After the announcement that GM is conducting a strategic review of the HUMMER brand, rumors about the future of the rugged brand have been swirling. The number one question I’ve been asked by those outside the automotive industry has been, “are they really going to discontinue HUMMER?” The high frequency of that question is somewhat frustrating since that option has never even been mentioned by General Motors or anyone at HUMMER. Options for HUMMER include a revamp of the model lineup, and a full or partial sale of the brand. Much to the chagrin of the HUMMER-haters, simply dissolving the brand won’t happen – but that hasn’t stopped some media-types from announcing an end to all things HUMMER.
The option of selling the brand remains a “strong option” according to GM’s CEO and President Fritz Henderson while speaking in China. According to Edmund’s Inside Line, Henderson also noted that “if any Chinese companies are interested in buying Hummer, it will be certainly an option for us to look at. We need to be open to all ideas.” Lately, it seems like the focus has switched from India’s Tata brand to cross-country-rival Mahindra & Mahindra, as well as Chinese companies like GM’s partner Shanghai Auto.
At the end of the day, we still don’t know anything definitive about the HUMMER brand. What we do know is that HUMMER has indicated its goal is to keep the strategic review top of mind completed in a timely fashion. Of course, what’s timely to a corporate giant may not be timely to you and I.
If some other company buys the HUMMER brand, they obviously think they can make a profit with it. Why can’t GM? Are these other companines more clever?
interesting question, mb – with less than 1% of all GM’s sales coming from HUMMER, perhaps it has been a low priority. GM has shown they can do well with high-volume brands, but success with long term niche brands remains to be seen.
HUMMER is one of those unique brands though, they’re like nothing else.
see what i did there?