DETROIT -- Hummer has extra-large plans.
General Manager Susan Docherty says Hummer's short-term plans include nearly doubling its U.S. sales by the end of 2005. Hummer also will add variants and diesel engines.
"We want to take the brand, and the portfolio, to the next level both nationally and internationally," says Docherty, who replaced Mike DiGiovanni last month. DiGiovanni was put in charge of medium- and long-range strategy for increasing market share.
With the addition of the H3 mid-sized SUV, Hummer wants to become "more approachable," Docherty says. She expects to sell "north of 50,000" vehicles in 2005.
Through the first nine months of 2004, Hummer sold 20,284 vehicles, mostly H2s, in the United States. That's down 20.3 percent from the year-ago period.
A year ago, CEO Rick Wagoner said he thought there was "a chance to get to at least" 100,000 units in annual Hummer sales.
Hummer is expected to sell the H3 for between $35,000 and $45,000.
The H3, which is expected to debut in the second quarter of 2005, will be more fuel-efficient than its larger siblings. Docherty says it will average about 20 mpg on the highway.
Fuel economy has been a sensitive issue for Hummer in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
DiGiovanni this year said Hummer will try to improve mileage.
The H2 ranges from 10 mpg to 13 mpg, according to dealers.
The average age of an H2 buyer is 40 with an average household income of $175,000, Hummer says. With the H3, Docherty hopes to retain the median age but attract families with incomes of $100,000.
Docherty also wants to increase female buyers to 40 percent in the H3.
The H2 averages about 25 percent female buyers.
She says more variants, such as the H2 SUT pickup, are on the way.
"SUVs, SUV trucks, potential pickup trucks - there's a big space Hummer can play in, and there's lots of room where we can grow," Docherty says.
Diesel also will be considered for more vehicles. A high-performance, low-volume H1 Alpha will debut in early 2005 featuring a Duramax diesel engine.
The H1 already offers a turbodiesel engine.
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