Recently, one of GM's most toxic assets has been the iconic Hummer brand. The lineup of gas-hungry mammoth vehicles fell out of favor among consumers last year as gas prices soared. Sales plunged by double digits month-to-month in a free fall. With GM now officially in bankruptcy, one of its top priorities was to offload Hummer.
It now appears the company has found a buyer and agreed to terms, according to a press release by the company aired this morning. Hummer spokesman Nick Richards told PickupTrucks.com, "GM has signed a memorandum-of-understanding with an investor. Both parties have agreed to the basic terms [of the purchase] but the financial details and buyer's name are not being released at this time. That’s expected to be announced some time in the near future."
He says the buyer meets GM's basic criteria in that they have experience in the international market, where Hummer sales are stronger. Also, they have a long-term development plan and look to stick with the brand even if it struggles. Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, states, "Hummer is a strong brand. I’m confident that Hummer will thrive globally under its new ownership. And for GM, this sale continues to accelerate the reinvention of GM into a leaner, more focused, and more cost-competitive automaker."
The purchase will not include the military technology or military trucks developed by AM General, the original developer of Hummer vehicles. GM acquired the license to the rights to use the Hummer name and develop a civilian heavy vehicle brand under it from AM General a number of years ago.
Mr. Richards speculated on the expected current and upcoming models, stating, "The [Hummer] H4 [also known as the HX] and H3T concepts are good examples of where Hummer’s future products could go. The H3 SUV and pickup and H2 [full-size truck] will also continue in the portfolio. We’re working on ways to change the H2 beyond [its most recent update in] 2008."
The upcoming Hummers will likely include alternative fuel and diesel powertrains to help them adopt leaner fuel economy footprints. They are expected to remain pricey luxury vehicles.
The deal safeguards 3,000 U.S. jobs in manufacturing, engineering and at Hummer dealerships around the country. The move saves GM's Shreveport, Louisiana facility, which produces the H3 SUV and H3T pickup truck. However, the contacted workers from AM General at GM's H2 plant in Indiana will be released.
One major shift is that the Port Elizabeth, South Africa plant which builds right-handed H3s will close, returning its production to Shreveport. The right handed SUVs, soon to be produced in the U.S. will be sold in Europe and Asia. Currently, thirty percent of Hummer's sales are outside the U.S., but the new management wants that number to rise.
GM plans to provide engineering and transition assistance to the new owners for some time. It also will continue to honor pre-existing warranties. Additionally, the deal still hinges on government approval, with the government GM's new majority owner.
quote: The lineup of gas-hungry mammoth vehicles fell out of favor among consumers last year as gas prices soared.
quote: you'd be making several runs a month to pick up loads of stuff. Those rental fees would quickly add up.
quote: I love capitalism, but I prefer responsibility over the whims of individual consumers. While driving an Hummer you wear out the road below you, accelerate any man made global warming that may exist, decrease the air quality everywhere you go and generally show an irrisponsible disposition towards society (compared to almost any other kind of vehicle besides trucks).
quote: Now, if you drive that Hummer because it provides something you need, and cannot obtain otherwise, I'll defend your right to buy it
quote: No - I have no answer on how to objectively calculate that cost, but the basic idea that those that create costs should pay for it is just.
quote: my rabbit was just great to transport my 50" flatscreen... no hummer needed.
quote: Therefore I claim you did not buy the hummer (primarily) for it's utility - but (mostly) for it's "Cool" factor. A wholly irresponsible choice
quote: I understand your revulsion for people limiting others' freedoms and choices but in my humble opinion, we live in such a complicated and interconnected society that we should be encouraged to consider the common good and not just our own desires.
quote: Perhaps the more wealthy can afford to live in the 'burbs or to keep the windows rolled up and crank the AC but that just perpetuates the problem as more people drive and use electricity during high-demand hours. Passing idling bylaws and placing progressive costs for electrical consumption seem like better alternatives to me.
quote: I don't think Hummers should be banned but given that they demonstrably pollute more than alternatives, I would support slapping a luxury tax on them and giving a rebate to those people who genuinely use SUVs for work purposes (not impressing clients but hauling material).
quote: What exactly do you propose? That people should be able to do whatever they want as long as it does not directly interfere with the freedom of others?
quote: Well again I ask what exactly constitutes interference? Who in your opinion should moderate those conflicts?
quote: As the above op points out there are cases where most would consider freedoms of action or purchase needing to be limited.
quote: The reason capitalism works so well is because for most cases, the best choice for the individual coincides with the best choice for society.
quote: Ahh there we go. Wealth envy, and hate that other people prefer things that may give them what they conceive to be a certain status.
quote: and BTW, my rabbit was just great to transport my 50" flatscreen... no hummer needed.Using a rented trailer (I guess I could own that trailer) I transported all my furniture when I moved. Therefore I claim you did not buy the hummer (primarily) for it's utility - but (mostly) for it's "Cool" factor. A wholly irresponsible choice
quote: You obviously have a poor grasp on the capitalism you so love, if you would prevent consumers from buying products they want.
quote: Who should decide what is acceptable and moral for customers to purchase?
quote: share for the damage you cause to the public road and environment
quote: ...but I'll defend anyone's right to own one.
quote: these vehicles remain very popular with certain groups of consumers.
quote: If you really want luxury, there are higher end Grand Cherokee diesels
quote: And when I refer to the Hummer as 'stupidly wasteful' its not because its a luxury vehicle.
quote: I'll admit to being biased as I live in the city and don't own a vehicle
quote: but when I move I don't think I'll be interested in anything other than a sedan for the family or a sports car for me.
quote: Despite, the author's opinion he injected here
quote: It doesn't matter what it can do, it matters about it's mpg. No one is denying that an SUV, Semi, or truck can haul more equipment, weight, etc than a Honda Civic. We are saying it uses more gas. Which is fact.Does a semi use more gas than a Civic? Yes. Bam. End of discussion. I don't care what the semi can do.
quote: Hummer - 10 mpg. Even less with 4 additional passengers
quote: I'd just get a Nissan Armada. 9000 lbs towing capacity and 19 mpg.
quote: Seeing as the sun gives off the most light in our galaxy
quote: one can argue that the amount of gas it uses is acceptable for the tasks being performed
quote: Expect any supersized SUV to be below 20 mpg.
quote: This vehicle is classified as HPV (High Pollution Vehicle).
quote: A $30-50 delivery fee every few months vs. cost of ownership of a Hummer. Hmm, let's see. When you fill the tank from near empty is it possible to spend less than $50?
quote: I have a new Tahoe and a new F-150 4 door.
quote: While General Motors' bankruptcy-court filing will not disrupt any services at GMAC Financial Services, the lending arm will still feel some effects.GM's filing will "allow its direct business with GMAC to continue in the ordinary course during GM's restructuring," GMAC said Monday.But if GM's reorganization makes consumers shy away from GM cars and trucks, GMAC will suffer because a third of its revenue comes from financing GM vehicles. GMAC is partly owned by GM and private-equity firm Cerberus.
quote: I don't think that even counts what they are paying to support GM's parts suppliers...
quote: Support companies that don't take our money. It is the only way the government will *hopefully* get a clue.
quote: I have no idea where you got the 5bil post bankruptcy reguarding GMAC, but last I looked they were looking to repay early and not need another lifeline. The bankruptcy shoudn't affect them too much.
quote: Who is paying what to whom? If you're talking about suppliers who are going into bankruptcy, than that's just part of the fallout of a tiny portion of GM failing. Imagine what would happen if it all went away. Even Ford's biggest fear was that GM would fail since it would cripple thier supplier base.
quote: First off, every company takes taxpayers money in the form of tax cuts. If a company didn't have those cuts, the local tax payers burden would be less. However, those tax cuts are smart because they spur spending and job creation.
quote: Shitty management killed GM. If they arent capable to keep their company alive themself, then let it be so. Sorry GM, but u failed
quote: So it's Obama's fault?
quote: Well, GM management voluntarily entered into those labor and benefit contracts - they didn't have to, they chose to.
quote: a huge part but in the end the people running GM decided who they would get their labor from and who they would get their benefits from.
quote: No one said it would be simple. Short term it would have cost GM more money but long term they would have saved money and been afloat right now instead of $50+ billion in debt to the US Taxpayer and in bankruptcy. The horrible management took the easy way out and caved to the demands of the unions. Horrible management is the reason GM has failed, bottom line, zero way around it. Please, no more apologists in this thread - we've heard the BS arguments long enough. GM has failed because of actions made by GM management, period.
quote: No out of control labor and benefit costs killed GM. The domestic automakers had to become reliant on high margin vehicles to stay afloat (of which trucks and SUV's made up a sizable portion) and when the market collapsed the companies could no longer maintain solvency.
quote: Yet, GM was able to control labor and benefit costs before the boom in truck/SUV sales took off.
quote: This was all piss poor management. Instead of putting more work into higher fuel efficient vehicles, they went for higher profits from trucks/SUVs. So all their money was going into their pockets and very little into R&D.
quote: When gas prices skyrocketed, this bit them in the ass. Why? Cause they didn't bother to make fuel efficient cars, nor had the ability to produce cars as fast as a truck/SUV.
quote: This is why Japanese companies, who were constantly working on perfecting their cars are doing fine. It costs over ten times as much to design a car, than to design a truck/SUV. Hence why GM failed.