Hummer goes global with the new H3
The HUMMER line goes global with the introduction of the HUMMER H3. Developed for markets around the world and built in South Africa, the H3 adds unique styling features to the brand’s iconic shape, an all-new interior design and a 180 kW (244 hp) 3.7 l Vortec inline 5-cylinder engine with, for the first time on a HUMMER, a choice of manual or automatic transmissions for the full-time four-wheel-drive system. A right-hand drive version will be available summer 2007.
In the beginning HUMMER was a vehicle in a class by itself, with extreme style and capability, unmatched and untouched by the competition. The latest chapter in the story is the HUMMER H3, designed in response to demand from global markets for a luxurious everyday driving vehicle, offering the legendary HUMMER performance.
H3 packs authentic HUMMER style and capability into more compact dimensions. Compared to the HUMMER H2, the H3 is 39 mm shorter in length, 171 mm shorter in height and 73 mm narrower. Roughly the same length as a larger family sedan, H3 can navigate city traffic, yet still deliver HUMMER’s trademark crawling and climbing capability.
A global design team re-designed and re-engineered hundreds of areas in comparison with the American-market H3. A number of new style items are exclusive to the Hummer H3, to enable the model’s global homologation for sales around the world.
Headlights have an oval design with a chrome surround. Clear lenses with amber bulbs, specially designed side blinker lamps and a unique tail lamp design were also required to meet international lighting requirements. The external radii were changed on mirrors, front fascias and tow hooks. Additional fender flares were added to cover the tyres, which must be inside the body in some countries. A redesigned rear bumper contains a new Rear Protection Under Run Device and rear fog lamps.
The HUMMER H3’s iconic design continues to make it one of the most easily recognisable vehicles on the road. The distinctive HUMMER 7-slot chrome louvered grille and protective aluminium front skid plate with embossed H3 logo, flat flush windshield and side windows, low glass-to-metal ratio, 16 x 7.5-inch 7-spoke aluminium wheels and Goodyear Wrangler RT/S all-terrain tyres with a 32-inch outside diameter mark the vehicle apart from anything else.
The HUMMER H3 is powered by the GM Vortec 3.7 liter, inline five-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. Specifically designed for this type of vehicle, it delivers 180 kW (244 horsepower) at 5600 rpm and 328 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm.
H3 is the first HUMMER ever to offer the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission. In addition to the Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, a smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission, the first-ever for HUMMER, offers ultimate driver control.
At the heart of the HUMMER H3’s capability is its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. The system is augmented with traction control, an optional rear locking differential and StabiliTrak stability control, which is offered as standard. The H3 can ford 407 mm of water at 32 km/h or 610-mm streams at an 8 km/h pace, and climb 407-mm vertical steps or rocks.
This off-road performance is also aided by the “wheel at each corner” design giving a maximum approach angle of 37.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 34.6 degrees. These approach and departure angles permit the H3 to drive into a hole and back out again, without getting hung up in front or rear.
The H3’s more compact size provides manoeuvrability advantages, such as a 11.3m turning circle, making equally easy work of parking manoeuvres or tight turns when off-roading. A 216-mm ground clearance and maximum breakover angle of 23.5 degrees make it possible to clear large obstacles in off-road driving.
In addition to its uncompromised off-road capabilities, the H3 also provides the refinement, comfort and convenience required for enjoyable driving. It offers premium options such as heated leather seats (standard on Luxury and Adventure), a large electric sliding sunroof and numerous customized accessories.
The H3 features a new, inviting and modern interior, blending premium cues with high quality craftsmanship. Upscale touches include a chrome H3 emblem in the centre of the perforated, leather-wrapped and stitched steering wheel; bright-accented instrumentation; brushed, machine-finished trim plates; chrome door release handles; chrome bezel for the automatic transmission shifter.
Until recently, HUMMER had primarily focused its attention on establishing a strong presence in North America. GM acquired the brand in late 1999 and since then HUMMER has grown from a brand selling roughly 1,000 vehicles per year in 2000 to more than 60,000 in 2005.
The H3 made its debut in North America in May 2005 and has helped make HUMMER the fastest growing automotive brand in the United States. The H3 has made the brand more accessible with its smaller, more efficient package, while still retaining the characteristics that make a HUMMER unique: iconic design and unparalleled off-road performance.
In addition to growth in the United States, HUMMER has shown significant expansion around the globe. In Europe, where Kroymans Corporation has the exclusive rights to import and distribute HUMMER vehicles in 27 European countries, sales have more than doubled since 2005. The H3 is a specific response to this customer demand. In the first eleven months of 2006, 1.712 HUMMERS were sold, compared to 548 vehicles sold in 2005.
While all previous HUMMER H3s have been assembled in GM’s North American facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, the new international H3, intended for all markets outside of North America, is being assembled at the Struandale Assembly Facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The $100 million investment in the plant has been described as one of the most important milestones in the history of GM in South Africa.
“With the assembly of HUMMER H3 in South Africa, we take the next important step to grow the brand around the world." says Martin Walsh, General Manager, HUMMER. “HUMMER is an international phenomenon, quickly rising to be one of the fastest growing, most recognisable, premium brands in the world. Our commitment to building vehicles with superior off-road capabilities and daring styling is the key to our long-term success. H3 is a testament to our commitment."
HUMMER H3 vehicles assembled in South Africa will be exported to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The H3 will be available for sale in Europe in April 2007. Production of a right-hand drive version will begin in the second quarter of 2007 for export into right-hand markets in Europe, Australia and Asia, as well as for local sale in South Africa.