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Go Back   Hummer Forums by Elcova > General Hummer Talk > In the News

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2003, 11:13 PM
maybe some day... maybe some day... is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
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Hummer spells ultimate freedom

IVONNE RIVERA; The News Tribune

At first glance, the Hummer H2 looks like an oversized, expensive, boy's toy. And in many ways, it is.

With its bright candy colors, its boxy frame and its 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, all it needs is a radio-controlled antenna.

Advertisements say the H2 - a sport-utility cousin of Humvees used by troops in Iraq - has the DNA of the original Hummer H1 with an extra kick of testosterone.

Who could make everyday use of this 6,400-pound behemoth?

Lots of people.

"We have sold 200 of them in 11 months," said Pete McDonald, sales manager for McCann Hummer of Tacoma.

The price tag - starting at slightly more than $48,000 - doesn't seem to affect sales. It continues to be the only General Motors vehicle sold without a manufacturer's incentive.

"The Hummer name has recognition worldwide," McDonald said.

And in this military community, it's a big hit.

When the H2 was first introduced to the market about a year ago, there weren't enough vehicles available to satisfy demand, McDonald said. But now, the 60- to 120-day waiting list is finally gone.

If the price isn't a turnoff, the mileage definitely raises eyebrows. The Hummer H2 averages about 12 miles per gallon.

No problem for Joe Acree, an H2 owner in the Tacoma area.

"There are people who pay more for a gallon of water than a gallon of gas," Acree said.

Hummer fans put it bluntly: If you can afford to buy one, you can definitely afford to keep the 32-gallon tank full.

However, questions linger: Is this road warrior practical for daily use? Can it take the narrow streets? Can it play nice with others?

And perhaps most important of all: Is it fun to drive?

Test-driving the H2

I was confronted by what McDonald assured me was a mid-size SUV. At 5 feet 3 inches, I stood next to the 6-foot-5-inch school bus-yellow H2 for nearly a minute, quietly planning a strategy for how to climb in without looking like a fool.

Once inside, I realized the bigger challenge would be seeing over the front of the truck. I was thankful to find the driver's seat can be raised to allow an excellent view.

There is no question this vehicle is trying to create a niche for itself in SUV-obsessed suburban households. McDonald said at least six H2 he's sold have been graduation presents.

At the rate of more than 3,000 a month, the Hummer H2 is now the best-selling large luxury SUV in the nation, beating out the Lincoln Navigator and the Lexus LX470. It sells almost as many units as the smaller BMW X5, even though H2's price starts at $10,000 higher than the BMW.

With the visibility issue taken care of and McDonald as my co-pilot, we took off to test-drive the H2.

Initial apprehensions melted away because you feel so safe in the Hummer, one of the biggest rigs on the road. However, I tried to remember that the feeling of safety can be overshadowed by a great feeling of power.

I looked down at the other cars. Even the Ford F250 pickup in front of me looked small.

Once I got over the feeling of being the big guy on the road, I realized the H2 was not as hard to drive as I had imagined. It also was not nearly as intimidating - once I became comfortable with everyone on the road staring at me.

Patriotic buying?

There's debate about whether Hummer sales were spurred by the war in Iraq.

H2 sales skyrocketed in April. An article in The New York Times attributed the boost to a patriotic feeling during the U.S campaign in Iraq.

Rick Schmidt, founder of IHOG, the International Hummer Owners Group, told the Times: "In my humble opinion, the H2 is an American icon. Not the military version by any means, but it's a symbol of what we all hold so dearly above all else, the fact we have the freedom of choice, the freedom of happiness, the freedom of adventure and discovery, and the ultimate freedom of expression.

"Those who deface a Hummer in words or deed," he added, "deface the American flag and what it stands for."

Hummer executives said there was no change in their marketing strategy to gain sales after the start of the Iraq war. The idiosyncratic TV spots range from Zen to mock-hostile, including one in which a beatific couple drives around Iceland and another featuring a slender young woman confidently motoring through urban streets.

But the war angle helps, said Clotaire Rapaille, a consumer research consultant for GM and other automakers.

"I told them in Detroit, 'Put four stars on the shoulder of the Hummer and it will sell better.' The Hummer is a car in uniform. Right now, we are in a time of uncertainty, and people like strong brands with basic emotions."

Rapaille added: "They should have a special edition for the Iraqi war. People would collect them."

McDonald, of the Tacoma dealership, disagrees with this theory.

"I haven't had anyone come in to buy a Hummer with an American flag flying behind them," he said. In fact, the majority of the buyers have been families and highly educated professionals, McDonald said.

Acree, the local H2 owner, just likes the vehicle.

"This is America," Acree said. "A lot of people have fought for us to have the right of freedom. That includes being able to live the way we want to."

Perhaps the H2 sells so well simply because it's the coolest new kid on the block.

It also may be that this smaller version of the H1 - whose dashboard resembles the cockpit of an airplane - is more consumer-friendly.

Whatever the appeal, most of us can't afford the H2's $48,000 price tag, let alone the $100,000 for the H1. So here's another option: a $449 remote control version, equipped with spy camera and working headlights - a real boy toy.

The New York Times contributed to this report.
Ivonne Rivera: 253-597-8542
ivonne.rivera.mail@tribnet.com

IRS might question tax deduction

Due to its weight, the Hummer may qualify as a small-business tax deduction.

A longstanding rule allows a small business to deduct the cost of heavy equipment, initially intended to help farmers burdened with costly tractors and other machinery. The H2 tops 6,000 pounds, thus technically qualifying as heavy equipment.

Tom Olson has been checking out an H2. Olson has a South Sound consulting firm and is considering buying the vehicle and counting it as a business deduction. He's a Hummer fan.

"It's unique - and there aren't too many of them out there," he said.

However, before running to your nearest dealership to get your hands on one of these personal military machines, remember that Uncle Sam might have a few questions.

"We do audit tax returns," said Shawn George, a spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service in Seattle. "If we're auditing a business, we will look at the records.

"If it's a vehicle that is used for pleasure and business, they (tax auditors) will ask for a log and good records - they know how to investigate and have lots of experience."

If auditors disallow the deduction, the taxpayer would have to pay back the tax benefits they received, along with interest and penalties, George said.

Ivonne Rivera, The News Tribune

The Hummer H2

The Hummer as small-business tax deduction? D2

Price: Starting around $48,000

Engine: 325-horsepower V-8 with four-wheel drive

Overall height: 77.8 inches

Overall width (excluding mirrors): 81.2 inches

Overall length: 189.8 inches

Capacity: Seats five

Published 12:01AM, July 15th, 2003)

Tom Olson of Graham looks over a Hummer H2 at McCann Hummer on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. At 6,400 pounds, and getting only 12 miles per gallon, the SUV cousin of the military Humvee used by U.S. troops in Iraq is the big guy on the road. McCann has sold 200 of the giants in 11 months.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2003, 11:13 PM
maybe some day... maybe some day... is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
maybe some day... is off the scale
Default

Hummer spells ultimate freedom

IVONNE RIVERA; The News Tribune

At first glance, the Hummer H2 looks like an oversized, expensive, boy's toy. And in many ways, it is.

With its bright candy colors, its boxy frame and its 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, all it needs is a radio-controlled antenna.

Advertisements say the H2 - a sport-utility cousin of Humvees used by troops in Iraq - has the DNA of the original Hummer H1 with an extra kick of testosterone.

Who could make everyday use of this 6,400-pound behemoth?

Lots of people.

"We have sold 200 of them in 11 months," said Pete McDonald, sales manager for McCann Hummer of Tacoma.

The price tag - starting at slightly more than $48,000 - doesn't seem to affect sales. It continues to be the only General Motors vehicle sold without a manufacturer's incentive.

"The Hummer name has recognition worldwide," McDonald said.

And in this military community, it's a big hit.

When the H2 was first introduced to the market about a year ago, there weren't enough vehicles available to satisfy demand, McDonald said. But now, the 60- to 120-day waiting list is finally gone.

If the price isn't a turnoff, the mileage definitely raises eyebrows. The Hummer H2 averages about 12 miles per gallon.

No problem for Joe Acree, an H2 owner in the Tacoma area.

"There are people who pay more for a gallon of water than a gallon of gas," Acree said.

Hummer fans put it bluntly: If you can afford to buy one, you can definitely afford to keep the 32-gallon tank full.

However, questions linger: Is this road warrior practical for daily use? Can it take the narrow streets? Can it play nice with others?

And perhaps most important of all: Is it fun to drive?

Test-driving the H2

I was confronted by what McDonald assured me was a mid-size SUV. At 5 feet 3 inches, I stood next to the 6-foot-5-inch school bus-yellow H2 for nearly a minute, quietly planning a strategy for how to climb in without looking like a fool.

Once inside, I realized the bigger challenge would be seeing over the front of the truck. I was thankful to find the driver's seat can be raised to allow an excellent view.

There is no question this vehicle is trying to create a niche for itself in SUV-obsessed suburban households. McDonald said at least six H2 he's sold have been graduation presents.

At the rate of more than 3,000 a month, the Hummer H2 is now the best-selling large luxury SUV in the nation, beating out the Lincoln Navigator and the Lexus LX470. It sells almost as many units as the smaller BMW X5, even though H2's price starts at $10,000 higher than the BMW.

With the visibility issue taken care of and McDonald as my co-pilot, we took off to test-drive the H2.

Initial apprehensions melted away because you feel so safe in the Hummer, one of the biggest rigs on the road. However, I tried to remember that the feeling of safety can be overshadowed by a great feeling of power.

I looked down at the other cars. Even the Ford F250 pickup in front of me looked small.

Once I got over the feeling of being the big guy on the road, I realized the H2 was not as hard to drive as I had imagined. It also was not nearly as intimidating - once I became comfortable with everyone on the road staring at me.

Patriotic buying?

There's debate about whether Hummer sales were spurred by the war in Iraq.

H2 sales skyrocketed in April. An article in The New York Times attributed the boost to a patriotic feeling during the U.S campaign in Iraq.

Rick Schmidt, founder of IHOG, the International Hummer Owners Group, told the Times: "In my humble opinion, the H2 is an American icon. Not the military version by any means, but it's a symbol of what we all hold so dearly above all else, the fact we have the freedom of choice, the freedom of happiness, the freedom of adventure and discovery, and the ultimate freedom of expression.

"Those who deface a Hummer in words or deed," he added, "deface the American flag and what it stands for."

Hummer executives said there was no change in their marketing strategy to gain sales after the start of the Iraq war. The idiosyncratic TV spots range from Zen to mock-hostile, including one in which a beatific couple drives around Iceland and another featuring a slender young woman confidently motoring through urban streets.

But the war angle helps, said Clotaire Rapaille, a consumer research consultant for GM and other automakers.

"I told them in Detroit, 'Put four stars on the shoulder of the Hummer and it will sell better.' The Hummer is a car in uniform. Right now, we are in a time of uncertainty, and people like strong brands with basic emotions."

Rapaille added: "They should have a special edition for the Iraqi war. People would collect them."

McDonald, of the Tacoma dealership, disagrees with this theory.

"I haven't had anyone come in to buy a Hummer with an American flag flying behind them," he said. In fact, the majority of the buyers have been families and highly educated professionals, McDonald said.

Acree, the local H2 owner, just likes the vehicle.

"This is America," Acree said. "A lot of people have fought for us to have the right of freedom. That includes being able to live the way we want to."

Perhaps the H2 sells so well simply because it's the coolest new kid on the block.

It also may be that this smaller version of the H1 - whose dashboard resembles the cockpit of an airplane - is more consumer-friendly.

Whatever the appeal, most of us can't afford the H2's $48,000 price tag, let alone the $100,000 for the H1. So here's another option: a $449 remote control version, equipped with spy camera and working headlights - a real boy toy.

The New York Times contributed to this report.
Ivonne Rivera: 253-597-8542
ivonne.rivera.mail@tribnet.com

IRS might question tax deduction

Due to its weight, the Hummer may qualify as a small-business tax deduction.

A longstanding rule allows a small business to deduct the cost of heavy equipment, initially intended to help farmers burdened with costly tractors and other machinery. The H2 tops 6,000 pounds, thus technically qualifying as heavy equipment.

Tom Olson has been checking out an H2. Olson has a South Sound consulting firm and is considering buying the vehicle and counting it as a business deduction. He's a Hummer fan.

"It's unique - and there aren't too many of them out there," he said.

However, before running to your nearest dealership to get your hands on one of these personal military machines, remember that Uncle Sam might have a few questions.

"We do audit tax returns," said Shawn George, a spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service in Seattle. "If we're auditing a business, we will look at the records.

"If it's a vehicle that is used for pleasure and business, they (tax auditors) will ask for a log and good records - they know how to investigate and have lots of experience."

If auditors disallow the deduction, the taxpayer would have to pay back the tax benefits they received, along with interest and penalties, George said.

Ivonne Rivera, The News Tribune

The Hummer H2

The Hummer as small-business tax deduction? D2

Price: Starting around $48,000

Engine: 325-horsepower V-8 with four-wheel drive

Overall height: 77.8 inches

Overall width (excluding mirrors): 81.2 inches

Overall length: 189.8 inches

Capacity: Seats five

Published 12:01AM, July 15th, 2003)

Tom Olson of Graham looks over a Hummer H2 at McCann Hummer on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. At 6,400 pounds, and getting only 12 miles per gallon, the SUV cousin of the military Humvee used by U.S. troops in Iraq is the big guy on the road. McCann has sold 200 of the giants in 11 months.
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