China Buyout Watch: They Might Take The HUMMER After All

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
china buyout watch they might take the hummer after all

The on-again, off-again affair between China and the Gubernator’s favorite toy is on-again. China’s Changfeng rekindled its interest in the HUMMER, Gasgoo reports. “We never quit talks on acquiring the brand,” said Zhengchu Chen, General Manager of Changfeng Motor in an interview with Beijing’s Jinghua newspaper. “But now instead of doing it alone, we decided to form a partnership with AM General to reduce the risk as the global economy falters.” Changfeng and AM General LLC have a plan: the two sides are exploring possibilities of building a joint venture company.

Changfeng showed interest in the brand earlier in the year. Representatives of Changfeng even went to the U.S. on an inspection tour. They came back unimpressed. Reuters report ed that “the Chinese SUV maker backed off after touring Hummer’s U.S. factory, citing limited potential to market the vehicle.” Well… The Chinese SUV market is still vibrant. From January through October 2008, China’s top 10 SUV makers sold more than 300K units. More likely: the price tag for HUMMER has dropped. And a joint venture with a maker of American military vehicles has certain, uh, inherent appeal. Already, there are several HMMWV clones in China, such as the EQ2050 by Dongfeng and the SFQ-2040 by SAC. So….

In 1999, General Motors acquired exclusive ownership of the HUMMER brand name and the marketing rights from AM General. But AMG still continues to manufacture the H1 Hummers for the civilian market. The H2 is GM’s own version of the original Humvee, and it is built on GM’s Suburban frame. The H3 is based on the Colorado pick-up.

An AM General / Changfeng Joint Venture most likely doesn’t need more than the HUMMER brand. AM General is perfectly capable of building the H1 alone.

Changfeng, which has a partnership with Mitsubishi Motors, is a major SUV and pickup truck maker in China market. In January 2007, they announced plans to sell vehicles in the United States by the end of the decade. With a JV with AM General, they might just make it.

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  • Crackers Crackers on Dec 15, 2008

    Perhaps Hummer could be resuscitated by getting rid of the H2/H3 and replacing them with good, honest, small off-road cars and trucks reminiscent of the original Wyllis Jeep. Surely China can manage this.

  • Andrichrose Andrichrose on Dec 15, 2008

    The sooner this dinosaur dies the better ! Funny thing is though, here in northern italy where there is a fair number of them tooling around, they are all driven by incredibly short people !

  • RHD "Nevertheless, it was dead simple to connect, belts out 1000A..."Actually, a battery, or a booster pack, provides the current that is drawn. It doesn't force its maximum capacity into the starter motor. A 650 Cold Cranking Amp battery won't start a Ford Escort any better than a 325 CCA battery."Belting out 1000A" would fry the components in the circuit in short order.
  • SPPPP The little boosters work way better than you would expect. I am a little nervous about carrying one more lithium battery around in the car (because of fire risk). But I have used the booster more than once on trips, and it has done the job. Also, it seems to hold charge for a very long time - months at least - when you don't use it. (I guess I could start packing it for trips, but leaving it out of the car on normal days, to minimize the fire risk.)
  • Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.