Let us not praise the Hummer, but bury it - and hope the urge to drive monsters like it stays buried
THE UNDERWHELMING state of the American auto industry, both the poor sales and atrocious management, have clobbered the emotions.
Rising gas prices and the global financial crisis meant that the Hummer's end was nigh. In February, the Chinese government's refusal to back Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery's bid to buy the brand from General Motors- for a paltry $150m (€109.3m) - was a serious blow.
About five tonnes, getting 15 miles/gallon and tough to manuever on urban streets, the humongous vehicle was created in the mid-1980s as the US Army's replacement for the jeep.
Officially known as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), it was quickly nicknamed "The Humvee" by soldiers, and in 1992, a street-legal version of the Humvee, renamed the Hummer for civilians, was introduced.
"This car was like the high-fructose corn syrup of automobiles, something that concentrated everything bad about motoring until it underwent a phase-change and somehow became an object of desire," author and columnist Cory Doctorow wrote about the Hummer, but Christopher Bateman, writing for Vanity Fair magazine, said it better: "The Hummer, as a means of civilian transportation, was just about the dumbest car in the world."
And it is hard to feel sympathetic about something like that disappearing.