Original Hummer loses the marketplace war

If you’ve always wanted a big, gas-guzzling Hummer H1 (the original monster based on the military HUMVEE), this is your last chance.

General Motors is phasing out the civilian version.

Reports The Associated Press:

The 2006 model year will be the last for the Hummer H1, the hulking, gas-guzzling status symbol that has attracted celebrities and off-road enthusiasts but has drawn the ire of environmentalists.

General Motors Corp. on Friday announced plans for the H1, which is the foundation for the automaker’s Hummer brand. Based on the military’s Humvee, the H1 defined the Hummer name. About 12,000 have been built since 1992.

“It’s a reflection of where we’re going with the Hummer brand,” Hummer General Manager Martin Walsh said of the decision. “The Hummer DNA still resides in the Humvee. … It will always be the core from where we come.”

GM expects the last H1s to be built next month.

Walsh said Hummer plans to focus on models with broader appeal instead of the niche-market H1. Since taking over the Hummer name in 2000, GM has introduced the still-hefty H2 and a midsize H3 sport-utility vehicle.

The H1 gets about 10 miles per gallon, but Walsh said rising gas prices didn’t factor into GM’s decision.