Being a Hummer Salesman in the Post-Hummer, Climate Change Era Is Super Odd
Jason lives on Long Island and loves his job almost as he loved his H1.
There are no new Hummers. General Motors killed the sub-brand in 2009 after the economy took a dive, the company declared bankruptcy, and driving a troop transport suddenly felt like wearing cargo pants to a funeral. Now there are only used Hummers and the Hummer people that love them, a breed apart. It’s Jason’s job to keep these people happy.
Jason, who could be a bit more honest without his surname, is a salesman at a used car dealership in Long Island, who sells a lot of Hummers and still holds the Hummer name in high esteem. Jason has a thick accent and what comes across as momentum. He’s excited about what he does — even if it feels a bit like being a roadie for Aerosmith or framing a Reservoir Dogs poster. He gets that conspicuous consumption isn’t cool, but he also gets that it can be.
He spoke to Inverse about his unusual job.
How many Hummers do you tend to keep in stock?
I run a pre-owned car lot. So, I mean, when they come in, or when I come across them, I pick them up. I have two right now. I mean, in a month I’ll have — you know what I’m saying — there’ll be none. I can’t answer that question, you know, because, when I come across them, if someone wants to come in — you know, I buy a lot of cars off the street, also, from people, so…
Since the Hummer brand no longer exists, would you say that there’s more supply or more demand?
I mean, they like them! Know what I’m saying? There’s a following for them. I mean, I get a couple of people that came in on them, you know. I mean, people have questions about where they’re gonna get serviced and all that other stuff, but, I mean — I get them.
I mean, it’s a great brand. I actually drove both of them yesterday. I like the brand. People just wanna know where to get them fixed, you know what I’m saying? You gotta tell them you can bring them to any GM store, you know.
How fast do you find that you can sell them? Pretty quick?
Yeah, you know — it’s wintertime now, so people definitely come in and buy them.
Do you ever find yourself persuading someone that a Hummer is the right choice for them?
I mean, when people come in, they want a seven-passenger, you know, I’ll definitely show them one of those. I mean, listen: People like them, but, you know, gas and everything else — people definitely, you know, they gotta want the car. Know what I’m saying?
Is there a typical sales pitch you might give?
I had an ‘06 original H1. I mean, I like the brand. Me, myself: I like the brand. I can’t speak for anybody else. You know what I’m saying?
Let’s say that I was a potential customer and I was on the fence about buying a Hummer. What would you tell me?
What would you be on the fence about?
I’m not sure about the gas mileage, not sure if I’d be having a major impact on the climate. Those might be my top concerns.
I mean, if you’re looking for it to drive every day — you know what I’m saying — and you’re one person, I would say, listen: I don’t know if you need a Hummer. Know what I’m saying? If you got five kids, or four kids, you know, and you need something big, and you want something that can go, you know, anywhere — then, you get a Hummer.
So you’d say the typical customer who buys a Hummer would be a large-family, adventurous type?
Yeah, definitely. Definitely.
Any elaboration, there?
Nah, you know. Nah, you know. I mean, people are picky when it comes to their cars. I happen to like the Hummer. You know what I’m saying?
What do you most like about it?
I just like the way it’s big. I just like the vehicle itself. You know? That’s just somethin’ that I like. I like the way it looks. I don’t like the H3.
Do you find that they’re pretty reliable vehicles?
Yeah. Yeah. I definitely do.
So, not too many mechanical issues — breakdowns, nothing like that?
No, not really, not really. Change the tires, change the brakes, oil. I think you’re pretty much alright.
Do you remember your last Hummer sale?
It was an H3, it was an ‘0…7. Had 30,000 miles. And … it was a young kid that bought it. Now, listen to me, I got customers that are calling right now. I definitely gotta go.
But I definitely like the Hummah brand.