Defunct off-road marque is tipped for revival as the flagship of American giant's line-up of electric trucks, Reuters reports
Felix Page Autocar writer
21 October 2019

American automotive giant General Motors (GM) is considering a revival of the Hummer brand for a new line of premium electric SUVs and pick-up trucks, according to Reuters. 

The company is reportedly aiming to put a new range of large luxury EVs, codenamed BT1, into production at its Detroit-Hammtramck factory by the end of 2021.

The first BT1 model, currently known as Project O, is said to be a pick-up for an as-yet-undetermined brand, with internal sources suggesting use of the Hummer name is “under consideration”. It will be followed by a hardcore performance version in 2022. 

Claimed to also be in development are an electric pick-up for GMC and an electric SUV for Cadillac. Both are set to arrive in 2023. 

GM is investing $7.7 billion (£5.9bn) into preparing its US factories for the shift to electrification over the next four years, with the Detroit-Hammtramck facility being upgraded at a cost of $3bn (£2.3bn) to produce electric trucks and vans. 

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The large EVs will sit stop a new skateboard-style chassis, similar to that of start-up company Rivian, which combines motors and batteries for cheaper production costs. Around 80,000 units per year are expected to be produced.

Regarding GM’s choice to develop premium EVs before more affordable models, Auto Forecast Solutions’ Sam Fiorani told Reuters: “It makes perfect sense to hit the high end of the market in order to generate some revenue that might actually turn a profit.” Such a move, he noted, has proved lucrative for Tesla, which launched with the low-volume Roadster before going on to rival BMW and Mercedes-Benz with the Model S

GM recently ended production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, citing a decline in demand for saloon models. Its replacement, the Bolt, is an electric hatchback that's expected to cost its maker between $8000-$9000 per unit as a result of the augmented cost of EV production compared to that of conventionally powered cars. 

Production of the iconic Hummer H2 and smaller H3 ended in 2009, as GM eyed a return to profit following a high-profile bankruptcy announcement. 

The BT1 electric pick-up is likely to be priced to compete with the Rivian RS1 and could beat Tesla’s long-awaited truck to market. 

Read more

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