Mark Phelan, columnist for the Detroit Free Press, today argues both sides of the "should Hummer stay or should it go?" coin. On one hand, Hummer's gas-sucking asshole image isn't doing GM any favors, and poor sales numbers make the abuse harder to absorb. On the other hand, Hummers are truly capable vehicles with a rabid (if shrinking) fan base. Then there's the issue of Hummer dealers getting all sue-happy if GM shut the brand down. There still seems to be a logical option, however.

Most of Phelan's arguments center around the drawbacks of shutting Hummer down. Thing is, shuttering the brand has always seemed the least-likely scenario. Instead, GM would be better off selling the brand to an outside investor or automaker who could then supply Hummer products to the markets that demanded them — including the U.S., should they choose to do so. Hummer dealers would mostly remain intact, owners would retain parts and service availability, and the General could post a nice chunk of cash to its books while ridding itself of a brand liability and excess manufacturing capacity. What's not to like here?