GM Sells Bling-Bling Brand to Sichuan Tengzhong

Amidst filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, General Motors announced positive news regarding Arnold Schwarzenegger’s choice vehicle, the Hummer.

The all-terrain military tank-like HUMVEE was originally produced by AM General. However the Hummer brand was later purchased by General Motors who has since expanded the line up to include several specialized sport utility beasts and pickup trucks (M.C. Keegan).

For years, the Hummer has been an icon of status and style. Many of Hollywood’s elite celebrities have owned a Hummer including Paris Hilton, Mike Tyson, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger (who at one point owned eight).

In contrast, some celebrities, including green-guru Al Gore and his “greenwashed” worshipers, have long since desired Hummer’s demise. Their green-cultic-dream nearly became reality, but General Motors announced a tentative agreement with the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company of China which would acquire the touted brand.

According to Fox News the “Sichuan Tengzhong deals in road construction, plastics, resins and other industrial products, but Hummer would be its first step into the consumer automotive business.”

The news report went on to say:

“Sichuan Tengzhong is planning to aggressively finance Hummer’s future product programs, according to GM.”

“I’m confident that Hummer will thrive globally under its new ownership. And for GM, this sale continues to accelerate the reinvention of GM into a leaner, more focused and more cost-competitive automaker,” Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, said in a statement.

The focus of General Motors, after the hopeful sale of Saab and Saturn along with the phase-out of Pontiac, will be on four profitable and tasteful ‘nameplates:’ Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac.

Expected by the third quarter’s end, General Motors and Sichuan Tengzhong hope to finalize the sale. The cost of the fashionable brand is unknown at this time, but I suspect it to be less than one of Barry O’s Air Force One joyrides.

While environmentalists fume that the Hummer line will be revived, economists see the benefits. The Chinese conglomerate has agreed to “secure more than 3,000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and at Hummer dealerships around the United States. Under the proposed deal, Hummer will continue to contract vehicle manufacturing and business services from GM during a defined transitional time period. Also, GM’s Shreveport Assembly plant would continue to contract and assemble the H3 and H3T through at least 2010.”

There is speculation that the Chinese Company, though not experienced in the automotive area, will rejuvenate the brand and possibly make it somewhat eco-friendly. Whatever the case, the Sichuan Tenghong purchase sheds a little hope in a fairly unknown and bleak economic future. And to all you high-rollers out there who may be a tad status hungry, there is no need to worry as your favorite bling-bling-all-terrain-brute will still be produced for your yearly automotive purchases.

-Chaz Oswald

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