AM Online

UK future for Hummer ‘unlikely’

General Motors is in talks with Chinese manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery to buy its Hummer brand. 

Only one Hummer was sold in the UK last month, compared to 40 in May 2008.

AM understands that sales of new Hummers are extremely restricted as its importer Kroymans goes through the Dutch bankruptcy courts.

Until the ownership of every vehicle is determined, around 4,000 cars are being held in Rotterdam. About 200 of these are right-hand drives which would be popular in the UK.

An industry analyst said Hummer was unlikely to have a retail future in the UK. 

“It came so quickly, it was likely to disappear as quickly,” he said.

Tengzhong, an industrial machinery group, is expected to acquire the rights to the off-road Hummer brand, along with a senior management and operational team when the deal goes through at the end of quarter three. 

It will also assume existing dealer agreements relating to Hummer’s dealership network.

Tengzhong’s lack of car manufacturing expertise meant it was ill-equipped to do the job, said the analyst.

He added that the Chinese government may well block the buyout as it tried to downsize the number of car manufacturers in the country.

But GM said it expects the potential deal to secure more than 3,000 US jobs as Hummer will continue to maintain its headquarters and operations there. 

Hummer dealer Mitch Millet, of Manchester-based Bauer-Millett, said his primary concern was getting stock through.
“We have customers who want Hummers, but we cannot get hold of them at the moment.”

He said he was waiting to see what unfolded regarding Tengzhong. 

If Hummer and its sister niche brands Corvette and Cadillac fold in the UK, Millett will heavily load up prestige used cars to bolster the business.

Tengzhong intends to expand Hummer’s dealer network worldwide, particularly into new markets like China.

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