Hummer Plans H4, H5 Amid Uncertain FutureS

Hummer is being sold to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery with production of current generation vehicles to be carried out under contract by GM. Moving forward, Hummer's new Chinese leaders plans to get smaller with an H4 and H5.

Hummer brand CEO Jim Taylor, speaking with Automotive News, discussed Hummer's rather hazy future. Though the sale has not yet been finalized, the agreements are in place to sell the brand to Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery for $150 million, while that doesn't include any kind of manufacturing capacity, it does have a good deal of intellectual property in the transaction. GM will be providing contract manufacturing of the current Hummer brand products until the negotiated contract ends, but it's up to Tengzhong, Hummer, and Jim Taylor to work out a plan after that.

Currently Hummer is working with Austrian consulting firm AVL to determine a future path for brand and product lineup. The idea is to continue pushing the brand smaller, lighter, and more environmentally friendly. That includes the introduction of the smaller-than-the-H3 Hummer H4 and after that an apparently microscopic Hummer H5. The H4 will be based on the HX concept car and may include a hybrid drive system to push fuel economy up to respectable levels.

More daunting than working out Hummer's product plan is laying out a production system including manufacturing and engineering capacities, supply chains and the like. Essentially, once GM production ceases on the current H2 and H3, Hummer will be starting with a seven bar grille and a name synonymous with gas-guzzling behemoths. Tengzhong has promised to spend big on Hummer with increased production and a wad of advertising cash to re-tool the brand's image, but still, it'll be an uphill battle. Best of luck with all that, Mr. Taylor. [AutoNews (sub req.) via Hummer Guy]