How we got to the Hummer H3 is interesting. Drawing its influence from the original Humvee military vehicle (HMMWV - a military term for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle for the curious), the idea for a roadgoing Hummer was hatched when General Motors bought the AM General Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. This company manufactured Humvee vehicles for the US military and had started selling Hummer versions with slightly more creature comforts to civilians such as Arnold Schwarzenegger. The growth of the high end Sports Utility Vehicle market in the US and the brand equity of the Hummer name made the company an attractive target and in 2002 GM unveiled the Hummer H2. A loophole on 6000lb+ 'commercial' vehicles saw many business buyers able to tax deduct $38,000 of the car's $50,000 list price and helped sales skyrocket.
Based on tried and tested GM mechanicals, the H2 used a front suspension system similar to a GM Silverado truck while the rear end was similar to a GM half-tonne truck. It drove like a commercial vehicle too and although a few were imported to the UK, it was too big for inner city streets. The H3 packs the Hummer look and feel into a more manageable size and, due to Hummer's production facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, was built in right hand drive form, a few of which were officially imported to the UK. Take up wasn't huge, the 3.7-litre petrol engine proving too avaricious for most prospective customers, but it shifted a few units before the Hummer brand was swatted by the global financial crisis. A sale to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company collapsed when the Chinese government failed to be convinced that the home-built car would be any more economical. The last H3s rolled from the line in 2010, whereupon the company was wound up.