The Bumbling of HUMMER

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
the bumbling of hummer

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.

Join the conversation
5 of 13 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 03, 2009

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

  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Dec 03, 2009

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Davey49 Davey49 on Dec 03, 2009

      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 4x4 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.

  • Alan Mitsubishi, Hino and Izuzu trucks are quite common in Australia. Another factor that needs to be taken into account are the cheap Chinese trucks and vans that are entering the market in Australia and becoming more popular as reliability improves, with huge warranties. Businesses want the cheapest logistics. Plumbers, concreters, builders buy many of these in their lightest versions, around 2.5 tonne payload. Hino/Toyota could use the cheaper competitor in Mitsubishi as a competitor against the Chinese. You don't see too many of the Japanese/Asian trucks in the rural areas.
  • 2ACL I think it's a good choice. The E89 didn't get respect due to its all-around focus when new, but it's aged well, and the N52/6HP combo is probably more fun and capable than it's given credit for.
  • Wjtinfwb I can hear the ticking from here...
  • Daniel Bridger When y'all going to learn that nothing is free?
  • MrIcky This vehicle had so many delays, then a poor launch, and then the recalls- but I look at the recall for lugnuts and I wonder if you can miss the torque spec on those, what else did you miss? This car just seems very first gen to me. I'm glad it's out there. I like competition in this space, but I'd wait until the refresh on this one. Just one too many things.