The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Hum-Vee is a highly durable military motor vehicle.
In the 1970s, the United States Army concluded that the militarized civilian trucks in use no longer satisfied their requirements. In 1979, the Army drafted specifications for a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV. In July of that year, AM General began preliminary design work, and less than a year later, the first prototype, the M998, was in testing.
In June 1981, the Army awarded AM General a contract for development of several more prototype vehicles to be delivered to the U.S. government for another series of tests, and the company was later awarded the initial production contract for 55,000 HMMWVs to be delivered in 1985.
In 1991, AM General began selling a civilian version of the vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer." In 1999, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles, which GM then re-sold.
The Hummer's design led to legal troubles in early 2003, when DaimlerChrysler, owners of the Jeep brand, sued GM because the Hummer line used a seven-slot grille that closely resembled the grille used on the Jeep since its introduction in the 1940s. The design is due to the Hum-Vee's heritage; when design work began in 1979, both AM General and Jeep were divisions of American Motors and after becoming independent, AM General retained the rights to manufacture jeeps for military and government use.