GM Reintroduces Hummer Brand, Dealers May Be Skeptical

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General Motors announced last Wednesday their reintroduction of the Hummer brand, with the heavily promoted release of the Hummer EV, a new line GM is heralding as "the world's first all-electric supertruck" and the start of a "quiet revolution."

Zero emissions is certainly a laudable goal, even if that doesn't yet include the manufacturing process as well. And despite a thousand horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of torque, the new Hummer boasts an estimated range of at least 350 miles, about a third of which can be recharged in a mere ten minutes.

But this all comes at a pretty steep, six-figure sticker price, which will likely give dealers some pause when it (eventually) comes to level-setting this model in store inventory. In working with dealer groups across the country, Earlybird found that fully-electric vehicles and high-value vehicles (MSRPs greater than $75,000) each independently averaged over twice the time-on-lot as typical units in their class overall. The Hummer EV is both.

Higher time-on-lot indicates lower inventory turnover, and reduced sales throughput, or the quantity sold through a particular selling channel for a given period of time. Increased competitive pressures, among other external factors, have compressed margins for most dealers since the US auto retail industry hit its all-time unit sales peak in Q4 of 2016. We have noticed this has prompted more groups to focus on sales volume, and other efforts to bolster top-line numbers, in light of more modest expected profitability.

So is the demand there for Hummer EV? We shall see. GM claims to have sold out of pre-orders on the first day, though they didn't share how many were available, or why pre-ordering was of a limited quantity to begin with. The announcement has been widely covered in the mainstream press and other sorts of earned media, which may actually be more important to GM than revenue from the vehicle itself, as the long-time US domestic automaker looks to establish itself amid new threats from upstarts like Tesla and Rivian. Still, for now it's unclear.

Interested in an analysis of your current or historical retail inventory and sales performance? Request a free consultation with an Earlybird solutions consultant and we'll discuss where your data-driven efforts are today, what your goals are, and how they might be reached using the Highbeam platform, in concert with other off-the-shelf and open-source data software tools.