Here's an interesting move: take a large SUV that struggles to get great mileage and export it to a market known more for compact cars. That's what GM is doing with its HUMMER brand and its expansion into Japan. I'm not sure this makes sense.
I understand GM's logic. It believes that there is enough demand for the HUMMER to boost sales of a brand that needs to expand globally as U.S. sales struggle because of rising gas prices. And yes, there will be some demand among the Japanese for these big rigs.
But as GM expands HUMMER there's a larger, philosophical question that remains to be answered. Is there enough demand for these SUV's? Especially if gas prices remain high. GM will say HUMMER is still a profitable brand, so my question is moot. In fact, I'll probably hear from a few GM fans who think I'm bashing the company.
However, as the world adjusts to tight fuel supplies, and more people demand small cars, it will be tougher to sell HUMMERS. So, expect GM to continue to push the brand into new countries as it also tweaks future models to be smaller and more fuel efficient.
Get ready world. The HUMMER is coming.
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