Tengzhong's plan to buy Hummer was still being examined by concerned departments and there had been no definitive result toward approval, authorities in Sichuan Province confirmed on Monday.
Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd. (Tengzhong), a private Chinese firm, emerged as the surprise buyer for the GM brand earlier this year, and the proposed sale of the Hummer brand was scheduled to close in the third quarter of this year.
Tengzhong, based in Deyang of Sichuan, clarified on June 3 via Xiaolu Zhao with Brunswick Group Ltd, which is handling the public relations matters for the Tengzhong deal, that it had no plan to manufacture Hummer in a Chinese plant.
The preliminary deal allows Tengzhong to keep the management and operational team along with the Hummer brand, and secure more than 3,000 jobs in the United States. The Chinese buyer will also assume existing dealer agreements relating to Hummer's dealership network.
Tengzhong, however, has to go through other procedures, including getting approval from the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), before it can finish the deal with GM by the end of the third quarter of this year in accordance with a schedule.
The acquisition plan has drawn unprecedented attention and has even been shrouded in mystery since the plan was announced as Tengzhong executives have been shunning the media.
Media reports said NDRC is likely to reject Tengzhong's acquisition plan, citing two reasons -- Tengzhong's inexpertise to run Hummer and Hummer gas-guzzling vehicles conflicting with Beijing's conservation goals.
Zhuolin Yan , chief of foreign trade and economy with Sichuan Provincial Commerce Department, hadn't heard of any progress regarding the Chinese Commerce Ministry's approval of Tengzhong's acquisition plan, according to China Daily.
Yan emphasized that, given the size of the deal, Tengzhong needed to get approval both from the Ministry of Commerce and the NDRC, which was necessary in accordance with the stipulation of Chinese laws regarding Chinese companies investing overseas.
Sources with the Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission said on Monday they did not receive any information on the approving process of Tengzhong's acquisition plan.
Zhao with Brunswick Group Ltd said on Monday she had noticed recent rumors about Tengzhong's acquisition plan, to which Tengzhong would make no comments or response.
Tengzhong has been cooperating closely with concerned Chinese government departments as required so as to get the approvals done, said Zhao, who refused to disclose more details about the approving process.
The value of the bid was not disclosed at the time, but analysts say that GM would have made about $100m (£61m) from the sale.
And if the deal flops, it wouldn't be particularly good news for GM which is trying to shed brands and maybe pick up a little cash.