Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Neanderthals everywhere mourn: G.M. to Close Hummer

DETROIT %u2014 Hummer, the brand of big sport-utility vehicles that became synonymous with the term %u201Cgas guzzler,%u201D is being shut down after a deal to sell it to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart, General Motors said Wednesday.

G.M. said only that its planned sale of Hummer to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Company %u201Ccannot be completed,%u201D without giving a reason, but the $150 million deal had been stalled as the companies awaited approval from the Chinese government. G.M. had been trying to sell Hummer for a year, and struck a preliminary deal with Tengzhong last June.

The two companies had planned to close the deal by the end of January, then delayed the deadline by a month in the hopes of getting the green light from China.

%u201CWe have since considered a number of possibilities for Hummer along the way, and we are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed," John Smith, G.M.%u2019s vice president of corporate planning and alliances, said in a statement. "G.M. will now work closely with Hummer employees, dealers and suppliers to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner."

It was the third time since G.M. emerged from bankruptcy protection last year that a deal to sell one of its unwanted brands collapsed. The company is shutting down Saturn after a sale fell through, and it began to halt operations at Saab after an agreement with Koenigsegg AB in Sweden was called off. G.M. later reached an agreement with a Dutch company, Spyker Cars; that deal closed Tuesday.

G.M. also is closing Pontiac but it never attempted to sell that brand.

G.M. said it still would honor Hummer warranties and provide service and parts to current Hummer owners worldwide. Hummer has nearly 400 dealerships globally.

The deal would have made Tengzhong the first Chinese company to sell vehicles in North America, though it planned to keep Hummer%u2019s operations in the United States.

...and people of conscience everywhere rejoice.

Posted via web from Yes, That Bob West

No comments: