General Motors Is Said to Consider Potential Buyers for Hummer

General Motors Co. is considering expressions of interest from several potential buyers for its Hummer brand after the planned sale to a Chinese company collapsed, five people briefed on the discussions said.

GM may still wind down Hummer because most of those interested have done little or no due diligence on the unit, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. The Detroit-based automaker expects some of the parties to drop out soon, the people said.

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“It’s a brand that could be something viable,” James N. Hall, principal of consulting firm 2953 Analytics Inc. in Birmingham, Michigan, said yesterday. “But the buyer has to have the constitution to see it through.”

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said Feb. 24 that it would begin shuttering Hummer because Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. wasn’t able to complete a purchase of the sport-utility vehicle unit. GM is shedding Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac to focus on the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC U.S. brands after exiting bankruptcy in July.

GM won’t comment on speculation about possible buyers, said Nick Richards, a Hummer spokesman. “If there are viable alternatives for all or part of the brand during wind down, we will consider them,” he said.

None of the interested parties has shown that they have cash in hand, said one of the people, a GM executive. The automaker won’t sell Hummer without seeing some money up front, as GM mandated when it was negotiating an agreement to sell the Saab brand to Spyker Cars NV, the executive said.

Like Saab

After talks with exotic sports-car maker Koenigsegg Group fell through in November, GM sold the Saab business this month to Spyker, led by Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller.

“People might wonder why we still want to leave the door open, but look what happened with Saab,” said Jim Taylor, CEO of Hummer. “There are Victor Mullers out there. You have to let everybody knock on the door, look at them and then decide. Miracles happen.”

Sichuan Tengzhong, based in Chengdu, China, said Feb. 24 that it was “unable to obtain clearance from the Chinese regulators within the proposed deal time frame.”

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