Humbled Hummer Hearts Hope
They say hope dies last, and GM's damned-to-strategic-review HUMMER brand certainly doesn't have much else to run on. Accordingly, HUMMER GM Martin Walsh has posted a reality-efficient, truth-sipping take on his brand's beleaguered fortunes to GM's Fastlane blog, utterly confirming that website as the place bad spin goes to die. Anticipating " speculation" about HUMMER's future, Walsh wants us to know that in his opinion, "the HUMMER name, and it's line-up of iconic vehicles, will still be purchased and enjoyed by customers around the world." In fact, Walsh seems to think the overseas market will rescue HUMMER. "Outside the US, where the world has been living with high fuel prices for the past decade, 2008 sales through April were up 34.8% compared to 2007." Yes, well, as Bloomberg reports, these sales spikes are the result of recent introductions of the brand to countries like Japan, complimenting a steady trickle of sales from gas-subsidizing countries like China and Russia where HUMMERS are still nouveau-riche icons. Walsh trots out every possible reason to think HUMMER isn't completely effed– truck mags love HUMMERS, there's a HUMMER biofuel concept, etc. He finally concludes that he "wholeheartedly believes that HUMMER can have a bright future." So is Walsh trying to stimulate pity-purchases of H2 and H3s, or is this just brand inflation leading up to a sale to Mahindra or Tata? Or is this just empty reassurance to HUMMER dealers that their recent million-plus dollar GM-mandated dealership upgrades were not complete wastes of money? Hand the guy some jam. HUMMER is toast.
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