Speaking to analysts during a conference call, marketing maven Mark LaNeve said GM "will continue working with [HUMMER] dealers on the appropriate mix of ads, incentives and dealer programs to keep them going and build franchise value." According to an anonymous source (whose information has been independently confirmed), GM has killed the HUMMER brand. The ailing American automaker told its field teams that it's ceased all corporate investment in HUMMER. This includes updates for existing models, the scrapping of the upcoming H4, and a severe cut-back or elimination of marketing and advertising– as contracts allow and media buys can be diverted to other GM brands. The decision pulls the rug from under 171 HUMMER franchisees, including 71 standalone dealers. According to our tipster, GM field ops– who must make nice with the abandoned store owners– are "crapping themselves." Why wouldn't they? Many of these HUMMER dealers have just spent millions upgrading their dealerships to meet brand requirements set forth just two years ago. The first lawsuits have probably already been filed. The rest will follow. Still, closing HUMMER should cost GM less than the billion dollars it spent shuttering Oldsmobile– although that was back when a billion dollars was real money, not GM's monthly cash burn.
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