GM planning Super Bowl ad for all-electric Hummer truck

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is expected to advertise a Hummer electric pickup truck during the Super Bowl, officially resurrecting the polarizing, gas-guzzling behemoth brand as an eco-friendly off-roader.

The fully electric Hummer vehicles would be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and hit roads in late 2021, The Detroit News has reported. The Hummer will be in showrooms around the time Ford Motor Co., Rivian Automotive LLC, Tesla Inc. and others plan to launch fully electric full-size trucks and SUVs, which had traditionally been automakers' gas-hungry models.

The automakers have all said U.S. consumers crave the utility offered by trucks and SUVs. Electric motors could help the automakers better align with global emissions standards while offering vehicle types that people actually want to drive.

Details of the commercial were first reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal, which sources confirmed with The Detroit News. Multiple sources, including an automotive forecasting company, have told The Detroit News that GM planned to resurrect the Hummer name. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hummer nameplates would be sold under the GMC brand.

GM plans to bring back the Hummer nameplate under the GMC brand.

The Wall Street Journal also reported NBA star LeBron James would help promote the new truck.

The Hummer brand was discontinued in 2010 following GM's 2009 bankruptcy as U.S. consumers briefly shifted away from SUVs in favor of smaller cars that got better gas mileage. Leaders at GM, Ford and other automakers have said that battery power could help automakers keep some of those larger vehicles in lineups in case fuel prices ever climb as high as they climbed in the late 2000s and early 2010s. 

By the time GM discontinued the Hummer in 2010, it had become deeply polarizing.

The brand would return on the heels of Ford's forthcoming Bronco SUV, and as Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand continues to push SUV and pickup models beloved for their off-road capabilities. Tesla is planning a large, angular electric "Cybertruck"; Plymouth-based electric vehicle company Rivian has plans for both a truck and an SUV packed with off-road capabilities.

General Motors officials declined to comment on the Hummer's future in the automaker's lineup.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau