General Motors may have found someone to take one of its biggest problems off of its hands.
As auto sales have plummeted in 2008, no brand has been hit harder than HUMMER, the maker of iconic giant SUVs that became a global target of scorn, first for environmentalists, and later for members of Congress angry at Big Three business plans that left America's automakers dependent on gas guzzlers in a world of overpriced fuel. GM announced plans to sell the brand over the summer - but after months of trying, could not find a buyer interested in an auto brand that made nothing but SUVs, including the heaviest one yet built - the 8,500-plus pound H2. But today, reports are emerging that GM is finally in talks to sell HUMMER.
Motor Trend explains, "According to a report from Beijing's Jinghua newspaper, China's Hunan Chengfeng Motor Company is in talks with Indiana-based AM General over a possible joint purchase of ailing HUMMER." AM General is HUMMER's original owner - the company that designed and built the first HMMWV trucks for the U.S. military in the 1980's - and approached GM about selling the vehicles to civilians in the late 1990's. Changfeng is one of several Chinese automakers said to be looking for a route into the U.S. market.
Autoblog notes, "Despite the presence of a Chinese partner, rumors indicate that HUMMER would remain an American brand that's marketed predominately towards the United States." Production would apparently remain in the U.S. as well.
The sale is far from closed. Any sale of HUMMER will be complicated - many HUMMER dealers are joint Cadillac/HUMMER dealerships, and it isn't clear how those businesses would be separated. But the reports have to bring a sigh of relief at cash-desperate GM.
While HUMMER is on the auction block as a brand, it's still cranking out SUVS - some at the lowest prices we've ever seen. Research the best car deals available in this market.