General Motors confirmed the sale of its Hummer brand last August and followed up the announcement with the release of an official document for potential buyers just one month later. Poor sales, growing public concern for the environment and the recession have all added up to weaken Hummer's sales chances, but there is hope that a company based in emerging markets like China, India or Russia could still be interested.

According to an inside source, GM has three bids left for Hummer, ranging between $100 million and $200 million, as well as extra commitments. The source also revealed to the Wall Street Journal that an announcement of a “tentative sale” will made as early as tomorrow, though the buyer will not be named just yet. Furthermore, none of the remaining bidders are thought to be carmakers but rather private equity groups and wealthy individuals.

Under the terms being discussed for the Hummer sale, a buyer would take over GM's liabilities for its 125 North American Hummer dealers and commit to further investments in areas such as engineering, marketing and sales. The new owner won’t have control of the Shreveport plant in Louisiana, however, as GM will keep this and continue building the Hummer H3 there as a supplier for export markets.

Hummer brand vehicles sold 62% fewer vehicles in May 2009 than they did the year before, and overall sales are down almost 40% through the first half of the year. Hummers dealers have expressed their displeasure with the public way GM has chosen to handle the sale, arguing that airing the nameplate's dirty laundry won't help it weather the short term. Whether the brand can survive in the long term - whoever ends up owning the name - will depend on its ability to adapt to the changes facing the industry as a whole.