General Motors' HUMMER division has long been the whipping boy of the environmental movement, and now even the Chinese government seems to be getting in on the act. Quoting Richard Wottrich, International Managing Director at investment banking firm Dresner Partners, the state-run Chinese media outlet Xinhua starts out a story on Tengzhong's bid to purchase the SUV maker from GM this way:
General Motors' HUMMER is considered as an exaggerated and extreme example of a disregard for the environment and there are significant brand negatives for the Chinese company Tengzhong to buy it. The vehicle is too big, uses too much gas, and is viewed as a toy for the rich. These are rather significant brand negatives for the Chinese company Tengzhong to consider. HUMMER is a difficult brand name to reconcile with current global conditions and political thought.Well, that doesn't sound too hot, does it? Wottrich goes on to give sound reasoning behind GM's decision to offload the brand and suggests that these same issues may be reason enough to give Tengzhong pause when considering its purchase. Before any deal can go through between Tenzhong and GM, the Chinese government must grant its seal of approval, and that's no sure thing.