The showroom is in Albion Street, Manchester, and belongs to Bauer Millett, Hummer’s UK licensee since 2002. Managing director Mitch Millett said he was delighted at the stronger relationship with Hummer’s parent company GM, and expected a strong start to H3 sales. “We sold 70-80 units last year with a left-hand drive car. Right-hand drive will make a big difference.” He wouldn’t predict a total for 2007 but said it would be higher.
Four other Hummer dealerships are expected to open before the end of the year, in Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London. The latter will be in centre of the capital and could even be in prestigious Park Lane.
Others may open in the future, according to managing director of Vauxhall Bill Parfitt, who was at the opening ceremony. “We’ve had lots of interest from dealers who want to sell Hummers. We might want one in the west country and the north east but I can’t see it being anymore than that,” he said, adding he expected total sales of around 1,000 units a year. He confirmed GM had abandoned plans for what it calls an Authentic Hummer Center – a flagship site with a dramatic convex roof and massive letter H over the door.
Officially opening the Manchester dealership was GM vice-president Bob Lutz, who said he didn’t expect much attention from the UK’s anti-4x4 lobby. “The H3 isn’t as big as a Land Rover Discovery and meets all the emissions standards in the world. There’s always going to be a reaction but it doesn’t seem to harm sales,” he said.