Now that General Motors has officially offloaded the HUMMER brand to Chinese machinery and equipment manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd., the next logical question is where does the brand go from here? Perhaps the best person to answer that question would be Jim Taylor, the man who was put in charge of the brand to get it ready for sale and who will reportedly stay on to lead HUMMER under its new ownership.
Speaking in an interview with Paul Eisenstein from The Detroit Bureau, Taylor had plenty of interesting things to say about HUMMER's future. For instance, he said, "We need to head towards CAFE compliance - which means smaller and more fuel efficient, or we're dialed out. Think of the smaller H4 we were showing at the auto show and it could safely conjectured we would enter into that space."
He further suggests that "a ground-up hybrid or electric vehicle, [would] make a lot of sense for the Hummer brand" since it "would help us change our image." What are the chances we'll see an electric, hybrid or otherwise alternatively-fueled HUMMER within the next five years? "I think five years out, excellent, assured. It's 100%," says Taylor. (Maybe he should call these guys).
Admittedly, that's a lot to chew on. A more environmentally-friendly HUMMER would surely be a tough nut to crack, especially since the brand's followers will understandably expect future HUMMER models to uphold the rough-and-tumble, go-anywhere nature of the breed. It should prove very interesting to see how this all proceeds, and Taylor certainly has our interest piqued.