Never mind the durability of the Humvee, that's a given. It wouldn't have lasted as long in service as it does if it were easy to bring down. What truly sets AM General apart from the rest of the bunch is the amazing flexibility and versatility of its Humvee platform. Since 1985, this workhorse has been assigned a number of diverse missions and has performed admirably in each one. So what's AM's secret?
A warrior for all seasons
Most military vehicles fulfill one operational role exclusively-and suffer in performance. When the Humvee figured in Operation Just Cause, it proved that it could adequately fulfill many roles all at once. This did away with the need for a separate transport, light assault, and even medical vehicle, because the Humvee could, with a few modifications, handle different roles easily.
The secret was the Humvee's modular design. With no solid welds across its entire frame, an engineering team could strip it down in minutes. Modifications can then be done bit by bit to fit a mission profile. That meant that the US Army didn't need separate vehicles for different roles-the Humvee was effective as a personnel carrier, anti-armor platform, and even an ambulance.
Safely in and out
Modular builds tend to give the impression of poorly scraped together components that would break down like a child's toy. That's not the case with the Humvee. AM General made certain that each piece of the "puzzle", as it were, was built tough with only the most balanced of polymers-you got durability and survivability with none of the heft and weight.
And speaking of survivability, the Humvee is also capable of doing what most military vehicles could not: it could swim. Not too deep, of course, but it was sufficient to round out the Humvee package. Naturally, most customers would not be able to purchase the military version. So what does all of that mean for the average consumer?
The bottom line
That means that, in its civilian iteration-the Hummer-one gets the end-result of many years- (and many conflicts-) worth of innovations from a machine that truly redefined and reinvented the parameters of the modern battlefield.