More On Hummer

It was as if China Daily had read my mind. It too noticed the dearth of information on the Hummer deal since the transaction was first announced in early June. The newspaper more than made up for it, though, with three articles on the subject in Friday’s edition, one day after MTD’s post.

A front page story, Hummer Set To Go Lean And Green After Sale quoted Hummer CEO Jim Taylor as saying: “All I need is cash. We were looking for companies with the resources to fund our future development and keep the brand and dealers alive. I’ll bring all (the experience and expertise) to the table.”

Taylor went on to allude to the changes that would be made under new ownership with deeper pockets, saying that more environmental awareness in the automotive industry was a positive thing and vowed Hummer would be reborn with new eco-friendly, smaller and fuel-efficient models rolling off the production line. “The Hummer of tomorrow is not as the same as the Hummer of today,” Taylor said. “It has to be more fuel efficient, it is a must, and with an (new) investor we are going to change the image of Hummer.”

In an opinion piece seven pages later, Op Rana, decried the harmful effects of today’s Hummer on the environment and cautioned Chinese and Indian companies against acquiring bad habits from the West.

Chinese and Indian companies have to keep the environment in mind while acquiring Western companies. Let’s not forget that historically it’s the West that’s mostly responsible for global warming. We’ve seen at climate change conferences and forums that we can’t persuade people in the West, especially the US, from even cutting down carbon footprint, which by any standard is very high. But at least we can choose not to acquire their polluting habits.

In a separate article, Yang Yi, CEO of Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery, seemed to remove all doubt that the deal would go through. Tengzhong has the financial resources to complete the transaction, he insisted. “We have the resources for the Hummer deal from our own capital and also funding from financial institutions,” he added.

Hummer’s CEO expects the deal to be done by the end of the third quarter. Given the positive coverage in today’s China Daily, and Yang Yi’s positive statements, my take is that he is right. “Book ‘em Danno!”

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