A UAW worker assembling a HUMMER H3T
If one thing is certain, these are uncertain times, especially when it comes to the sale of former GM brands. While the HUMMER-Tengzhong deal doesn't look to be headed to the rocky fate of Saturn's sale to Penske, it still hasn't passed final regulatory approval in the U.S. or China, but already reports of the resumption of HUMMER H3 and H3T production are emerging.
The news comes none too soon for dealers that are nearly out of inventory to sell, though according to the report they'll still have to wait about a month before new HUMMERs arrive on their lots.
Once the sale to Tengzhong is complete and production can get back underway, there should be little or no delay in sourcing parts because production for non-U.S. markets has taken place within the last several months, meaning suppliers are still tooled and ready to send parts to the factories. The HUMMER H2, on the other hand, would take 3-4 months to get back online, since production of that model has been down for some time.
The deal with Tengzhong, rumored to have cost the Chinese buyer just $150 million, is signed with GM, but must still meet approval from the Chinese government before it can be finalized. Once that is done, however, progress should happen rapidly, as the company plans to keep on the current HUMMER executive management team and will contract production directly from the existing HUMMER plants through June 2011.
Once production on the H3 and H3T does resume--assuming the sale moves forward as expected--a new E85 flex-fuel version will be first on the docket under Tengzhong's guidance, as the Chinese hope to push the HUMMER brand into previously unknown green territory.