|Major auto publication asks the question.|
WardsAuto.com has an article about how GM's Hummer division is taking advantage of the "confusion" at Jeep to become the first name out of consumer's mouths when they think "off-road". Here's a snippet:
Jeep is the veteran. It had pickups in the 1940s, a convertible in the 1950s and controlled the SUV market in 1993 with almost 30% share.
Hummer is the newcomer, becoming a civilian in 1992, and changing its name to H1 after the brand was purchased by General Motors in 1999.
Under GM, Hummer has ambitious growth plans to show it isn’t a 1-trick pony.
The H2 fullsize SUV, introduced in 2002, proved wildly successful. To address the inevitable sales wane, an H2 SUT (sport/utility truck), has been added to the lineup, and a pickup has not been ruled out.
The big volume and appeal is coming in 2005, with the midsize H3 that will charge straight into Jeep territory.
GM also is working on the business case for a compact H4, a challenge given the unflinching mandate that every Hummer be a rear-drive, premium SUV, SUT or pickup that is extremely off-road capable. No exceptions.
“It would be a cold day in hell before we had a Hummer that was not capable,” says Gary White, GM vice president in charge of fullsize trucks. “We have other brands to do that.”
Jeep’s product renaissance is not due until ’06 and ’07. By that time, GM may have converted a large percentage of Jeep purists who view Hummer as the Jeep of old.
For the first time in its history, Jeep may find itself mired in terrain it can’t successfully crawl out of.
Be sure to check out the entire article.