HistoryHummers were traditionally built by AM General Corporation, formerly the heavy industries division of American Motors, in its Mishawaka, Indiana assembly plant. AM General had planned to sell a civilian version of the Hummer as far back as the late 1980s. In 1990, two matching white Hummers were driven from London, UK to Beijing, People's Republic of China over the rough roads of the central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the drive with ease, and highlights of this journey were broadcast on ESPN in the United States. The publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the HMMWV received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year.
In 1991, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer". According to legend, they began doing so after Arnold Schwarzenegger asked them to; apparently, he was impressed by a convoy of Hum-Vees that drove by while filming Kindergarten Cop in 1990. In 1999, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle to H1. AM General continues to build the H1 and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA.
As of 2004, Hummer has gone international with selected importers and distributors in Europe and other markets. It has only been sold in small volumes, but some celebrities and business people have bought Hummers to satisfy their curiosity. Markets such as Australia have shown interest in Hummers with importers converting the latest H3 to right hand drive despite GM not officially selling the brand in Australia.
From 2006, GM will be building/assembling the Hummer H3 at the Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa to make Hummers internationally available. Hummers at the Port Elizabeth plant will be built for local South African consumption and exported to Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
The H2 is also assembled in Kaliningrad, Russia, by Avtotor, starting in June 2004. The plant produces a few hundred vehicles annually, and its output is limited to local consumption only (five dealers in Russia initially).
On May 12, 2006, GM announced it would cease production of the original H1 Hummer.
The first two Hummer models are large, heavy vehicles with large engines and complex drivelines. The H3 is smaller and geared more towards people who want an everyday SUV. Many people view Hummers as ill-suited for use as a passenger vehicle on public streets, which has made them a target of criticism. As fuel prices have risen, some people have also singled out the Hummer as an egregious waster of resources—a charge based largely on the Hummer's fuel consumption and size.
Since both the H1 and H2 can weigh over 8,500 lb (3855 kg)(GVWR), the United States fuel economy regulations do not apply to them. GM does not disclose their expected fuel economy ratings, and the company is not required to display a Monroney sticker on the vehicles, although that is to change by 2011 under regulations announced in March 2006. However, expected mpg ratings can be derived from their fuel capacity and range ratings. These metrics show that the Diesel H1 is expected to reach 16 mpg (U.S.), while the H2 should get 9.6 mpg. Car and Driver magazine observed 12 mpg with their H2 SUV, while Consumer Reports got a paltry 14 mpg with the H3. In the April auto issue's blurb about the H2 (which it has not tested for some time), CR wrote "fuel economy is not the H2's strength" and for the H3, the venerable auto tester commented that "unless you encounter boulders in your commute or crave the attention, a Honda Pilot is light-years better".
When AM General discontinued the H1 in May of 2006, the Sierra Club's Daniel Becker remarked, "It's one thing if it's carrying soldiers to and from a fight, it's another if it's hauling lattes home from Starbucks." Becker maintains the Sierra Club's Hummerdinger website. However, the H1 was Hummer's lowest-volume vehicle by far, selling in insignificant numbers.
Hummer H1 vs. HMMWV
The Hummer H1 is basically a HMMWV built for civilian use, hence it has no armour or weapons. However, the drive-train, frame, body, suspension, etc., are exactly the same. The H1 differs from the HMMWV in the fact that it has a civilian interior, including trim, comfortable seats, stereo, and air conditioning as standard options. Innovations introduced in the civilian Hummer to satisfy the demanding consumer have been later incorporated into improved military versions.
There are three current and possibly two future models in the Hummer line:
Hummer H2 SUT
General Motors has been very active in licensing the Hummer brand. Various companies have licensed the Hummer trademarks for use on colognes, flashlights, bicycles , laptops , apparel, jewelry, CD players and other items. 
Hummers in popular culture
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first private citizen to own a Hummer and continues to own several. During his 2003 bid for Governor, he responded to environmental critics that not only was he the first civilian to own a Hummer, but he had at his own expense successfully converted at least one of his Hummers into a Hydrogen vehicle.
American gangsta rappers often refer to Hummers as a sign of status.
In the car chase scene in The Rock, Sean Connery's character drives a Hummer H1.
Hummer H2s can be seen on CSI: Miami. The investigators, most notably Horatio Caine, drive them to the crime scenes.
The character Vincent Chase on the HBO television series Entourage owns a yellow H2, although in a recent episode, he gave it to his former head of security as part of a severance package.
Rock star Neil Young drives a Hummer that is run on alternative biodiesel fuel.
Nearly a decade before the Hummer was available to the general public, Car and Driver named the Humvee as the #1 vehicle to own in New York City, citing its ability to handle uneven terrain.
In addition to these positive appearances in popular culture, the Hummer has also become a symbol, in some quarters, for material excess, unsustainable consumption, and reckless abuse of the environment. Hummer marketers have had trouble licensing popular music for use in its commercials. Established musical groups, such as Talking Heads, have rejected substantial offers for use of their songs in Hummer commercials. Additionally, less-well-known acts -- such as The Thermals, Trans Am (band), and LiLiPUT -- have rejected sums such as $50,000 and $180,000.
Hutch Harris of the Thermals has been quoted as saying, ""It had to be the worst product you could give a song to. It was a really easy decision. How could we go on after soundtracking Hummer? It's just so evil." 
The webcomic Questionable Content discussed the matter once.