Gossip and Rumors
© Copyright 2006 - 9 FlashOffroad.com
AMG bought the 4L80E Plant from GM 10/24/2009
AMG just bought the 4L80E plant off of General Motors. They are now the only ones manufacturing the 4L80E according to AM General
By the way, General Engine Products has some nice, stroked 6.5L Long Blocks. The guys there are cool enough that if you are a hardcore H1 owner, they can scuttle a 6.5 TD off to the side for cool, long time civillian customers. The optimizer engines are very nice. They have a new one with 250 HP output and 550 Foot-Pounds of torque.
Citibank is Shopping the Hummer Name for GM 6/24/2008
Dealers have been notified that GM has announced that they have hired Citibank to shop the Hummer name. What a joke.
Now you have all those dealers that built those fancy Quonset Hut Dealerships for Hummer wondering what they are going to do.
Is Tata Motors Going to Buy the Hummer Name? 6/6/2008
With GM on the skids and the SUV market dead GM has announced that they are going to stop making Hummers.
Economic Times reports after the acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover, Indian auto cos rank high in the global M&A pecking order. Merchant bankers are learnt to have approached both the Tatas and Mahindras for General Motors' (GM) iconic brand, Hummer. The all-American SUV and pick-up brand, which is often associated with both US military might and sheer Hollywood style machismo, is up for sale as announced by top GM executives earlier this week. According to auto industry sources, the successful completion of the Jaguar and Land Rover deal has turned the Tatas into hot property in the auto deal beat. Mahindra and Mahindra, which was also in the fray for the two Brit brands, is the other Indian company that merchant bankers are approaching. Neither company has reportedly taken a definitive decision on the deal yet.
Ultimate Hummer Magazine Out of Business ? 3/13/2008
I think Ultimate Hummer Magazine is out of business. A subscriber emailed me (my email is on my articles) wanting to know why nobody was answering emails and their phone. I hadnít been contacted for awhile for an article. I emailed them yesterday and still havenít heard anything. They always got back to me immediately.
HX Concept at the Chicago Auto Show 02/13/2008
I attended the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place Wednesday. This is one big show. Hummer had their HX; or should we call it the H4 concept car on display. This one is aimed at the Jeep Wrangler. I really like the truck because while it's stylish it seems to be 'real'. By this I mean that the looks are a function of utility and not just glitz. I would love to get this guy on the trail. It's compact, rugged and has good ground cleanence. See all the show pictures.
No More H1 Extended Warranties 09/24/2007
If you or anyone you know with an H1 that is still under factory warranty and may have been putting off purchasing the extended warranty, better buy the warranty this week.
Seems GM was trying to do this quietly, but they will no longer be offering extended warranties on H1's after October 1st.
Schwarzenegger Gives up Hummers !
Arnold has given up his fleet of Hummers. It seems that California is suing carmakers Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Honda and GM over greenhouse gas emissions. Since Hummers emit more carbon dioxide then a regular car Arnold thought it was prudent for political purposes. Evidently he really hasn't. ;-]
New Owners. New Management. The new SMA 7/21/2006!
Looks like smacorp.com and smahummer.com have been taken over by a new outfit. Maybe a Hummer Dealer in NC.
We are proud to announce the new ownership and management of SMA, the most serious off road accessories™. As brand new owners to this prestigious brand, our first priority is to re-instill a reputation of quality, trust and innovation. In fact, we intend to take it to a new level. Our new ownership has over 30 years of successful business operation so things will be much different.
What changes can expect you expect to see with the new SMA:
- Focus on Customer Service as number one
- Higher quality product design and manufacturing
- Timely order fulfillment
- Innovation of new product lines
- Steady and controlled growth
- Sound Business Management strategies ensuring longevity and reliability
- New multimedia web site complete with easier order processing and tracking
We are working hard to get products, catalogs and our new website(s) up and running. We have many exciting and innovative products coming your way. Some of the great original SMA products as well as many new additions that will knock your socks off.
We understand that your feedback, concerns and ideas are the lifeblood of the new SMA so we are always eager to hear. We appreciate your patience and ask that you give us the opportunity to earn your business and create a new reputation for the new SMA!
Low Turnout at Hummer Homecoming 6/23/2006
I heard from some attendees that there were only 300 total trucks at Hummer Homecoming this week although it could have been more because some owners only attended a day or two out of the 4 days.
I was talking to a source at a dealership a couple of weeks before the event. He said that most of the h2 / h3 owners aren't interested in their trucks like the H1 owners are. He went on to say that many of the h2 / h3 owners that are willing to go to an event are intimidated by some of the H1 owners that never could get over the fact that GM created the new models.
You had to be a member of the Hummer Club, Inc. to attend homecoming. I know that there are many Hummer owners who don't want anything to do with the Hummer Club, Inc. who didn't attend. Additionally, many Hummer owners have already been to a homecoming and wern't willing to drive the distance a second or third time.
Special Army Vehicles 5/25/2006
One of my sources sent these pictures. Evidently these 6 door HMMWV ? wagons with A/C on the roof are being produced by a Hummer dealer in the LA area for the Army. It looks like these are civilian trucks made up by one of the limo conversion companies and outfitted with communication equipment evidenced by the 12 coax antenna jacks on the rear. Maybe these are destined for the border patrol?
The Hummer H1 is Dead 5/18/2006
The story gets better every day. Here's an email I received today:
I just spoke with someone who had just come out of face-to-face meetings with AMG personnel. Apparently, AMG has expected to get screwed by GM all along and has had contingency plans in place. They will continue to produce the H1, just not the Alpha. It will go back to the 6.5L TD. It may take a year or two to re-establish a dealer network and sell them, but they have sufficient fleet orders to produce 600-800 units per year right now. I'm told to expect an announcement or press release from AM General at some time in the future correcting the misinformation that has been coming out of GM.
If you carefully read the AMG press release it only says the Alpha will be discontinued.
On the other hand I also heard this from a Hummer Dealer:
I wanted to at least give some input on the recent bad news. I won't go into a lot of my personal views but most at GM and the dealer body see this as a positive thing for them.
I have talked to AM General and they have told me there will be no H1s for the US civilian market at all in the future. The problem is the EPA. Neither the current Duramax nor the 6.5 meets the '07 EPA standards. They had already discontinued the "K" series with the 6.5 a couple of months ago for this reason. The expense to certify the Duramax or the 6.5 is very high and the sales volume does not justify the expense. Roughly 636 Alphas total were ordered by dealers and this was to cover 2 sales years. There were plans for the '07 model year and at least 1 prototype has been built. Unfortunately dealer orders for the Alpha were disappointing and this is probably what tipped the scales as far as spending any more money. If there are any built in the future they will most likely only be for overseas markets or the U.S. Government (border patrol?). If there is a big enough single order, AM General may leave the door open to such units if they were not required to meet EPA standards. Other than that it looks like it is a done deal. I felt sick when I heard.
The Hummer H1 is Dead 5/12/2006
The 2006 model year will be the last for the Hummer H1. About 12,000 were produced since 1992 that defined the Hummer name. GM expects the last H1s to be built next month (June 06). Last year, GM sold 374 H1s, down 16 percent from 447 in 2004. Bad press on fuel economy and low sales were sighted as the reason. The H1 was the defining 'Flagship' of the Hummer line. The GM marketing guru's are now transferring that 'flagship' to the military Hmmwv.
I wonder if this means no more support at Hummer Club events by AMG?
Exotic Warranty Company is Out of Business 4/24/2006
The Florida department of Financial Services shut down and liquidate Exotic Warranty for violations having to do with the selling of contracts when they were not licensed/ authorized to do so. They had the wrong kind of license and were turned down in 2005 for the correct license due to a failure to meet the capital and surplus requirements of the Florida Insurance Code. There was no mention of any customer complaints.
As of the liquidation date, April 12, 2006, all warranties issued by The Exotic Warranty Company and/ or any of its affiliates are cancelled. Read the complete letter here. Under the Florida statues It looks like any dealer that sold an Exotic Warranty is responcible for the payment of any claims made under the contracts they sold.
SMA Out of Business 3/7/2006
KM2 Limited; SMA-Billet, LLC and SMA-Patents, LLC all filed voluntary Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petitions in the District of Arizona today.A Hummer owner in AZ went over to SMA today and here's what he found. When I got there, there was a sign on the front door of the property management seizing all assets for unpaid rent. I was able to talk to the maintenance guy and they took as much out as they could and wouldn't let me look inside. I did see that they still had product in there however. The maint. guy did tell me that there was a brand new H3 all done up inside and left over. He even said that SMA left there brake and rotor supplier in New Mexico high and dry. He had to drive all the way to Arizona to find this out. Their phone already has been disconnected. It will be in trust for 60 days for right now.
Here's the rough unofficial story of Stinger Mac Accessories from what I remember with information from an industry insider:
producing products for the H1 in 1994. The owner of Stinger had some kind of; from what I remember successful business selling something to the automotive industry. Stinger thought
he'd come up with some of his own products, and
apparently thought this was a huge business, so he
rented a warehouse and set up an operation. The idea for the 'D' ring brush guard came from another old Hummer Dealer I think who's name is George Thompson from TN. He gave the idea to the Stinger guys at a Kinzlow event which I think was in 1995. There were virtually no H1s
around at the time.
Around 1996 a little company named MAC owned by Jason Plotke appeared on a mailing list selling halogen headlights for motorcycles and Hummers. He expanded his line to carry a few more accessories but never impressed me as being a force in the business.
Stinger had the name in the Hummer accessory business but evidently it just wasn't that profitable. Next thing you know Jason Plotke somehow ended up taking over, buying, merging with Stinger, so
Sometime later, around 2001ish, Mike Kenney entered the scene and merged, purchased, or again somehow joined in with Stinger Mac and formed SMA, Stinger Mac Accessories, and then converted it in some manner to KM2 Limited, DBA Stinger Mac Accessories.
Mike Kenney was in a steel products mfg. company and had CNC machines, etc. and purportedly
had deep pockets.
Sometime during this process, a guy named Cole
Balzer, who once was working at Thousand
Oaks Hummer in the parts department decided he
wanted to go back to school and moved to AZ to
attend AZ State.
His dad lived there, and so i believe he was living at home, but was not all that happy about going to
school, and ended up talking with Stinger Mac or SMA, i'm not sure who it was at the time, and went
to work for them.
Coincidentally, Cole's dad was a V-P with GM, and so the GM connection.
The story goes that he was able to get them an approved vendor status, and was able to get an H2 long before they were out and on the market which enabled them to develop the the tire carrier and other products before anyone else had a chance. This helped them get the GM contract for their tire carrier.
All of a sudden they became very snooty and thought they were God's gift to the business, and alienated just about everybody.
They spent a ton of money on just about everything, and moved from three locations into one, which was a 200,000+ building they have in Tempe.
Things weren't quite as great as they thought, most who spent any time there, figured out they were
totally out of control, and didn't know what they were doing.
When they had all the billet products, and their other GM products, they had a sweet deal with GM
in that they were the "Official" supplier of H2 products and the dealers were instructed to purchase those products either directly or through GM. I believe they were overwhelmed and could never supply the products in a timely enough manner shorty after the startup and built some defective products, like three versions of the tire carrier. Supposedly, GM recently cut their orders for products to about 40% of what it once was and possibly owed them a lot of money for tooling that was not being paid.
Race City Off-Road in Mooresville NC Closes (2/27/2006)
Race City Off-Road in Mooresville NC closed it's doors on February 10th 2006.
Unlimited Off-Road Scam Surfaces Again 2/25/2006
Beware. Over the last few years it has been alledged that Unlimited Offroad has taken money from customers and not delivered product. They have charged credit cards without the owners consent. I personally was involved in one instance where a visitor to my site, Flashoffroad had not received goods promised. After contacting Rachel at Unlimited offroad they finally sent the products. I removed their name and contact info from my site shortly after that. Others people haven't been so lucky. Apparently their latest scam was selling parts on ebay under the name GottaHummer and not delivering the goods. Posts on mailing lists say that the local athorities and the FBI are involved.
A website called Hummerwerx.com has appeared with it's registered owners Unlimited Off Road, . P.O. Box 191, . St. Bruno, QC J3V 4P9. It appears they are now located in Canada.
Here's the full post by an ex partner:
Last year I agreed to open a store on Ebay for Rachel. My intension was just to make a little extra money and give me something to do as well as help out a "friend". I'm just a stay at home mom caring for my disabled child. So, as things continued, customers were waiting for product and asking me
for info, I'd ask her, and not hear back. So I asked for her contacts at SMA and Frank at San Juan Capistrano Hummer for the GM products. Just wanted to give the customers good customer service.
She said she felt threatened, that I was trying to take over her buisness, and asked me to close the store. Which I did. Customers from November still have not received products, eta or refunds (adds up to over $3000, which I don't have the money to repay them). I've given her every opportunity to try to make this right. Weird thing was when I said I was trying to refund them, she asked me why I would give them a refund. Why wouldn't I if they didn't get the product?
I continue to try to make things right, slowly repaying these customers, without even an appology from the infamous Rachel. If she could do this to a friend, someone who was trying to help, what would she do to her customers. Well since I have found this site I found how much she has done. I do not want to be associated with the name Unlimited Offroad, and I'm sorry that I ever got envolved. I will be joining others in doing what ever I can to keep anyone else from being ripped off.
Billy makes a great product at a reasonable price, but maybe the price is to high if you can't get what you pay for.
I was real surprised to read how disappointed people have been with them. She can be a real nice person, it's a shame she runs her business the way she does. Driving customers Hummers for her own use, lying and stalling when they just haven't done the work.
I met a few of their customers when we went to pick up the trucks, the big black hummer with flames on the side, and a real nice looking black hummer that was being sold, and the big Red hummer that had been there forever... and the guy close to Victorville with a house on a lake... (which I know he was the one most lied to because I was at their shop several times a week when his truck was there, really not cool.)
So beware, if you read this and they don't deliver what you order don't be surprised, even if you bought tons of stuff in the past.
I'm not a mean person but I won't stand by and let others be taken advantage of.
And sorry to anyone who bought from GottaHummer on ebay and got slow (very slow) delivery.
For thoes looking for them 1135 Harris st in San Bernardino is the correct address. They recently acquired a "moving" style truck, so as one other person said, they may be planning a move, but it looked like Bill's truck is in pieces in the yard. It will take them a while to move the several trucks, seadoo's and the trailor, so I expect they would be there for a while. When and if they do move, they have some property in the desert near Victorville, right next to Edison property, I'll get the address on that if they disappear.
Wow... sorry about the novel, but I'm mad, I've had almost 3 months to have this boil up. I"m not mean, really, just fed up.
Whew, thanks for the space.
If anyone else is looking for info, let me know. And if you are missing product or money, maybe we can go in together on resolving it legaly, or through the SBPD. If your not local, I'll walk it in to them myself. I have plenty of time.
SMA Out of the Aftermarket Business 2/25/2006
I believe that SMA is pretty much out of the aftermarket business. I've heard that they have let almost all their employees go and a few remain to handle the GM business. SMA dealers got their credit cards charged but haven't received product.
Changes and Upgrades for the H1 Alpha 12/02/2005
The Alpha gets a new interior and the 6-speed allison - AMG techs said as soon as the second half of the 06's were out that the interior color would be different as well as the new 6-speed would be in them - the LBZ Duramax engine will follow next, as AMG has to use the existing lot of LLY's because of the custom made oil pans - expect the 6-speeds and the LBZ combo around mid 06.
Denver Hummer Dealer Looses Exclusive 11/06/2005
Rumor has it that Medved Hummer, presently the only Hummer dealer in the Denver area lost their exclusive arrangement with GM for Hummer sales and service. Rumor is that there is another major auto dealer in the Denver area that is going to open up a service & sales business.Old Rumor Page: