General Motors is thinking of returning to Europe — and as Bloomberg reports, the company is thinking of making a comeback starting with the huge GMC Hummer EV along with other EV models. The Hummer might pose a problem for European drivers, though: Most of them wont be able to drive it without a commercial driver’s license.
GM left the European market in 2017. After over 90 years of doing business on the Continent, GM threw in the towel and sold its European brands, Opel and Vauxhall, to Stellantis. Both brands had been losing money for years, and with big changes coming in European automobile regulations, GM decided it was time to quit.
But with the automotive industry shifting to EVs, GM seems to see an opportunity in Europe again.
Citing sources close to the plan, Bloomberg’s report says GM is considering plans to bring the Cadillac Lyriq to Europe first, followed by the Hummer EV. As you may know, the new Hummer will be one of the heaviest non-commercial vehicles on sale when it hits dealers later this year. Unladen, the Hummer EV tips the scales at 9,063 pounds. Its gross weight rating, or GVWR, is even more outrageous at 10,550 pounds — the weight of the vehicle plus the maximum amount of people and cargo it’s rated to carry.
That will pose a problem in Europe. As we explained back in May, the standard European driver’s license allows you to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of up to 3.5 metric tons, or 7,716 pounds. An empty Hummer EV is more than 1,300 pounds heavier than the maximum GVWR for a European non-commercial driver’s license. You’d need the equivalent of a CDL to drive a Hummer EV in Europe.
If GM goes through with the plan, it won’t be the first time a Hummer was offered in Europe. In 2003, Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman at the time, outlined a similar plan to sell Cadillacs and Hummers in Europe. At its peak, the H2 sold just over 1,000 units per year in Europe. It’s unclear whether those H2 buyers all had European CDLs, though it would seem that, technically, they would have needed one: The H2's GVWR was 8,600 pounds, well over the non-commercial limit.