Biden’s test drive of electric Hummer helped increase reservations, GM says

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  • The automaker said Tuesday that President Joe Biden’s visit last week to the General Motors plant that produces the GMC Hummer electric pickup led to a significant increase in reservations for the truck.
  • An executive said on Tuesday that there has been a seven-fold increase in reservations for the vehicle compared to the average day, as website traffic has increased by nearly 230%.
  • Biden’s visit included a tour of the factory as well as the commander-in-chief, who was walking outside the plant in a truck with GM CEO Mary Barra.

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DETROIT — President Joe Biden’s visit last week to the General Motors plant that is producing the GMC Hummer electric pickup led to a significant increase in reservations for the truck, the automaker said Tuesday.

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GMC’s global head Duncan Aldredge said reservations for the vehicle increased seven times compared to an average day, as traffic to the brand’s website increased by nearly 230%. He said the incident led to the most reservations for the Hummer this month, including an SUV variant, when the vehicles were launched separately.

“It just shows that there is a lot of customer intrigue and interest and willingness to buy,” Aldredge told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday.

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Eldredge declined to disclose the specific number of reservations, which require a $100 refundable deposit. He said the automaker has more than 125,000 “hand risers” who have requested information about the vehicle on its website. He hopes to convert “most of them” into buyers.

Biden’s visit on Wednesday included a tour of the factory as well as the commander-in-chief, who was walking outside the plant in a truck with GM CEO Mary Barra. Biden also made several helpful comments promoting the vehicle during a speech at the facility, calling it “one hell of a vehicle.”

Alldredge confirmed Tuesday that GM plans to begin deliveries of the approximately $113,000 special “Edition 1” version of the vehicle by mid-December. That deadline would mean the Detroit automaker secured deliveries of the new flagship truck from the time it was unveiled in October 2020.

“It really ends on an amazing two-year journey. It’s the fastest program even General Motors has done,” Aldredge said. “Not only is this a monumental effort, but given that it’s not a vehicle, it’s the world’s first supertruck, it’s a pretty astonishing achievement.”

But the vehicles will have a slightly shorter electric range than the initially estimated 329 miles, which will be about 6% less than 350 miles.

Eldredge cited the amount of features in the “Version 1” model as a reason for the low grade. He pointed to less-equipped versions of the long-range vehicle in the years to come.

Last week’s event at GM’s Factory Zero was largely to promote the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which calls for a tax of up to $12,500 per vehicle to spur consumer demand in electric vehicles. Incentives are included.

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