By on December 3, 2009

The art of the close. Picture courtesy au

As every salesmanperson knows, you’ve got to close the deal. It’s as simple as ABC. Always Be Closing. Looks like the only thing GM is adept at closing is dealerships. All deals to get rid of its unloved, neglected, and money losing brands have either been canceled, or are barely up in the air. From Opel to Saab to HUMMER. Yes, HUMMER. Haven’t we been told that that beast has long been foisted off on a formerly unknown Chinese company called Tengzhong? It hasn’t. And it won’t be for a while. If at all.

“Hopes that China’s Tengzhong will complete the deal to buy General Motor’s Hummer brand as early as this week appear unlikely to be fulfilled,” writes Reuters.

See, in China, deals with foreign corporations, from the desk where I type to big multinational mergers, need government approval. You file your papers, if everything is ok, papers come back with a big red stamp and you are good to go. But you’ve got to file. No tickey, no washey, as they say in China.

In early November, China’s Commerce Ministry had not received an application. Finally, one came in. The Beijing bureaucrats did read the document, wrinkled their foreheads, and could not make heads or tails of what Tengzhong was really trying to buy (or rather, what GM was trying to sell or not to sell.) Tengzhong was ordered to go home and come back with a new application that details what Tengzhong is exactly getting for their money.

The Ministry is still waiting for the updated application. “We have not received formal application materials from Tengzhong,” Reuters quotes an official at MofCom.

Tengzhong doesn’t sound like they will hand in anything anytime soon: “We have been cooperating with the government all along and have submitted whatever materials needed for the approval,” said a Tengzhong representative to Reuters. “There is little we can do at this stage. We can only wait.” Are we getting this right?  MofCom is waiting for Tengzhong while Tengzhong is waiting for MofCom? There doesn’t seem to be a big rush to close this deal. The ham-handed HUMMER hawking is in no big hurry.

In closing, who’s the winner? So far Tengzhong. The previously widely unknown maker of heavy equipment and bridge pontoons has their name all over the worldwide media. “Tengzhong” gets more than a million hits on Google. Soon, their brand will be better known than Ho-HUMMER, while another piece of unfinished business is swirling down the drain.

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13 Comments on “The Bumbling of HUMMER...”

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    That’s a phrase that deserves greater usage… “No tickey, no washey”. And (in the case of the flogging of Hummer) as the Italians might say, “More pronto pronto!”

    • 0 avatar

      “No tickey no washey” – a phrase most beloved of one of the old Marianist brothers who taught in my high school.  Most of us just gave him a puzzled look when he first used it.

      I’m also wondering about TTAC’s direcction: in the same day we get posts about Japanese bondage and Chinese Hummers.  Now that would be a mash-up!!

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    That’s a bit cynical! Are you suggesting that Tengzhong are just pretending to buy “Ho-Hummer” (love that pun!) simply to get free advertising? That’s cheap! That’s low! That’s downright libellous! That’s……a damn fine idea!

  • avatar

    I’m also wondering about TTAC’s direcction: in the same day we get posts about Japanese bondage and Chinese Hummers.  Now that would be a mash-up!!

    We aim to please. Now, don’t get me going about Chinese Hummers …. (actually, Japanese Hummers are superior, but I digress.)

  • avatar

    Meanwhile, Hummer sold a grand total of 221 units last month… $150m is way too much to pay for that mess.

  • avatar

    Maybe Chrysler should buy Hummer, further lowering their CAFE numbers.  Then we’d have RAM Hummer.

  • avatar

    Hummer is no longer relevant in any market, burn it down. I feel bad for all of the dealers that really thought GM would make it worth their while to build million dollar dealerships for a brand with only 2 models and limited appeal. Then again, anyone that actually bought that drivel probably deserves to fail. Or shouldn’t be allowed to make their own decisions.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you a Jeep lover or a 4×4 hater? Hummer haters are usually one of the two

    • 0 avatar

      Actually Davey, I’m neither. I worked for a Hummer store for several years, and really loved the trucks, and the dealership. Hummer’s just dead. Done. Finished. No longer viable. Let it go. Anybody that doesn’t see that is blind. Truthfully Jeep’s not on the most stable ground either, but at least they have some fuel efficient models and offer 2WD alternatives on Liberty and Grand Cherokee for lower cost and better fuel mileage. Hummer’s business model was always pie-in-the-sky and unsustainable. Kill it. The sooner the better.

    • 0 avatar

      I want Hummer to succeed because I’d like to buy one someday and I’d like to have a dealer to go to buy one or at least get service.
      My other hope was that the H3 would revert to Chevrolet and become a new Blazer.
      I hope someone makes a good boxy shaped rock hopping 4×4 SUV in this sea of egg shaped CUVs
      If Hummer disappears I’ll likely have to go for a Wrangler Unlimited or a Liberty depending on how much off road vs on road I want.

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