General Motors reportedly had two credible offers from American company Raser Technologies to purchase the HUMMER brand prior to its decision to shut down the brand completely. One before GM decided to proceed with a deal to China’s Tengzhong and one after that deal fell apart.
While neither anyone at GM or Raser has been willing to go on the record, we have had contact with sources familiar with the matter that are confirming that in the latest round of HUMMER brand bids, Raser Technology had a very serious and credible offer that for unknown (at least to us) reasons was turned down in favor of shutting the brand down.
Similar sources told The Car Connection that Raser had met nearly all the conditions for a takeover of the HUMMER brand, and that their intention was to eventually turn HUMMER into a ‘green’ brand with the use of plug-in, electric technology.
In 2009, Raser worked directly with General Motors on their construction of a 100 MPG Hybrid H3. General Motors used the project to test the feasibility of an electric powertrain in HUMMER vehicles – which for offroading, has long been the alternative fuel powertrain of choice due to its ability to deliver high levels of low-end torque.
“Prior to the brand’s sale, we began exploratory work on the feasibility of plug-in hybrid technology in a vehicle like the H3,” said HUMMER CEO Jim Taylor during one of HummerGuy.net’s ‘Ask Jim‘ features. “The project included technology from Raser Technologies and vehicle integration from FEV. This vehicle has been touring the country and is undergoing testing of the component durability and packaging. We will continue to study the impact that plug-in hybrid technology has on the durability and vehicle capability in the off-road environment.”
The question today remains, “Why would GM turn down a credible offer from an American company?” Is it because they didn’t want HUMMER to become a green brand – something that under GM they would have never been able to do? Is it because Raser didn’t have experience running a worldwide auto company (neither did Tengzhong)?
We’re working on bringing you the answers – but the deal is so fresh that many aren’t willing to talk.