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GM, Chinese company tentatively agree on Hummer sale
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11:13, June 03, 2009

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U.S. automaker General Motors Corp., a day after filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has a tentative deal to sell its Hummer brand to Chinese-based Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd., the automaker said Tuesday.

According to a Detroit News report, GM did not reveal the sale price, though in a bankruptcy filing, GM said the brand is worth some 500 million U.S. dollars.

The company said the deal, which includes the brand's senior management and operational team, could close by the end of the third quarter and would protect more than 3,000 manufacturing, engineering and dealership jobs across the country.

Tengzhong also is expected to sign a long-term contract for assembly and a material supply agreement with GM.

Privately owned Tengzhong, which is based in the Chinese province of Sichuan, is a leading domestic manufacturer of road, construction and equipment for the energy industry.

"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.," Tengzhong CEO Yang Yi said in a prepared statement.

The Hummer headquarters and operations will remain in the United States, and executives plan to expand the dealer network globally, including new and underserved Chinese markets.

Hummer vehicles on sale ar seen at a dealer in New York, the United States, May 27, 2009. (Xinhua/Gu Xinrong)

"With Tengzhong's investment and strong support, we will be able to make our visions a reality," Hummer CEO James Taylor said in a prepared statement.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the Obama administration, with GM's 60 percent ownership stake, will not stop it from outsourcing production to China.

Shedding Hummer is part of GM's overall restructuring plan, which also involves selling or phasing out the Saturn, Saab and Pontiac brands.

GM acquired the brawny Hummer brand in 1999 from AM General Corp.


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