Unless you've been living under the motoring world's equivalent of a giant rock over the last few days, you will have heard the news about GM's sale of the HUMMER brand to a Chinese company. However, did you know that the brand that was once a symbol of gas guzzling America could now adopt a new green outlook?
Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd entered into a definitive agreement that will allow it to acquire the HUMMER brand at the end of last week. Under the terms of the agreement, Tengzhong will take an 80 per cent stake in the company – the other 20 per cent being held by private entrepreneur Suolang Suoji – and will acquire the trademark, trade names and IP license rights needed to manufacture the brand's vehicles. It will also assume the existing dealer agreements with HUMMER's dealership network.
The transition however, is expected to further HUMMER's remarkable green turnaround – and mark a first for the automaker. It will become the first car manufacturer to offer an alternative powertrain in every model thanks to the addition of E85 FlexFuel capabilities in the 2010 H3 and H3T.
HUMMER is also currently obtaining emissions certification for a diesel H3 expected to be introduced in markets outside North America, with the brand's future development expected to focus on improving efficiency and performance.
Meanwhile the immediate future of GM's HUMMER assembly plants has been safeguarded. GM's Shreveport plant will continue to contract assemble the H3 and H3T, while AM General's Mishawaka assembly plant will continue to assemble the H2. Both facilities will produce the vehicles until June 2011, with an additional one year option.