Now that Tengzhong has reached a definitive agreement to purchase the HUMMER brand from General Motors, plans for the brand’s future are coming to light including more fuel-efficient technology and renewable fuel models.
“Tengzhong has been aware of the importance of energy-efficient vehicles,” said Yang Yi, CEO of Tengzhong, in an interview with China Daily. “A series of fuel-efficient vehicles including electric and renewable fuel models have already been under development. And environmentally-friendly products will be introduced to the market soon.”
Prior to the brand’s sale, HUMMER began exploratory work on the feasibility of plug-in hybrid technology in an H3. One electric HUMMER has been touring the country and 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,” said HUMMER CEO Jim Taylor in our first “Ask Jim” section.
Talk about renewable fuel models hasn’t been as explicit, and we assume that it doesn’t mean e85-capable models which have been available in the H2 since last year and will make their H3 introduction when 2010 models begin production for the United States.
There has also been discussion of diesel engines in the H3, opening the door for renewable biodiesel. “Diesel engines seem to be a natural fit for HUMMER and are one of the best ways available today to increase both efficiency and performance,” said Taylor. “We are finalizing emissions testing on a diesel H3 that will be available outside North America next year. Our next task will be to identify a diesel that meets the stringent U.S. emission standards and bring it to market as quickly as possible.”
Tengzhong has a lot on its plate with its purchase of HUMMER. The speed at which they can develop these new powertrain options and bring new vehicles such as the HX concept to market will be one of the key factors in how successful the HUMMER brand transition will be judged.