By on August 28, 2009

After a lot of hand-wringing, all indications point to China’s tiny Tengzhong finally finalizing their deal with GM to take HUMMER off their hands. According to Reuters, the deal may be signed this coming week.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Tengzhong execs are already on their way to Detroit.

Officially, Chinese regulators will have to decide whether or not to approve the plans after the deal is finalized. Unofficially, Tengzhong would not sign a deal unless they’d received a nod from higher-ups.

China’s commerce ministry has made approving noises lately. State news agency Xinhua says that the Chinese government has “not yet” given approval. Notably absent from the report: previous rhetoric against gas-guzzling behemoths that don’t square with China’s green ambitions.

As previously announced, Tengzhong is expected to keep HUMMER’s existing senior management and operational team. They’ve also said they would maintain the brand’s existing dealership network (complete with GM-directed Quonset hut architecture). Hummer is currently sold (at least theoretically) in more than 30 countries, including China.

This deal would mark the first time an American auto brand was shipped off to China lock, stock, and barrel.

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16 Comments on “HUMMER To China: It’s Happening...”


  • avatar

    Hummer is currently sold ( theoretically ….) in more than 30 countries, including China.

    Well put. I wonder how long it’ll take the Chinese to get their own oil hangover.

    I know AM General and Hummer parted ways, but since the discontinued H1 was derived from the original military vehicle, how does this deal impact the H1 intellectual property? Since the Chinese have shown little restraint on other IP issues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chinese H1 production begin soon, with lots of C-H1s flooding the military market.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    The only similarity between the H1 and the military HMMWV is the shape and that is not really exact. I won’t expect to see Chinese HMMVWs in the US inventory any time soon.

    I thinik it is fitting that the Hummers are going to come from China. They have always looked like it and thier past quality fits in with most other Chinese products. Now maybe they will come down in price to match the quality!

  • avatar

    Toasty: There already are tons or Ersatz-Hummers in the Chinese market, some of them based on parts and components supplied by AM General. AM General had tried as early as 1988 (!!!) to sell their military version to the People’s Liberation Army. All that hue and cry about intellectual property is a red herring … There is no valuable IP in a 25 year old overgrown Jeep the Chinese didn’t copy long ago …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRC_HMMWVs

  • avatar

    Kurt, I was speaking of the global military market. I don’t think Chinese Hum-Vees would square well with the rest of the current Government Motors agenda, let alone the troops and voters. :)

    Not that I consider wikipedia to be the final word on anything, but there seems to be significantly more in common between the H1 and the HMMWV than their shape. Even if it was just a common shape, when you’re trying to decide which truck needs some M2 attention, it’s nice to know that the guys on your side normally look like you. In the future, that may not be the case.
    —————-
    Bertel Schmitt, that’s fabulous! Now Hummer’s new owners can sue their counterfeiting brothers for IP infringement. Or not. Kind of depends on what the government wants. I’m just glad we don’t have an overbearing government presence in the U.S. automotive market.

  • avatar

    I’m just glad we don’t have an overbearing government presence in the U.S. automotive market.

    We don’t?

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    I find it amusing that the Chinese company that bought Hummer also produces cement mixers and heavy equipment.

  • avatar

    BS, I think irony dissipates over time zones. ;)

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The company known as Szechuan Tengzhong Heavy Industries (S-T-H-I) got a bargain.

    Just visualizing the logo “HUMMER” on the side of a cement mixer makes all the sense in the world. Plus, they get a factory in the U.S., a distribution channel, and access to the U.S. market.

    And on top of that, as any reader of web sites that point out misspellings and gaffes can tell you, a lot of Chinese companies frequently transpose letters while translating. The results are both embarrassing and hilarious. So to be able to change your brand from some shitty anagram into slang for a blow-job is, well, brilliant.

    Congratulations to the men at Szechuan Tengzhong Heavy Industries. You’re getting something that just about every man wants. A Hummer.

  • avatar

    If STHI suffers some anagrammatic transposition, we may have an apt name for the new product: The SHIT Hummer.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Rod Panhard :
    August 28th, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Just visualizing the logo “HUMMER” on the side of a cement mixer makes all the sense in the world.

    —————————————-

    I agree. If you have to choose from a “Hummer” cement mixer and a “Hdajlfa” cement mixer, which one will you choose? As least when you call your boss, he should be able to know what you are talking about.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    Hilarious!, Rod Panhard

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    The H1 has been out of production for years. The only Hummers currently built and sold are the various versions of the H2 and H3. There are no military secret implications involved in this sale.

  • avatar

    No hue, no cry, no secret military implications. I asked a simple question: I know the H1 is out of production, but will the H1 IP go along with this sale? Most likely, yes. 25 year old overgrown Jeep or not, the Chinese will be able to legally produce the H1, which is very similar to the HMMWV.

    Probably not a big deal, especially since they passed on it the first time around. It’s not like we gave the design away as a gesture of goodwill.

  • avatar
    Steve W

    Comments like overgrown Jeep just point out the folks that have never actually driven a H3. There is absolutely no comparison in the ride, off road capabilities nor quality.

  • avatar

    Steve W, I’m not part of the offroad crowd. How is the sale viewed by that community?

  • avatar
    Steve W

    Toasty,

    The H2 and H3 do not appeal only to the off road enthusiast, in fact, the vast majority of HUMMER owners never leave the pavement. The street ride in these vehicles are phenomenal, Cadillac Escalade-esque.

    The H3 is rated for as high as 22mpg (highway), most folks here in Tennesse, are getting 20-21mpg. Compare that to any SUV in it’s class, Explorer, Durango, Infiniti, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, etc.

    This fuel economy is being achieved with a vehicle that weighs just over 3 tons and is full time four wheel drive. Not bad at all.

    Most HUMMER owners are quite happy that the brand will continue. The Chinese company has stated that it will not change anything or quit R&D on the new HX, a 2 door HUMMER. And they will likely be looking seriously into putting a diesel motor in the HUMMERs.

    Of course, there are the few that are not happy that the sale is going to the Chinese, can’t say that I’m thrilled about it either. They have been trying hard to get into the US auto market for years.

    I seriously doubt that there is any technology in the HUMMER that the Chinese don’t already have, reverse engineering? It’s not like it’s some super new technology, so I’m not worried about that.

    As to that, the HUMMER brand was sold to the Chinese, not the HMMWV. That has remained the baby of American General, GM has had no part in that vehicle.

    I work for HUMMER, in case you haven’t figured it out. ;)

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