HUMMER: It’s Not Over Yet

GM announced Wednesday their plans to wind down the HUMMER brand after a failed attempt to unload the brand to a Chinese company – but for those quick to jump on the “R.I.P HUMMER” band wagon, here are a couple things to consider.

First, HUMMER’s wind-down process is going to be similar to SAAB’s. We reported here in December that GM was going to wind down SAAB. Practically everyone at GM had written off SAAB once the press release was out saying that negotiations were at an impasse and the brand would simply go away. As we now know, the SAAB deal was resurrected and now looks to be on the path to completion.

The HUMMER team will still be in place during the wind-down process, and during that time, GM and the staff will entertain any offers that come in. This wasn’t the case with Saturn. When negotiations to sell Saturn to Penske Automotive fell through, the entire idea of selling the brand was taken off the table. The fact GM is still willing to entertain offers for HUMMER that come in during the wind-down process shouldn’t be overlooked – which many (including us) did with SAAB at the time.

Also, keep in mind that before GM decided to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Tengzhong, there were several interested and viable companies trying to purchase the HUMMER brand.

We don’t want to seem like we’re in denial of today’s news – we’re not. Today’s news was not a step in the right direction and things don’t look promising. All we’re saying is don’t give up all hope – it’s not over yet.

“Just like our vehicles are capable of overcoming major obstacles and gnarly terrain, so is the HUMMER brand,” said Carl Zipfel, HUMMER’s lead designer. “When off road and you get hung up or stuck you don’t just get out and walk away. That is why we won’t do that now with our brand…. Just look at the Saab deal as an example. We are not dead, might just need a winch and a buddy. Keep the faith.”

Carl’s comments echo those from 22-time Baja 1000 winner and Team HUMMER patriarch Rod Hall from yesterday: “I have won a lot of battles and races by not giving up.”

Stay tuned.

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  1. Well put Brian. This is certainly an uplifting article……my spirits are just low about Hummer right now. As I have before, I will remain optimistic for Hummer’s future.

  2. I love Carl’s comments. He is right, hopefully the riht opportunity will come along.

  3. ” We are not dead, might just need a winch and a buddy. Keep the faith.”
    Thats the best part!!

  4. What the f%&k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer deeeaad!

  5. What an odd set of emotions. Absolute glee that this American icon won’t go to China and terrible sadness that there is even the prospect that the brand may die.

    Thanks GM!

  6. @orh2 – ditto

  7. The fat lady has not sung yet but, I think its safe to say her costume is on and she is on stage.

  8. As a reader over at, I can sympathize with you. I also know every nuance of GM language when they say they are winding down. In Saab’s case, it was a negotiation tactic to get better terms out of the buyer. The big difference here is that Tengzhong has said they are out of the bidding (“we are withdrawing our offer”) whereas Spyker Cars said GM rejected their bid. The reason this is so big is that Spyker within 12 hours of the rejected bid came out with an entirely new bid that did away with all the obstacles, an 11-point plan. If Tengzhong or anyone else can come in right away and satisfy GM, then it should be all set to go. What happened in Saab’s case was that a liquidator was installed in Trollhattan at Saab HQ and they were told to stand by while negotiations continued. The fat lady will be singing if a liquidator is installed and there are no public negotiations.

    I just wanted to give you guys some hope and clarity, I really thought Hummer had a chance with some advanced propulsion tech and lighter vehicles, great concept, sad to see it go if that’s ultimately the case.

  9. Give up, the cat just felt from a very high roof…

  10. This makes no sense….closing HUMMER is just about as anti-American as out-lawing Apple Pie….WTF has this country/government & American based companys come to?

  11. Is this new America ????
    Oh my god, what is next?
    Close down Apple, Coca Cola and McDonalds ????

    Guys, where is the american spirit ????

    I´m sad.

    Hummer cannot die, thats tooo crazy Mr. Obama.
    Save Hummer !!!

    Greetings from Germany


  12. Its really sad and a huge missed business opportunity if you ask me. Vehicles like the HX could really helped save Hummer and take it in a whole new direction. Its sad that GM was so short sighted with the brand.

  13. I hope this may be for the best. I was not on-board with a China company owning Hummer. Maybe one of the other bidders that was US-based will step-up now. I agree, potential H4/H5 models could really turn around Hummer. I do think that getting away from GM is the best thing. However, a smaller company needs to step-up with that same vision on a strong niche brand, and this economy does help with that.

  14. “GM spokesman Nick Richards said the automaker would still hear last-minute bids for the brand. In the early phases of the wind-down, we’ll entertain offers and determine their viability, but that will have to happen in pretty short order.”


  15. I posted the exact same comment on MT yesterday as soon as the news broke. The only thing I’m worried about, which I mentioned on MT 1 year ago is that because of the new CAFE laws and new social perspective at this point it’ll be hard pressed for someone to step forward and buy Hummer. I’m sure who ever does will getting a swinging deal for it.

    Another thing I hate is if you go to sites like MT (Motortrend), Automobilemag, NYtimes, etc. every single comment bashes on Hummer. I couldn’t take reading it anymore.

  16. Memo to Nick Richards:

    Overcoats will be standard issue in Hades before I ever buy a GM product again.

  17. As Arnold would say: “I’ll be back.”

  18. orh2
    For the record, I’m one of the 3,000 people potentially impacted by this as I made the decision to stay with the brand when it went under review in June 2008.

  19. Re: Nick Richards said:

    “For the record, I’m one of the 3,000 people potentially impacted by this as I made the decision to stay with the brand when it went under review in June 2008.”

    Nick, then to you I offer my apology as well as my appreciation for your loyalty to the brand. Please be kind enough however to convey my original message to the geniuses at GM who made all this possible.

  20. California Prince

    @Every Hummer fan:
    Save the hummer brand and join this important discussion:

    Thank you!