Although General Motors started to wind down its Hummer brand earlier this year, production of the H3 continued. Until now. According to several reports, the last H3 rolled off the assembly line in Shreveport, Louisiana, this morning.
H3 production had been idled during the company’s bankruptcy, but GM resumed production in April to fulfill a fleet order for 849 trucks. We haven’t heard who placed the order back in March, but the batch was reportedly split between H3 SUVs and H3T pickups, and the order was to be completed by the end of May.
Although the Shreveport plant will continue to produce both the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado compact pickups, the loss of Hummer production will force the plant to lay off roughly 200 of its 900-person workforce. GM is also expected to shutter the facility in 2012, putting the future of its compact pickups in question.
For the foreseeable future, the Hummer brand is now officially dead, although GM will retain the rights to the Hummer name, and will likely continue to license it to toy and apparel companies, in addition to clubs and companies selling aftermarket accessories for H1, H2, and H3 models.
In an interesting parallel, the Humvee — the military-spec predecessor to the HUMMER H1 — was recently given a new lease on life, thanks in no small part to a last-minute fleet order. After publicly mulling the decision, the U.S. Department of Defense placed a $54-million order for an additional 500 units. Production of the Humvee is expected to continue at AM General’s plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, through December.
We’re curious what GM plans on doing with the leftover H3 tooling. Should the company simply discard the equipment along with the Hummer brand, or should it sell it to another company, much like it did with the last-generation Saab 9-5? Send your thoughts in the comments section below.