MISHAWAKA, Ind. - General Motors has pushed back plans to offer a Hummer H2 with a pickup bed from 2003 to 2004.
The first model, the 2003 Hummer H2 SVT, goes on sale late this month. The second model, the H2 SUT, has a small pickup bed and a cargo door at the rear of the passenger cabin, which GM calls a Midgate.
The original plan was to introduce both models within 12 months. But GM executives, led by product czar Robert Lutz, said they can maintain marketing buzz over a longer period by delaying the second model until 2004.
The Hummer H2 was engineered by GM and is being assembled by AM General Corp. here. The plant has the capacity to assemble 40,000 units a year. GM purchased the marketing rights to the Hummer name from AM General in 1999.
H2 SVT shipments begin the week of June 17, and dealers may sell the vehicles upon delivery. The base sticker is $48,800, including the destination charge.
By early July, Hummer estimates that up to 1,500 vehicles will be in dealer hands, giving each up to 10 vehicles. Hummer expects to have 150 dealers signed by July and is aiming for up to 225 dealers by 2005.
GM is targeting 15,000 Hummer H2 sales this calendar year and 27,000 next year.
This week, dealers will be briefed on Hummer's bonus program. Under the program, modeled after Cadillac's Standards of Excellence program, dealers will earn payments if they meet standards for sales, service, customer satisfaction, signs and new showrooms.
Steve Hill, Hummer's sales director, said, "A six-figure quarterly bonus is available" for meeting all the goals.