGEST, as in mine is bigger than yours. Unfortunately, a big SUV won't make it any bigger.
posted by caddis at 5:18 PM on December 18, 2005

we just pick less downtrodden people to direct our hatred at.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:37 PM PST on December 18

That's kind of the whole point.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:29 PM on December 18, 2005

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece for the New Yorker in 2004 on the lack of automative safety of SUVs here. It's a really great read and he brings up statistics on driver deaths for various cars. Essentially all the perceived safety benefits of a SUV (greater visibility, massive vehicle, feeling of safety) are completely outweighed by its faults (poor manueverability, long braking distance, fewer safety features and poor design, reckless driving behavior).

Gladwell also brings up an interesting observation that addresses Mitheral's comment. When placed in an environment/situation that is perceived to be dangerous, people exercise greater caution. The foreman in the Chevy Tahoe at the construction/logging site will be driving slowly and constantly monitoring the area for any signs of danger. Later in the day, his soccer mom wife in the same Chevy Tahoe is tooling around town while talking on the cell phone, trying to keep the kids from monkeying around in the back seats, and can barely keep her eyes on the road. Which is the actual more dangerous activity here? Who is more likely to be Chevy Tahoe statistic #123 (and #124 and #125)?
posted by junesix at 6:36 PM on December 18, 2005

SUVs have been popular for over 10 years now. Regardless of gas prices and environmental concerns, there is bound to be some change in the market. Most people buy cars largely on style - and styles change.

Hummer is such a niche brand anyways, it's appeal is going to be much more short lived.

I don't think I've ever judges someone based on what kind of car they drive, so when people are critical of SUV owners it sounds pretty snobbish. There are lots of great reasons to own an SUV that have nothing to do with going off-roading. What kind of car you drive says nothing about your ethics or morals.
posted by b_thinky at 6:44 PM on December 18, 2005

As a windsurfer, skier, and mountain-biker, I was an early adopter of the Jeep Cherokee, back in 1987, before they became ubiquitous. A V6, gets 25 mpg, has 360 k on it and is worth less than my TV.

I've taken that thing everywhere, including many places where those stupid Hummers couldn't frikken fit. I have NEVER seen a Hummer in the backcountry, because the people out there actually enjoying nature would never buy such a planet-destroying penile-extension.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:44 PM on December 18, 2005

Did any of you know that women actually make up 50% of all Hummer H3 purchases? "Women are buying 40 percent of Hummer H2 models and half of Hummer H3 models, according to Hummer spokeswoman Dayna Hart."

Apparantly it's similar for the GMC Denali, which even I think is a ridiculous oversized hunk of junk.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. ;)
posted by drstein at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2005

What kind of car you drive says nothing about your ethics or morals.

What are you smoking?
posted by docpops at 8:23 PM on December 18, 2005

Just reading this thread was embarrassing. I don't know how I'm going to live with the shame of posting in it. Why couldn't you have linked to the post about monetary policy in New Zealand instead? Surely that's at least as relevant to the interests of metafilter as the latest sales statistics of any one GM model.

"They think everyone envies them as they drive by and have no clue that most people, even in the red states, are either laughing or cursing at them."

I have very little desire to drive something as big and ugly as that, and certainly no thought at all of actually owning one. But if I were considering it, the thought that it would piss off people like that would be a factor in its favor.
posted by sfenders at 7:05 AM on December 19, 2005

The thing I enjoyed most about the launch of the H3 (here in Canada at least) was that the major advertising ripped off Goldilocks and the Three Bears as follows:
  • Papa Bear: original hummer;
  • Mama Bear: H2;
  • Baby Bear: shiny new H3
So, uh, GM basically said:
If you own an H2, you're a woman, and if you own an H3, you're a child.
Fantastic job.
posted by lowlife at 10:40 AM on December 19, 2005

caddis: Oh come on fff Mitheral, most people who buy those behemoth SUVs never...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:36 PM on December 19, 2005

Oops. That was pretty embarrassing. Sorry FFF.

*hangs head in shame
*flagellates self
posted by caddis at 3:36 PM on December 19, 2005

« Older sweet..... free culture   |   Just in time for Christmas! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments