According to the Economic Times in India, accountants representing General Motors have approached two Indian companies, Tata and Mahindra, about the sale of the HUMMER brand. Tata and Mahindra were both interested in purchasing Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford, and Tata came out the victor. Both companies have global ambitions which would be valuable to a brand like HUMMER who saw its greatest sales increases outside of North America.
Even though GM only announced that they’re reviewing the brand, and don’t have any hard plans to sell, one has to look at all the options. Tata’s desire for niche luxury brands with global appeal is clear, and HUMMER certainly fits that bill – and Mahindra has to be a little bitter after losing the Jag and Rover, so a move that guarantees them a well-known brand wouldn’t be surprising.
Both Indian companies denied commenting, and GM neither confirmed nor denied the reports saying they seem more like “speculation,” than anything else.
Reuters published a report on the sale of HUMMER in which they too discuss the possibility of an Indian car manufacturer purchasing the brand to establish a U.S. foothold. They also suggest that a wealthy Russian businessman may be interested, noting that the acquisition would serve as a “trophy asset.” There’s some irony there – but we won’t elaborate.
With all the rumors about GM selling HUMMER, it’s hard to focus on the other alternative suggested, which is a revamp of the HUMMER product portfolio. Right now, we’re keeping the odds of GM selling the brand at 50/50 after today’s ‘speculation’ from India.