GMC Chief Reveals Hummer Diagonal Drive Crab Mode, Market Position 

September 14, 2020 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

General Motors plans its full reveal and order launch for the GMC Hummer electric pickup truck Oct. 20, a senior executive said Monday.

Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick and GMC, said the Detroit automaker is gearing up the relaunch of the Hummer first as an electric pickup truck and then later as an SUV. 

While Aldred has provided only the scantest details about the new models, he said the truck would have a unique feature called Crab Mode, allowing it to move in a diagonal direction.

“It is developed as an off-road feature. As you are going down trails and there are rocks and boulders, when you are in really difficult terrain, this gives you unparalleled maneuverability. So you can navigate around some things that you may not wish to go over,” Aldred said.

“It will enable the vehicle to have unrivaled levels of capability,” Aldred said.

GM says the Hummer electric pickup will have up to 1,000 horsepower, up to 11,500 pound-feet of torque and a 0-60 mph acceleration time in 3 seconds. It will feature easily removable roof panels to provide open-air driving like the Jeep Wrangler or new Ford Bronco. 

The Hummer launches when Ford is developing an electric version of the F-150 pickup and GM has also signed a deal to co-produce and the Badger electric pickup with Nikola Inc. Rivan, partly owned by Ford and Amazon, and Tesla, Bollinger, and others, are also developing electric pickup trucks.  

Aldred said GMC is watching the competition but believes the Hummer will compete well in the overall auto market. 

“We see the opportunity for the Hummer vehicle, both the truck and SUV, not defined by electric or pickup truck or, or even the style of vehicle, but defined really by price,” he said.

GMC has not said what it will charge for its Hummer models, but already, average transaction prices for its conventional gasoline trucks and SUVs are among the highest in the industry. About a quarter of GMC vehicles are sold in the luxury Denali trim level. The average transaction price for GMC’s Denali models is $57,218, higher than the average transaction prices for Mercedes, BMW and Audi, Aldred said. GMC sells 140,000 units annually in the Danali range, making it the equivalent of a major luxury brand.

Aldred said the Hummer would have a broad appeal, helped by its popularity more than a decade ago as a stand-alone GM brand. The automaker stopped making Hummers during the last recession when demand sagged. It also was hurt by high gasoline prices.

“I have been looking at it and trying to assess volumes from a how many people will spend this amount of money on any vehicle point of view…. I’m not narrowing my expectations or outlook on this at all because of its propulsion system,” he said.

“This is going to very much be a luxury vehicle that can compete across a broad spectrum and we’ll attract people who want the most capable, coolest thing in the industry,” Aldred said.

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