CARS.COM — The Hummer for rich civilians is baaaaaacccckkkkkk, at least in China. A Michigan startup, Humvee Export, unveiled a new made-in-the-USA designer Humvee H1 at the recent 2017 Shanghai auto show for sale to China’s wealthy elite.
The giant H1, a 1990s symbol of military prowess, hit city streets in 1992 with a big push from Arnold Schwarzenegger, and became an equally potent symbol of consumer excess as a division of GM, which took over civilian production and rights to the Hummer nickname. It built Hummer H1s from 1999 to 2006 and marketed other Hummer-branded trucks until 2010. AM General, supplier of the military Humvee (a.k.a. High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), began offering $60,000 H1 kits, sans powertrain, for individuals in 2012.
Now Humvee Export will offer finished vehicles as the Humvee C-Series in three trims (Bravo, Charlie and Delta) with luxury options and powered by a choice of GM gasoline and diesel V-8s. They will be built with the bespoke manufacturing help of VLF Automotive, the boutique automaker founded by former GM executive Bob Lutz, designer Henrik Fisker and entrepreneur Gilbert Villarreal, according to a report by Car and Driver. The company produces V-8-powered sports sedans in Auburn Hills, Mich., based on the designs of the defunct Fisker Automotive plug-in hybrid, as well as a V-10 supercar and modified Mustangs.
Humvee Export also has a French company offering civilian Humvees in other markets, but you won’t be able to buy a finished truck in the U.S. Since the Humvee is still in production for military use, Humvee Export would have to go through the costly full certification process to sell them here, according to the report, and has no plans to do so.
You might, however, in the future be able to get a Hummer Lite: VLF showed its X-Force concept for a Hummer-disguised Chevrolet Colorado in January at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Will wealthy Chinese embrace a $150,000-plus, 7,700-pound off-roading behemoth?
“There’s a niche market,” company President John Costin told Car and Driver. “There are people who want to have the most fun at 5 or 6 mph.
“If they’ve got everything else, why shouldn’t they have one of these?”