Hummer won't stop U.S. production, sale to new owners complete by October


More efficient models will be necessary in order to comply with America’s tough new fuel economy measures

More efficient models will be necessary in order to comply with America’s tough new fuel economy measures

Poor sales, growing public concern for the environment and the recession have all added up to weaken General Motors’ chances of finding many buyers for Hummer but the struggling automaker confirmed last week that at least one company was interested in the sale. That company was Chinese industrial machinery manufacturer Tengzhong, which has signed a memorandum of understanding with GM and is likely to conclude the sale by the third quarter of this year.

The deal is expected to secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs in manufacturing, engineering and at Hummer dealerships around the country. The transaction also includes plans by the investor to aggressively fund future Hummer product programs, which has been revealed today will include new models and alternative powertrains.

Tengzhong boss Yang Yi has disclosed that he has no plans to take Hummer technology or equipment from the U.S. to China, though he will be growing the brand internationally. He also plans to keep the current Hummer management team on board to make sure the products live up to the Hummer standard for quality and design.

Speaking with Automotive News, Hummer CEO Jim Taylor also revealed that Tengzhong will retain Hummer’s 150 U.S. dealerships but will have difficulty in meeting the country’s tough new fuel economy measures.

To comply with the 2016 fleet-wide 35.5mpg standard, Taylor confirmed that there will be some product changes. "You'll see a broader lineup. That means more models and alternative powertrains that meet the federal regulations," he explained. One of these new models could be an entry-level H4, which has been speculated on since 2007.

To oversee the changes Tengzhong will keep Taylor on as CEO but it’s unclear if the company will base its headquarters in the U.S. or China. Hummer will also continue to contract vehicle manufacturing and business services from GM during a defined transitional time period once the sale takes place. Yi was clear, however, in stating that there will be no bifurcation of the brand. "There will not be a China Hummer and a U.S. Hummer," said Yang. "There is only one Hummer."

 
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