By on October 4, 2018

AM General, the brand responsible for the freedom-spreading Humvee (HMMWV) and obnoxious civilian Hummer, is reportedly up for sale. The company is even alleged to have a couple of suitors.

Both General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are said to be potential bidders. That’s rather fitting, considering GM’s interesting history with the company. However, we doubt the purchase of the Indiana-based heavy vehicle manufacturer would inspire it to bring back the Hummer H2. 

That’s probably fine for the vast majority of the population, but we’d wager there’s a subset who would love to see the civilian H1 go back on sale within its home country. Hopes for such a future should be kept to a minimum, though. While the U.S. hasn’t adopted the same attitude toward fuel economy as the rest of the globe, more-efficient SUVs remain in fashion. The original Hummer would have to undertake a pretty radical transformation under its hood to accomplish that and we can’t see GM selling an H1 EV just yet.

The most likely outcome would be for the buyer to continue to benefit from the company’s existing government contracts or attempt to expand on them. That makes FCA the less-likely candidate, as General Motors has taken a renewed interested in tempting the military with some of its own designs.

According to Reuters, AM General could easily fetch 10 times its annual earnings of $160 million, and is also being considered for purchase by General Dynamics, Oshkosh Corporation, and BAE Systems.

From Reuters:

The company’s favorable tax treatment because of its current status as an limited liability corporation, would allow a buyer to reduce the company’s taxable earnings for 15 years. That coupled with recent contract awards could push the ultimate value of the company to over $2 billion in a sale.

As nothing is confirmed and every prospective buyer is remaining silent on the issue, there’s a chance this deal will evaporate and AM General will soldier on unchanged for the foreseeable future. It’s not a small amount of money, even for a large automaker, and GM is keeping itself pretty busy by dumping cash into self-driving and data. Of course, it already outlined the potential military applications of autonomous vehicles with its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure.

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34 Comments on “AM General for Sale: GM Could Be Interested in Getting Military-grade Hummer...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    AM Generals H2 Hummer plant now builds Mercedes, so that sale would be interesting.

  • avatar

    Most likely Chinese company will buy AM General. Or Indian. Unlikely but possible that Toyota or Mercedes – our closest allies (WWII notwithstanding :).

  • avatar

    Or Russian oligarch?

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    I am not interested in getting a military grade hummer. Thank you.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    American General is making equipment for the American military. Existing regs exclude FCA. Mercedes makes Unimogs & G-Wagens. Toyota makes Land Cruisers and Hiluxes. Tata and the Chinese are excluded too. Tata COULD do some legal legerdemain and create a US-only corporation to build Hummers. Perhaps a soft-top version as the next Defender?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, the previous administration had outsourced most of our national defense needs to foreign sources, like China.

      The current administration is in the process of correcting that, bringing back to the US of A the capability to manufacture or our defense needs.

      And I’m all for that. Long overdue!

  • avatar
    brn

    Was this an article or an opinion piece?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Yeah, even Electrek (AKA 9to5 Tesla) does a better job separatating fact from opinion.

      Electrek has a section at the end of most articles called “Electrek’s Take”, which explains what the editors think the news means.

      This article would be much clearer if TTAC followed a similar form — except, due to the (historical) diversity of opinion from the writers, the author should probably just put his/her name on their personal interpretation of the news.

      I actually really like the way Electrek does this, because I like both straight news and interpretation of the news. But, as we’ve seen in politics, confusion between information and opinion has pretty horrible societal consequences.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Remember when we had a “NewsBot”? Pepperidge Farm Remembers.

        I think we need a NewsBot to show us when press releases are being regurgitated or articles from AP or whatnot.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    As said FCA probably won’t be able to get it no matter the bid because it’s not US based, and I highly doubt a non US based company will have a shot. GM seems to hyperfocused on erasing market share and worldly interests; I don’t see them trying to get involved in AM General anymore than a passing interest.

    Seeing as in the last 24 months ISIS went from a problem that would take a generation to defeat to now where the last tiny bastion of ISIS fighters are hopelessly surrounded; I doubt the Humvee line will ever see any more action, which is disappointing for such a great truck but so be it. Would love to have one of the updated civilian trucks they sell now… to every market outside of the US.
    Original Hummer would probably do better today then it did 20 years ago, SUVs are severely limited in today’s market and it would have the market basically cornered for all off-road SUVs bigger than a Wrangler. Of course the chance of that is less than slim.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The HMMWV is being replaced by an Oshkosh sourced vehicle. It will be around for a while, but the Military wont be buying huge numbers of them.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      As a support vehicle protected by tanks in a wide open desert they did a fine job. As transport in occupied territory with active insurgents they proved tragically vulnerable. It’s not surprising that the company is up for sale; after they complete the recent order for Humvee ambulances they have nothing else in the pipeline. The factory would probably be most useful converted to MRAP, AMPV, or Stryker production. Neither GM nor FCA have any use for the business.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Neither GM nor FCA have any use for the business.”

        Prior to WWII the same conditions existed. But after Dec 7, 1941, it was amazing how quickly those manufacturers morphed into war-materiel production.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          The United States has been at war for my entire adult life (I’m 39), and spends ad much on its military as the next 7 countries combined.

          The military supply chain is already in place. We won’t be gearing up WWII-style, because we already have an industry which supplies weapons.

          It’s a shame that we’re using trillions of dollars to intimidate the world, and not to hire doctors for the poor people in rural Appalachia where I grew up (as well as poor people in cities, too). What a waste.

          Of course, we have to shrink the military’s mission to do this. McCain was right when he said they were stretched too thin. But we can shrink both the mission and the spending, and still provide a strategic deterrent to every other nation on Earth.

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          This is the rationale Trump uses for steel & aluminum tariffs in the name of national security. Just like Ford stopped building sedans and started cranking out B-24s, he must believe that they could shut down the Explorer line and start turning out F-18s or something. Never mind that the lead time for the electronic black boxes is probably a year [and that many of the components would come from China].

          The next big war will be a come-as-you-are party.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            So you basically just proved his point, you say we need China for our defense purposes yet criticize the current admin for pointing that out and wanting to solve that issue. Do you not see the issue?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Isn’t that a Toyota pickup pulling up the rear?

  • avatar
    jack4x

    It continues to amaze me that we live in a world where well over half of vehicles sold are trucks and SUVs, but the civilian Hummer brand is somehow not viable anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I’m sure it would be viable today, the 3.0 inline 6 diesel and available 6.2L & 10 speed in the H2 would make it more than fuel efficient, hell most people with H2s with a pre emissions 6.6L duramaxs average 24-26 so I’m sure it could be done. The H3T did not have enough time to perform im sure it would have done fine, it started at $28k and standard equipment was 4 doors, full time 4 wheel drive with low range, steel bumpers, full size spare, available V8, available front and rear lockers. Of course the Hx would have done well itself.

      The financial crisis caused us to lose both Hummer and Pontiac both of which had really positive future outlooks. But it is what it is, today Jeep produces almost exclusively incapable crossovers, I fear Hummer would have ended up producing similar product; thus I’m not terrible upset over its loss being that every vehicle it ever produced was off-road capable and all fielded at AM Generals Southbend proving grounds.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I’m not one of those who minds too much if a brand like Jeep produces small crossovers as long as the real deal Wranglers and Grand Cherokees remain in production. Same reason I don’t have a problem with Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari etc. making SUVs. I would feel the same way about a revamped Hummer.

        2 years after they went on sale, my local Ford store is still moving second gen Raptors for 10K over sticker. There is absolutely no way that the same concept would not be a huge hit in SUV form. RCSB Silverado chassis, 5 seats, 6.2L/10sp, 35″ tires, real deal suspension, etc. If they need to sell a few badge engineered crossovers to get me that vehicle, I’m willing to live with that.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The Hummer is overweight, oversized, and poorly suited to daily driving on civilian roads.

      I’m amazed they sell at all.

      There are a couple of people who own Hummer H2s in my town, even now. Given what I know about these people, and the rather liberal culture of my town, these H2 owners are part of saturated “up yours, hippie” market segment. This market segment has been saturated since the H2 was made; everyone who wants one already has one.

      As for other market segments, those who want a genuinely capeable off-road vehicle are buying used Jeep Wrangler and other more typical 4×4 vehicles — because they’re better, faster, and cheaper for civillian purposes.

      I don’t see much of a future for the Hummer brand or concept. Everyone who wants one (and can afford one) already has one.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Luke the market for Hummer is still very large, apparent by the prices of H2s specifically 08-09 which have no trouble commanding $40k+ on a vehicle that was $60k 10 years ago. That resale value would be unheard of if it weren’t for the H1 still easily selling for $50k for a 25 year old truck and upwards $200k for a nice Alpha. Desireable H3s also sell well, Alphas, and H3Ts still go for ridiculous money.

        By no means are they oversized, overweight, or a chore to drive, misconception not based on fact.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I bet GM would be interested in the brand. Look at the atmosphere in which GM divested the brand initially. High gas prices, economic recession, cash crunch, bankruptcy. Things are a lot different now. Look at the wild success Jeep has been having. Not a lot of brands have that name recognition that could compete with Jeep in that manner. I could totally see Hummer as a line with a full line of Jeep competitors.

    The only drawback is gas prices are not quite as cheap as they used to be and seem to be trending higher. I hope the Detroit automakers aren’t one international conflict or natural disaster away from ruin, yet again by putting all their eggs in the truck basket.

    History repeats itself.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    The only other recognizable piece of AMC besides Jeep.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I am at a loss to see how the sale of this company to a foreign entity is even possible, especially the Chinese. GM or Ford make the most sense, however I think Ford has enough on their plate right now. GM seems to be the most likely of candidates who are currently in the Automotive space. Whose to say that Elon or someone like that doesn’t come up with a bid, perhaps he will really start trying to channel his inner Tony Stark.

    I definitely think the days of the H2 are past us. The ones that are left seem to be well cared for and used regularly, yet I don’t see the buying public lining up for a 10 mpg rig anymore, regardless of prices at the pump now or in the future. Seems almost gauche anymore.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    Hummer: All “in the last 24 months”?, handled by the sternly scowling, oh-so-Brave MagiCadet Bone Spurs – which regrettably confined him only to a lifetime of golfing and young ladi – er, other pleasurable activities. And Mexico paid for the Wall, and Hummer was a smashing sales success, and Elvis is working at a Krispy Kreme in Amarillo, Texas.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      But wait, there’s more!

      Not only do we skip out on ‘Nam, we diss the ones who actually showed up to fight there.

      Not the first time it happened, though – remember the swiftboat garbage?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    British Aerospace is a very likely buyer, if I remember rightly they are the biggest supplier of Army tanks to the USA so buying Hummer would be a logical move.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Any reason why Ronnie’s comment was deleted?

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    No way FCA should be touching this as they cant even get the frame welds on the new Jeeps right. Scary, scary dangerous stuff. Just more JUNK from Fiat and GM. How can they be trusted?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The H1 and even H2 are an “American” fetish. There is no real global market, even military.

    They are to big for what they do and are restricted for us in battle (dangerous).

    With the current Trump Trade Tirade might make some potential buyers shy. It will be interesting to see what its sold for, and to whom.

    My bet is some developing country or even a country like Turkey.


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