GM In Talks To Buy Out Hummer Dealerships

Automotive News reports that General Motors is bribing incentivizing moribund Hummer dealers by prepaying them second- and third-quarter bonuses based upon 2007 sales. The company is also reportedly talking to many dealer principals behind-the-scenes about buyout options, attempting to smooth the transition to a brand sale or closure and avoid some of the expensive legal issues that plagued its Oldsmobile shutdown. Dealers could use all the help they can get: Hummer sales plummeted nearly 60% in June, compared with a year earlier.

The incentive bonuses are not insignificant: Automotive News quoted Miami Hummer dealer Ed Williamson as saying they could "be substantial," often in the six-figures. Williamson would know: He happens to own the highest-volume Hummer store in the country, Williamson Cadillac-Hummer. So how many of the beasts did the hottest location move in June? Thirty-one, or about one per day. That's compared to about 100 a month during 2007.

Jalopnik Snap Judgment: Sales dropping due to a "loser" image? Irrelevant products? A parent company that's given up hope? It's DeSoto, Studebaker and Oldsmobile all over again. Take a picture of yourself next to an H2 soon: One day your kids will say "I can't believe people used to drive things like that!" [Automotive News (Sub. Req.); Photo Credit: A1 Limobus]