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Hummer is a brand of off-road vehicles sold by General Motors. The H1 version was based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee). The H2 and the H3 were introduced as smaller civilian market versions.
Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, which was formerly AMC Jeep's General Products division, in its South Bend, Indiana assembly plant. AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hum-Vee as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hum-Vees were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the HMMWV received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year.
In 1992, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer".
In 1998, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors, but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continued to build the H1 until it was discontinued in 2006, and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, with which it shares the GMT-355 platform (custom modified and designated GMT-345).
Since October 10, 2006, GM has been producing the Hummer H3 at its Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa for international markets. Hummers at the Port Elizabeth plant are built both for local South African consumption and exported to Australia in the 2008 model year.
The H2 is also assembled in Kaliningrad, Russia, by Avtotor, starting in June 2004. The plant produces a few hundred vehicles annually, and its output is limited to local consumption (five dealers in Russia initially).
The future of the Hummer brand is in doubt. On Tuesday 3 June 2008, one day prior to GM's annual shareholder meeting, CEO Rick Wagoner said the brand is being reviewed, and has the possibility of either being sold, having the production line completely redesigned, or being discontinued. This is due to the decreasing demand for large SUVs as a result of higher oil prices. Almost immediately after the announcement, a pair of Indian automakers, one of them Mahindra & Mahindra, have expressed interest in purchasing all or part of Hummer