The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'hummer'
Not that long ago, the Hummer was king of America's roads; a ex-military truck, chromed for the consumer and with all the aggressive ugliness of a pit bull, it soon became synonymous with a certain form of all-American assholery, a combination of machismo, belligerence and callous indifference worn like armour. Then the price of oil went up, and the dealers' yards started filling up with unsellable Hummers. And then General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection, and decided to sell off a number of marques to raise some desperately needed money to keep the wolf from the door. A construction equipment manufacturer in China (that's Communist China, by the way, not Taiwan) was found who was willing to buy the brand and start making Hummers. Joe Sixpack and NASCAR Dad could rest assured that they would still be able to buy a Hummer, though in future, this icon of all-American triumphalism would be made in China, like a cheap Wal-Mart DVD player.
Now, it trns out that the Chinese government's planning agency has blocked the takeover of the Hummer brand, on environmental grounds.
Now that's got to hurt.
America's love affair with the Hummer, the oversized, aggressively ugly SUV that has become synonymous with everything from macho triumphalism to crass consumerism, may be over. Thanks to rising petrol prices, dealerships are finding themselves with a glut of unsold Hummers. Of course, they can't just keep them near the showrooms, because that would scare potential buyers away, so they drive them to vast parking lots, not unlike the graveyards of B-52 bombers in the desert. I wonder if they're visible from satellite photographs?
Apparently the thrill of driving Hummers back and forth between the remote storage lot and the dealer showroom wears off quickly, as each round trip requires that another five gallons of fuel be dispensed in order to ensure a complete round trip.
Australia's General Motors subsidiary Holden may soon sell a local version of the Hummer, the obscenely large, Tom-of-Finlandesquely hypermasculine "urban assault vehicle" that has been a sensation with the rottweiler owners and gated community dwellers of America.