A brief veil of anonymity has been lifted for the likely new owner of General Motors Corp’s Hummer brand.
The American automaker and China-based Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd announced Tuesday they have reached a preliminary agreement that will retain the brand’s current management, operational team and U.S. headquarters.
Earlier today GM did not disclose the identity of the buyer at Tengzhong’s request, but several media reports correctly identified the new owner.
The new owner will assume existing dealer agreements relating to Hummer’s dealership network and is contemplated to enter into a long-term contract assembly and key component and material supply agreement with GM, the companies said.
The Hummer sale is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The privately owned firm currently builds road, construction and energy equipment.
The Hummer brand is synonymous with adventure, freedom and exhilaration, and we plan to continue that heritage by investing in the business, allowing Hummer to innovate and grow in exciting new ways under the leadership and continuity of its current management team, said Yang Yi, CEO of Tengzhong.
He said the company plans to continue with Hummer’s “heritage by investing in the business, allowing Hummer to innovate and grow in exciting new ways under the leadership and continuity of its current management team.”
We will be investing in the Hummer brand and its research and development capabilities, which will allow Hummer to better meet demand for new products such as more fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S,” he added.
James Taylor, the chief executive officer of Hummer said he expects the transaction, if successful, to secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs and allow the company to embark on “more aggressive global expansion.”
GM’s Shreveport Assembly plant would continue to assemble the H3 and H3T models through at least 2010, GM said.
The agreement comes just a day after GM filed for bankruptcy protection as it seeks to quickly exit the court supervised process and emerge with less debt and only its strongest brands, Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
GM, which expects to stay in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process for up to three months, said Tuesday it has entered into a memorandum of understanding Tengzhong expects to close the sale by the third quarter of this year.
GM has already announced that it will shut down its production of the Pontiac brand and is seeking options to do away with its Saturn and Saab units. It has also entered into a memorandum of understanding to create a partnership involving its OPEL/Vauxhall European brands with Magna Intl.