By David Thomas on June 1, 2009
Chinese manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company has confirmed that it is the party in talks with GM to buy the Hummer brand. GM and Tengzhong have said the deal will keep in business the Hummer plant in Louisiana that makes the H3 and H3T, as well as an American dealer network and even the Hummer headquarters and operations.
We foresee a Chinese sale looming over the brand's image stateside, however, with a negative connotation among American buyers. There is no connection between GM's Hummer brand and the military Humvee vehicles built by AM General in Indiana.
It has been widely held that any company buying Hummer would not concentrate solely on the struggling American SUV market and instead focus on expanding into the Middle East, Asia and Russia. Currently, GM doesn't sell the Hummer brand in China, though it does sell Cadillacs and Buicks there.
The new owners have stressed the importance of growing the brand in China, where a growing upper-middle class is fueling a boom in car sales. This year, China could overtake the U.S. as the largest new-car market in the world.
What do you think? Does the nationality of the buyer matter in regard to a Hummer sale? Would it weigh on your decision to buy one?
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David