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Hummer Sale Falls Through

Chinese buyer may consider alternatives to save deal.

by on Feb.24, 2010

Barring a last-minute reprieve, the Hummer brand may have traversed its last trail.

The proposed sale of General Motors’ Hummer division to a Chinese heavy equipment manufacturer has apparently collapsed, though the proposed buyer, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp., is reportedly looking at alternatives that could overcome the apparent opposition of Beijing regulators.

Barring some unexpected reprieve, however, GM said that it is ready to start an orderly shutdown of the once-popular Hummer operation, one of four brands the company decided to close as sell as part of last year’s bankruptcy reorganization.

“GM will now work closely with HUMMER employees, dealers and suppliers to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner,” said John Smith, the U.S. maker’s director of corporate planning and alliances.

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GM and Tengzhong reached a preliminary agreement for the sale of Hummer last June.  The proposed deal came as a surprise for a number of reasons.  Some analysts had wondered whether any buyer would surface considering the sharp slump in sales of the brand’s products following the record run-up in oil prices the previous year.