Hummer to China: Love? All You Need Is Money

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

China Daily, widely regarded as the (English-speaking) voice of China’s central government is appalled:

All bankrupt US carmaker General Motors Corporation needs from the proposed sale of its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery is money, with experience and expertise in making vehicles not an issue in the deal.

“All I need is cash,” Hummer CEO Jim Taylor told China Daily in a recent telephone interview.

Operational experience? Management skills? Technical know-how? Fohgedaboutit. No need! “I’ll bring all that to the table. We were looking for those companies that have the financial resources to fund our future development, and keep the brand and dealers stay and survive,” Taylor said.

Mei wen ti” (no problem) are probably the first Chinese words Taylor learned. The Chinese company’s lack of experience in international trade or passenger car manufacturing is not important, Taylor said to an astounded China Daily that heretofore was under the obviously ludicrous impression that know-how is everything.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Alex Nigro Alex Nigro on Jun 18, 2009

    So, it sounds like the Chinese government is trying to block the sale. Why am I not suprised?

  • Cliveh Cliveh on Jun 18, 2009

    No, the Chinese government is blocking the sale because they know that the real Chinese translation of Hummer isn't "Mei wen ti" (no problem). Since it's a GM product, it's "Chabuduo" (goes anyway). So the Chinglish Hummer tagline would be "Hummer. Goes Anyway!" kind of an apology for poor quality, Chinese-produced Hummers. More amusing Chinglish (not really Hummer, but still funny) on

  • Stu Sidoti Stu Sidoti on Jun 18, 2009

    Hummer and GM simply need an investor and the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery is it, us, them, they, the Men In Black...for now. I wonder what SAIC thinks about all of this?

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Jun 18, 2009

    Is the Middle Kingdom preparing for their next war with Russia? Hummers with their fat tires might be very good for racing across Siberia. Since China has little oil the Hummer drivers will have to find Siberian oil quickly in order to refuel. Seriously, Hummers are just large toys. Any toy manufacturer willing to buy some heavy duty fork lifts to move the parts around could make them. Love the: Sichuan Heavy Industries Tengzhong. Does this mean our Border Patrol in their effort to prevent Mexican farm workers from entering the US and keeping our food prices low will have to buy their Hummers from China?