Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. has agreed to purchase the Hummer brand from General Motors. Sichuan Tengzhong currently makes construction equipment, and Hummer will be its first foray into the passenger car market, according to Bloomberg.
“We are really looking to expand our global reach to tackle some of the high-growth markets, particularly the China market, in which we expect to enjoy explosive growth,” Sichuan Tengzhong Chief Executive Officer Yang Yi said to Bloomberg.
According to Bloomberg, Hummer likely sold for $150 million, 70 percent less than what GM said it was worth during bankruptcy hearings.
Hummer’s new owners have their work cut out for them. Bloomberg points out that gasoline is considerably more expensive in China than it is in the United States, which could make Chinese customers avoid the gas guzzling Hummers. The company will have to get a license to import and sell the trucks in China. Hummer will also have to meet the U.S. government’s 30 mpg minimum average for manufacturers by 2011, which will require either a miracle in the form of reworking the existing Hummers to get much better gas mileage or a few new gas sipping models to bring the average up.
The good news is that Hummer’s headquarters will remain in Michigan, with between 100 and 150 employees to start, which would soon grow to as many as 350. The Hummer trucks will most likely be built by GM for two to three years.