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Hummer in the change

Hey Hummer dude… Come on now, wipe that tear… And no long faces… Have some cake, you’ll feel better.

Hey Hummer dude… Come on now, wipe that tear… And no long faces… Have some cake, you’ll feel better.

I know GM doesn’t want anything to do with you anymore, and just sold the division and all its machismo to a Chinese outfit called Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. for a bargain basement price (about $150 million)…

Tengzhong will get an 80 per cent stake in the company, while Hong Kong investor Suolang Duoji will get 20 per cent. The investors will also get Hummer’s U.S. dealer network.

But just remember what Mother Superior said to Maria, after all those shenanigans with the Van Trapp family came to a head, and she had to broach the subject of Maria maybe not being suited anymore for the nunnery business: “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”

In Hummer’s case, that window might be the opportunity to re-invent itself.

Now that there are a lot fewer of us into excess, and a lot more of us into green, Hummer is, to put it mildly, not all that well positioned, at least in its current guise.

“I’m not in any kind of denial that we have a very high steep uphill challenge in front of us,” noted Hummer CEO, James Taylor, in an Associated Press interview, soon after the transfer papers had been signed last Friday.

He added that Hummer has been unfairly tagged as the symbol of the American gas guzzler, saying others are just as bad or worse.

He also noted that misinformation has made the brand “stand alone as the ultimate bad guy in that space,” something he says is quite far from reality.

I hear your pain brother, but maybe you shouldn’t try to shake off that urban legend just yet.

Hummer is one of the most iconic nameplates to emerge in the last three or four decades.

Sure, you couldn’t think of a worse vehicle line to re-make as some kind of environmentally friendly brand. But that’s precisely what makes the possible re-invention so intriguing.

I think Hummer will, and should, always keep some hard-core vehicles in its lineup.

But what if it managed to pull off a small brute that got better mileage than the Chevy Volt? Should that happen, the hills would be alive with sound of irony.

You have the spotlight, Mr. Hummer. Let’s see what you got.

 
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