GM Throws In The Towel On Hummer

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm throws in the towel on hummer

After a lot of to and fro, GM today officially gave up on the Hummer deal. Reuters reports that “General Motors Co will wind down its Hummer SUV line after failing to complete a deal to sell the brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.”

“We are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed,” John Smith, GM’s outgoing vice president of corporate planning and alliances, said in a statement. This is the last in a row of failed deals Smith misengineered.

Shanghai Daily says that “Wang Chao, an assistant commerce minister, reiterated at a briefing yesterday that the ministry had yet to receive an application, and any reports that the ministry had rejected the bid were untrue.”

The ministry had been on record several times that it had not received a proper application.

Late last year, China’s Commerce Ministry had not received a formal application. Finally, one came in. Beijing bureaucrats 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. Ever since, the Ministry had been waiting for something to approve, but nothing was forthcoming.

According to China’s government, there was nothing to approve, and nothing to reject. However, this is widely seen as a face saving move. Chinese government circles were never enthused about an obscure industrial equipment maker trying to buy a money-losing brand that had become the epitome of vehicular excess. China has a very successful joint venture between GM and SAIC. The government may not have wanted to step on those toes. Someone at GM should have listened more closely.

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  • Autojunkie Autojunkie on Feb 25, 2010

    @ littlehulkster +1 @ RMWill +1

  • Geeber Geeber on Feb 25, 2010

    What bothered me about the HUMMER was that it was a triumph of style over substance. I remember looking at one a few years ago and being shocked at the amount of orange peel in the paint. Apparently HUMMERS were painted by Sunkist. It became a status symbol for a short time. In many ways, it was the polar opposite of the suicide-door Lincolns featured in a "Curbside Classic" article a few weeks back. Those Lincolns were a real attempt to bring a high-quality, tasteful luxury vehicle to the marketplace. The elegance and quality were more than skin deep. The HUMMER was a cynical attempt to sell the sizzle, without much (if any) steak. If those Lincolns were a perfect fit for Jackie Kennedy, the HUMMER was a perfect fit for the Jersey Shore girls. In some ways, it was the poster child for why the American auto industry in general, and GM in particular, are on the ropes.

  • ToolGuy The vehicle development process which gave the world the Neon was so amazing (according to the automotive press) that it prompted Rick Wagoner to hire Bob Lutz.Didn't work 🙂
  • Lou_BC When my son was at the local Kia dealer they had a vehicle in for service. It was badly rusted. He refused to sign off on it as a tech. The owner being a grade A douchebag had the owner sign a release and let it go.
  • ToolGuy Nice writeup.
  • Jamie Electric cars and their planet stripping unsustainable mineral needs. Nothing is perfect.....
  • Tom Kenney Wondering the same. It's getting late for 2024....I should scoop up a 2023 3.3t now.