HUMMER To China: It's Happening
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.
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.
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.
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. ;)