Wikinvest Wire

Hummer Overfloweth Still

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Microsoft Excel is a wonderful software program. Not only can you easily analyze data using simple equations and formulas, but with a little practice you can become adept at using some of the more advanced features like worksheet functions and charts.

These tools can be useful in looking for patterns or similarities between sets of data and then expressing the findings in graphical form. For example, from Microsoft Excel Help (F1), details of the worksheet function MATCH are quickly revealed:

Returns the relative position of an item in an array that matches a specified value in a specified order. Use MATCH instead of one of the LOOKUP functions when you need the position of an item in a range instead of the item itself.

MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, match_type)
Something like this could conceivably be very handy for say, a software engineer with a blog who took some pictures of the local Hummer dealer's inventory, then wrote a mostly tongue-in-cheek story about how the Hummer inventory looked ridiculously large, and who now wants to check back and see how the H2s and H3s have been selling in the month that has passed.

Of course, Microsoft Excel can do nothing without the raw data - that's where the Thousand Oaks (California) Hummer website comes in. If you are looking for information about the Hummer dealer in this area or if you want to quickly get to to see some really cool pictures of Hummers and learn about Hummer specifications and such, this is a great resource - our interest is limited to the online inventory data:
Our entire HUMMER inventory is now online. You can easily search our New and Pre-Owned vehicles by clicking on the Inventory tab above. Please let us know if you do not find the exact vehicle you are looking for. Check out our Specials.
[Note: This inventory data is presumed to be accurate. No attempt was made to contact the dealer to confirm this, as that may have spoilt all the fun. It was clear that inventory had been removed and added since it was last checked, so, that seemed to be evidence enough that someone was updating the inventory - plus, the whole idea of talking to a Hummer salesman or the sales manager held little appeal.]

Data Please

So, when we left our Hummer saga last month, the inventory data as of November 7th was collected and dutifully posted on this blog under the catchy title Epilogue (For Now) - open-ended, non-committal, the title seems to have worked out well, given what was found when the inventory data was collected again on December 10th.

The December 10th data appears in the previous post for the benefit of anyone with time on their hands who wants to look it over - feel free. Maybe there are other interesting conclusions that can be drawn from this data - perhaps there are color or price trends that are worth investigating. All that concerns us are the numbers, and in particular the stock numbers - what was there a month ago and what's still there.

The overall count is shown in the table to the left. In and of itself these numbers are mostly uninteresting - a net decrease of 16 Hummers during this time, so what?

What we are mostly interested in is Hummer love - that is, how many Hummers are still in the dealer's remote lots, sitting there waiting for someone to take them home and love them, and how many have actually been taken home and are experiencing true love for the first time.

With the holidays right around the corner, gasoline prices moderating, and with credit still relatively cheap, it seems that every one of these behemoths should be in a warm garage somewhere or destined for one soon, instead of developing a thin layer Southern California grime in the back lot of a hotel (yes, we know, H2s don't fit into garages, but then, what H2 owner would want to deprive the rest of the neighborhood of it's majestic beauty anyway?)

To answer this question of love, the two sets of inventory data were loaded into Microsoft Excel, the previously described Match function was engaged, and the following charts were created.

A total of 29 H2s that were there last month are now absent (eight of the absent H2s had stock numbers beginning with D, which presumably means "Dealer" - the significance of their absence is not known - they are included in the total of 29, however it is not known if they are currently being loved).

So, that would be 29 H2s out of 167 or roughly 17 percent. Added back into this inventory during the last month were 28 new H2s, so, as indicated in the table, the recent count is one shy of the total from November. At this rate of sales, with the current inventory, this is a six month supply of H2s.

The Pre-Shrunk Version

The H3 inventory data is surprisingly similar, the numbers are just scaled up a bit. A total of 34 H3s are gone, out of a November total of 209 for a similar 16 percent sales rate and a six month supply of H3s. In the case of the H3, only 21 H3s are new arrivals bringing the current total back up to 196.

So, what do all these pie-charts mean?

It's very simple, and it's already been stated twice - based on the inventory data posted by the dealer on their website, they have a six month supply of Hummers.

Is that a lot to have on your lot?

Well, after the appearance of our first Hummer story last month, we were contacted by a number of journalists who cover the auto industry for a living, and yes, apparently it is a lot. Dealers prefer to have inventory to cover a month or two - forty five days is typical. Given the sales rate of the last month, that would work out to be a lot closer to 100 Hummers than 400 Hummers.

When Hummers were leaving the dealership at the rate of 150 or so a month, the current inventory would make a lot more sense, but at less than half that rate, it's just a lot of inventory.


Anonymous said...

you should feel vindicated

Anonymous said...

The Hummer World Driving Acadamy.

A honeymoon for hummers.

chubbyray said...

Hummer reserves ?! This must be Remulak!

Julian Vandercook said...

I was wanting some figures on how much more traffic your site got as a result of the publicity on this particular blog and how many of these one time visitors have continued to come back. From the comments on this article it looks like most of the crybabies who came here and were unhappy with your post have gone off somewhere else to yell at someone else who disagrees with them. It also would have been nice to see an update on the strike at the GM plant or any new information, as it was also one of the arguments made for larger inventory. I have continued to read your blog and enjoy thinking about many of the facts and opinions that you discuss here. Thanks

Tim said...


Thanks for reading - it's hard to say about the increase in traffic. It has definitely picked up since the original Hummer article but it's hard to say how much was a result of that piece. If I had to guess, I would say that maybe a few hundred regular readers today first found out about this blog as a result of that article.

The subject matter that I usually cover is not very interesting to most people - real estate and debt stories many people can understand, but there is a very limited audience for M3 stories.

What's amazing to me is that there are still people coming for that original Hummer story from links that are now over a month old. When I first did the search on Hummer Overfloweth on November 7th, I think there were under 200 entries - now it's over 6000, and the original piece was top blog post as recorded by BlogPulse on November 4th, which was actually the day after it was originally posted on November 3rd.

drunk said...

Or they just realized that the Hummer H3 is basically the Chevy Colorado with a different shell. They share the same drivetrain, transmission, and frame. At least, that's what the GM rep at the recent Autoshow In Motion told me.

Anonymous said...

Am going out to get an H3 today! Can't wait. The less people buy, the more unique mine will be in my Alaskan neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

In Ventura County, there is, i would say, about 5:1 ratio of Toyota Fj Cruisers to Hummer H3's. I think that consumers find Hummers to be unpractical amoungst it's compitition. And especialy in So. Cal, how many people actually use these vehicles off road? maybe 1 in 100...

LImo said...

I think for parties and for person who likes extrime the most demanded car is Hummer.I wuold like to buy H3.Because it is comfortable, nice to ride.

Anonymous said...

If you are an engineer, don’t you have work to do rather than spy on dealer operations?
Do you have a marketing degree or work in sales enough to understand business planning?
Its sad that you try to make a correlation between observed fleet at the dealer to desirability of the vehicle to consumers.
Rolex watches are found in abundance everywhere, including Ebay, but that doesn’t make them any less desirable.
Hummers are man made, they make as many as they can and try to sell them, that’s business in volume. Everything you write is simply speculation and certainly contains no depth or credibility because you don’t even drive a Hummer. Can you even afford one?
Judging from all the free time that you have, I wonder if you even can afford a used HUMMER.

You are simply stupid and anyone following your line of thinking should go back to the basics and start with reading “See Spot Run”.

Nelly said...

I really think you’re the luckiest person in this world if you have got a chance to taste the ultimate luxurious voyage in such a limousine. Hummer Limos are one of the most popular stretch limos. This hummer limo is fully loaded with all the comforts and extras you could ever wish for.

Dennis said...

HUMVEE or HUMMER?… The basic vehicle produced for military use is called a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (or HMMWV), which the military eventually called a HUMVEE for short. When AM General introduced a civilian version of the HMMWV, it was officially called a HUMMER.
I like all Hummer models, from H1 to huge luxury Hummer limo; approximately 1000 civilian versions the original Humvee are built each year at the South Bend, IN facility.

Kieran said...

Astute analysis and credibility producing follow-up along with industry insider verification of data-match results. An important piece of business (the most important piece?) is inventory management, or, making sure you don't have a bunch of immobile stock hanging around. The H dealer is in an undesireable position, to be sure. Nice work!!

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