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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Hummer: the latest must-have accessory ]

Hummer: the latest must-have accessory

They may not be the most environmentally friendly of cars, but Hummers are selling well

“IF YOU want to be different, get a Hummer.”

That was the verdict of Detroit Automobiles Hummer Sales Executive George Georgiou, who told the Mail that the company has sold 25 of these luxury vehicles over the past 18 months.

“We have a new high-tech showroom in Nicosia which opened two months ago, and sales have really taken off as anybody driving or walking past can see the beautiful cars in the window,” he said.

Detroit Automobiles sell the H3 model of the car, with prices starting at €94,000, rising to €110,000, depending on specification.

“The vehicle can be customised to client needs, with a huge array of extras on offer,” explained Georgiou.

“The H3 is available in six colours and has a 3.7 litre petrol engine, putting out 244 brake horse power. It is available with both automatic and manual transmission but nobody really goes for a manual. Contrary to what many people think, fuel consumption isn’t that bad at 14.5 litres per 100 kilometres.”

According to Georgiou 15 were sold last year, with ten already sold in 2008.

“Customers have all been Cypriot, aged between 30 and 40, including women. Black is the colour of choice,” he said.

“I am very confident that strong sales will continue throughout the year.”

As we walked over to a demonstration vehicle, I couldn’t take my eyes off a menacing-looking Corvette parked nearby.

“Right, it’s time to go for a little drive,” announced Georgiou, as we approached the flashy yellow, black and chrome H3, with the slogan ‘Hummer – Like Nothing Else’ emblazoned on its side.

Adding to the pimped-out image of the vehicle were tinted rear windows and windscreen.

Before seeing the car in the flesh I had the preconception that I would be faced with a hulking monstrosity. To my surprise, it looked similar in size to a Range Rover. The actual measurements are: length 4,782 cm, 1,989 cm wide and 1,872 cm in height.
Compared to a Cadillac Escalade parked next to it, the H3 actually looked rather svelte.

Inside, it was pretty luxurious, complete with leather, air conditioning, CD player and sunroof.

As Georgiou accelerated away, there was very little noise from the engine, and it had a very smooth ride.

The one thing I did notice was the height of the driving position.

“The vehicle is just as easy to drive as a family saloon, has good manoeuverability and is powerful enough to tow most things,” he said.

“Additionally, other road users get out of your way quickly and can’t help but stare. The Hummer has a certain myth about it, I would say.”

Smiling, Georgiou then decided to show off its off-road capabilities. Pavements were mounted as if they weren’t there and the car effortlessly negotiated a series of steep dirt banks that would have been impossible in most other vehicles.

“The Hummer has a military style about it but is sold to civilians,” said Georgiou. “Everybody knows the brand name and it’s a great status symbol.”

Hummer is a brand of off-road vehicles sold by General Motors.

The H1 version is based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee). The H2 (only available in left-hand drive) and the H3 were introduced as smaller civilian market versions.

Some Hummers are considered to be trucks, rather than regular SUVs, as they do not meet environmental protection standards. For example, in New Zealand and Australia, a truck licence is needed in order to operate some of the heavier models.

Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, which had planned to sell a civilian version of the Humvee as far back as the late 1980s.

In 1992, AM General began selling a civilian version of the Humvee to the public under the brand name ‘Hummer’. The story goes that they began doing so at the instigation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently, he was impressed by a convoy of HMMWVs that drove by when he was filming Kindergarten Cop in 1990.

Since 2006, Hummer has gone international with selected importers and distributors in Europe and other markets.

The criticisms levelled at Hummers include those of SUVs in general, but to a higher degree. These include: poor fuel economy and safety, problems with parking and fitting into a garage, their high maintenance costs and large carbon footprint.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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