Hummer is a brand of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) sold by General Motors. Even with the release of the H3, Hummers are some of the largest and least fuel efficient SUVs on the market (getting only a few miles more per gallon than the least efficient). They are based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
Hummers were orginally built by AM General Corporation, formerly the military and government vehicle division of American Motors, in its Mishawaka, Indiana assembly plant. AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hummer as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hummers were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of the central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the HMMWV received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year.
In 1991, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name Hummer. According to legend, they began doing so after Arnold Schwarzenegger asked them to; apparently, he was impressed by a convoy of HMMWV's that drove by during his filming Kindergarten Cop in 1990. In 1999, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continues to build the H1 and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.