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HUMMER Still Has American Bidder Interested

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2010 Hummer H3

2010 Hummer H3

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General Motors (NYSE: GM) says it will proceed with the shutdown of the HUMMER brand, but TheCarConnection has confirmed that an American company has twice expressed interest in a HUMMER deal--both before and after a failed bid from a Chinese company.

Raser Technologies (NYSE: RZ) is a Utah-based engineering firm that has produced electric-conversion 2009 HUMMER H3 prototypes. According to sources, Raser made an offer for HUMMER but was denied in favor of the eventual bid by Chinese truckmaker Sichuan Tengzhong--a bid that eventually failed due to lack of financing and possibly, pressure from the Chinese government.

The same sources indicate Raser bid again in a second round after Tengzhong's offer fell apart. Raser is said to have met nearly all the conditions for a HUMMER acquisition that were laid out for potential bidders. While a final offer price has not been confirmed, the Tengzhong bid topped $150 million, and any subsequent offer would likely have been worth far less.

After a potential takeover of the brand from GM, Raser's plan would have been to turn HUMMER into a "green" brand. According to the company's Web site, Raser's main focus is on geothermal energy, but the company has also developed its own extended-range plug-in hybrid technology that could be beneficial--or a direct competitor--to General Motors' own patents for "E-REV" hybrids like the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.

Last year, Raser showed its technology in a HUMMER H3 at the 2009 SAE Congress, and later shipped the test vehicle to Sacramento for a test drive by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the recurring characters in the HUMMER story since the brand was created with GM buying the name rights from military supplier AM General.

The Raser plug-in HUMMER H3 offers performance specs that sound similar to those of the Volt--with 40 miles of battery-only operation possible, and a 400-mile driving range in all, with 100-mpg-plus fuel economy possible according to Raser's estimates.

GM said earlier this week it would proceed with a HUMMER shutdown, but as its recent experience with Saab would indicate, there remains a chance HUMMER could be sold.

GM said last year it would shut down the HUMMER brand as a coda to its bankruptcy filing. While it closed Pontiac on its own, it attempted to sell three other brands to recover some of its huge investments. HUMMER has been one of those brands; after lengthy negotiations with Koenigsegg, GM sold the Saab brand to Victor Muller's Spyker, after he met conditions for a $500 million loan from the European Union. The final orphan brand, Saturn, nearly was sold to Penske Automotive Group, but in the final negotiations Penske declined to complete the deal after it failed to line up a source for new vehicles for the never-profitable brand.

Spokesmen for Raser and HUMMER would not comment on the record.

TheCarConnection's sources also indicate that to their knowledge, India's Mahindra group, which is preparing to sell its compact trucks in the U.S. and has long been suggested as an ideal suitor for HUMMER, never has expressed interest in acquiring the brand.

Electric 2009 HUMMER H3 by Raser Technologies and FEV

Electric 2009 HUMMER H3 by Raser Technologies and FEV

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Comments (9)
  1. what is the criteria laid out for potential bidders?
    I can't imagine rasertech qualifying to bid
     
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  2. Why would GM want to sell HUMMER to a company that would compete with it in the plug-in hybrid business? It would only tend to show that GM mismanaged the brand.
    On the other hand, why would anybody who liked HUMMER the way it was (like me) want to buy a Greenie-Machine makeover of one? Part of the brand's allure was that its power, attitude, fuel consumption and off-road prowess were a deliberate poke in the eye at the Eco-Nazis.
    Wait ten years and I'll predict all the Hummers will be prized collectibles.
     
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  3. Wondering what an "acquisition" of Hummber means for GM vis a vis the true economics of a deal. I am assuming they are at the point of literally saying they'll pay the acquiring partner to take the asset - likely cheaper than shutting down completely. However, at one point, this paying folks to take your assets has to reach a point of becoming non-sensible.
     
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  4. Am I missing something? Doesn't a Rocky Mountain company that wants to make Hummer a patriotic eco brand seem perfect? What's GM thinking?
     
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  5. Come on. When fuel gets back to $4/gallon this summer, everyone will understand why nobody except publicity seekers would want to keep these pigs alive.
     
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  6. I really don't see that a hybrid H3 would be much competition for the Volt. Hybrid Tahoe yes that would be some competition but not a lot. I think they should just sell the H3 under the GMC banner. Maybe even put the H2 on a half ton chassis with a 4.5 Duramax. That wont work because like any good idea GM postponed (killed) the 4.5 Dmax.
     
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  7. jnoble
    I can't believe this. I don't think I'll ever buy another GM vehicle. As a taxpayer this makes me really angry. GM could not or chose not to build a green SUV and instead of selling the brand to viable buyer with this experience they decided to shut it down. This is bad for the industry, hurts the consumer, will result in layoffs and bad for the American economy. Shame on General Motors.
     
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  8. Hey Benevolous, the day you get in an electric car or truck and snap your neck with silent torque you will realize that the electric car is the thing you always wanted.
     
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  9. I must be missing something. Razer should see about jointly with Mahindra buying Hummer from GM. That way Mahindra can bring its small SUV's under the familiar Hummer name. They already clone fronts from Hummers and Jeeps on their offerings. GM would also have the confidence in and maybe more cash from a larger entity that way. My assumption is that GM is looking for the pay day that will come from the tax write off of Hummer. It could care less about the job losses and state's economies affected. Since we own 60% of GM, President Obama should just tell GM to make the sale to Raser, particularly since they will do what GM was to stubborn and dumb not to do -- making the Hummer more fuel efficient. Where is that business loving Utah delegation headed by Orrin Hatch when you want them to weigh in for a constituent. Oh, as usual, on the wrong side of an issue! Also, Senator Vitter is to busy chasing skirts to be worried about pursuing this angle to save jobs in Louisiana!
     
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