Get used to this name: “Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery” (STHIM), the new owner of GM’s once popular Hummer brand has announced that it aims to finalise the deal before October.
STHIM General Manager Yang Yi said in an interview with the Us industry publication Autonews that his company has no intentions of transferring Hummer equipment or technology to China. Interestingly the Chinese company will also not take on any debt accrued by the current business.
Reports from China indicate that STHIM is not even well known by the Chinese so the deal has been a bit of surprise to everyone. Insiders say the Chinese bought Hummer for much less than the US$500 million price tag GM was asking for. Some even suggest it may have been as little as US$100 million in cash.
STHIM currently only manufacturers special-use vehicles plus bridge and highway components so their ability to maintain a brand as large as Hummer is still to be determined. However the Chinese company intends to keep the current Hummer management team to keep things in order for the time being.
The idea is to take Hummer global, away from its current 70 per cent sale base in the States to establish it self in more emerging markets. “We want to make a green Hummer,” Mr Yang said.
“Tengzhong and Hummer are very aware of the government’s fuel-efficiency requirements,” he said. “Hummer has already achieved substantial progress in this area.”
Whatever the future holds for Hummer, it should be interesting either way. STHIM’s complete lack of experience in both overseas markets and in the automobile industry could either be a blessing for Hummer to reinvent it self or a disaster waiting to happen.