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Hummer Kicks-Off H3 Assembly in South Africa


11th October, 2006

 

2007 Hummer H3

General Motors yesterday celebrated the start of production of the Hummer H3 at its Struandale Assembly Facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The occasion represents an important step in the global expansion of Hummer by providing increased capacity and a global version of the H3 for markets outside North America, including Australia.

Maureen Kempston Darkes, president of GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East said, "The GM team in South Africa has demonstrated to the world that they have the people, the leadership, the technology and the skills to execute the type of automobile engineering and assembly that is required in the new global economy."

Edward Welburn, GM's vice president of Global Design said, "Hummer's iconic design and unparalleled off-road performance are already recognised around the world. A global version and international assembly of the H3 are the next logical step for Hummer to expand globally."

Until recently, Hummer had primarily focused its attention on establishing a strong presence in North America. GM acquired the brand in late 1999 and since then Hummer has grown from a brand selling roughly 1,000 vehicles per year in 2000 to more than 60,000 in 2005. In fact, Hummer sales nearly doubled globally in 2005, paced by the launch of the midsize H3. While much of this growth was in the United States, Hummer also saw significant expansion in more countries around the globe.

"The Hummer H3 continues to have a significant impact on the awareness and sales performance of the brand globally," said Martin Walsh, General Manager of Hummer. "With the assembly of Hummer H3 in South Africa, we take the next important step to grow the Hummer brand around the world."

Hummer H3 vehicles built in South Africa will be exported to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Production of a right-hand drive version will begin in the second quarter of 2007 for export into right-hand markets in Europe and Asia as well as for local sale in South Africa.

2007 Hummer H3

GM announced the $100 million investment in its South African operations last year. Robert Socia, president and managing director of GM South Africa described the project as, "one of the most important milestones in the history of GM in South Africa." He said, "It's significant that GM chose to place the H3 contract with South Africa as it says a lot about the confidence GM has in our ability to deliver."

The H3 is an authentic Hummer, offering the brand's iconic design and famed off-road capability in a midsize and more accessible package. The South African-built H3 will be available with a new 180 KW Vortec inline 5-cylinder engine, choice of manual or automatic transmissions, and a premium full-time four-wheel-drive system. A right-hand drive version will be available in 2007 and it will be available in Australia sometime around mid-year.





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