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2009 Hummer H3T Alpha
Hummer has an unfortunate public image as the gas-guzzling bad boy of off-roaders. That was especially problematic when gas prices recently popped up over $4 a gallon. So GM announced it was putting Hummer up for "strategic review." So far, no buyer has emerged and GM may yet decide to keep Hummer in the family.

Why keep it: Consumer tastes are fickle and gas prices are falling. If GM can convince consumers that the Hummer doesn't have to mean gas-hogger, Hummer vehicles' genuine off-road prowess could pull the brand out of the ditch it's in. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, GM showed off a Hummer concept vehicle meant to go head-to-head against Jeep's iconic Wrangler. Something like that could do the trick.

Why dump it: With expensive projects like the Chevrolet Volt electric car, GM is working hard to change its image as a company that shrugs off environmental concerns. Aside from the straight business case, shedding Hummer might be easier - and less expensive - for GM than spending money trying to reform its troublesome public image and sluggish sales.

NEXT: Mercury

Last updated December 02 2008: 4:31 PM ET
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