A day after filing for bankruptcy protection, General Motors has announced a preliminary deal to sell its Hummer brand that is expected to save more than 3,000 U.S. jobs.
After several hours of mystery concerning who might buy the iconic brand, GM confirmed late Tuesday that it is in advanced talks to sell it to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company. Terms of the deal are still being negotiated, but GM expects to close the sale by year's end.
"I'm confident that Hummer will thrive globally under its new ownership," said Troy Clarke, President of GM North America. "And for GM, this sale continues to accelerate the reinvention of GM into a leaner, more focused, and more cost-competitive automaker."
The sale of Hummer will mark a significant strategy change for GM as it ditches the gas guzzling, military-esque SUV and prepares to reopen a shuttered U.S. factory to build compact cars. Production at this plant will create the smallest vehicles the company has ever produced domestically.On Monday, CEO Fritz Henderson said the company would emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger and leaner company, but time will tell whether GM is truly able to compete against foreign automakers. This will be key in leading GM forward and was one of many reasons that led to its fall.
General Motors is also in the process of trying to unload its Saturn and Saab brands. In late April, the company announced that it would kill off its Pontiac brand.