Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

HUMMER Tries New Path In Uphill (Sales) Climb

OK, it's not as if HUMMER needs our sympathy. The folks running GM's supersized SUV line know they are fighting an uphill battle, trying to grow sales, expand the line-up, and shift HUMMER's image in the face of rising gas prices. But this is HUMMER, even if the execs there feel overmatched, they won't admit it.

Nor should they.

HUMMER's new ad campaign emphasizes the utility and capability of the SUVs. Gone are the vanity, and "quirky cool" image spots GM used in the past to push the brand. The new spots focus on the fact that for some of the toughest jobs, HUMMER can do the trick.

With sales off 21 percent last year, HUMMER needs to take a different approach. With gas prices staying high, and expected to go higher, almost all truck based SUVs are seeing slower sales. But HUMMER, once a poster-child for gas guzzling, is really feeling it.

So GM is taking a new approach. Adding a pick-up version of the H3, and trying to position the big rigs as the perfect choice for big jobs. I think it's a smart move. HUMMER's are incredible vehicles, take it from someone who has tried it out in truly treacherous off-road conditions. Whether or not you like the idea of the low-mileage titans, you have to admit they are perfect for certain jobs in rugged conditions.

I'm not sure GM's new campaign or a new HUMMER will have an immediate impact on the bleak times for the line-up. But at least HUMMER's fighting. What else would you expect?

Questions?  Comments?

Related Tags