Reducing the number of total brands offered was one of the key components in General Motors’ restructuring plan announced earlier this year. Pontiac was to be shut down, and Saturn, Saab, and HUMMER were to be sold or shut down. GM announced today that Saab would be shut down, leaving HUMMER as the only brand still hopeful for a successful transition outside General Motors.
A few weeks ago we found out GM’s attempt to sell the Saab brand to Koenigsegg had fallen through, but GM insisted that it still had “serious interest” in the brand. That serious interested was coming from Spyker Cars. Despite a successful deal to sell some SAAB technology to Beijing Auto, GM said it would be unable to sell Saab to Spyker citing negotiation and timeline issues.
In September, GM announced that a deal to sell Saturn to Penske Automotive would not go through, and that the brand would be wound down over the next year or so.
That leaves HUMMER – the last of the three brands with any hope to become separate from General Motors.
While the process to sell HUMMER to Chinese heavy industrial manufacturing company Sichuan Tengzhong remains on track, it has seen its fair share of delays – the biggest of which is obtaining regulatory approval from both the U.S. and Chinese governments. According to our sources, it’s not necessarily the terms of the deal that are causing the delays, it’s the inherently time-consuming nature of governmental procedures.
The HUMMER deal is a little bit different from the Saab and Saturn deals, though – since the HUMMER brand is showing significant overseas growth and potential, it’s been a profitable brand for GM, and the deal is not contingent upon financing approval – Tengzhong has already secured financing.
Although there have been delays and other GM brands have met their demise, we’re still optimistic that HUMMER will have a successful transition in the near future.