Who’s bought Hummer? Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, apparently. Never heard of them!
We’ve got used to quite a number of Chinese car companies lately. BYD have been in the news with their MOU with VW, and BYD has also hit the headlines with its new car battery technology for EVs and of course its 2.0 litre clone Porsche Cayenne. And you can throw in to the mix Geely with its Rolls Royce Phantom clone and SAIC with MG. But we’ve not come across Sichuan Tengzhong before.
But that’s probably no big surprise as they’re not really a car company, but a maker of heavy machinery (you’d never have guessed that from the name, eh?). And I guess that Hummer is a good fit. After all, they are nothing if not ‘Heavy’ vehicles.
Our speculation yesterday when we heard that Hummer had been sold (or at least there was an MOU in place) was that it would have to be a Chinese (or Indian or Russian) company in the frame, as the Hummer brand would probably be a poisoned chalice for any mainstream Western car maker in these eco-friendly times. But our one doubt came in the form of an assurance from GM that no Hummer jobs would be lost, which tended to indicate a US buyer.
But things are now a little clearer. Apparently the MOU contains a clause that Hummers will continue to be made in the US for a defined transitional period. How long that transitional period is we don’t know, but we would guess about long enough for Sichuan to set up manufacturing facilities in China. A year? Eighteen months? We doubt it’s any longer. So the ‘No Hummer Jobs lost in the US’ might be true – but it’s a little disingenuous.
Sale price is mooted to be between $150 and $250 million. That amount won’t touch the sides in terms of GM’s debt mountain, but it’s better than simply closing Hummer up and walking away.