by Jing Zhao Cesarone
CHICAGO, June 5 (Xinhua) -- General Motor's Hummer is
considered as an exaggerated and extreme example of a disregard for the
environment and there are significant brand negatives for the Chinese company
Tengzhong to buy it, a U.S. financial expert said Friday.
In an interview with Xinhua, Richard L. Wottrich,
managing director of International at Dresner Partners, an investment banking
firm based in Chicago, said, "The vehicle is too big, uses too much gas, and is
viewed as a toy for the rich. These are rather significant brand negatives for
the Chinese company Tengzhong to consider."
"Hummer is a difficult brand name to reconcile with
current global conditions and political thought," he said.
Wottrich further explained, "The brand is based upon
the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee), a military 4WD
motor vehicle manufactured by AM General. It is an essential part of the
landscape of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. AM General sold the rights to the
Hummer name to GM in 1999."
Wottrich has over 30 years' experience in the
financial services industry, providing business owners with exclusive
representation and consultation in mergers and acquisitions.
Regarding the potential risks, Wottrich noted, "In
the General Motors arsenal of products, Hummer was just another product choice
along with dozens of others. For Tengzhong, concentration on a single brand
carries higher risks."
Wottrich said, "The final consideration is brand name
development and new products. What market will Tengzhong focus on? The mature
and stable Western markets have the negative views of Hummer mentioned. If they
target developing countries, this becomes a symbol of wealth obtainable by few."
Wottrich has initiated merger and acquisition
transactions in China and has delivered speeches at several influential events
such as "2005 Summit of CEOs and Career Managers of Chinese and Foreign
Enterprises" in Beijing and the Greater China Business Conference at the Kellogg
School of Management, Northwestern University, in 2008.
It was reported one day after GM filed Chapter 11
bankruptcy on June 1 that GM had struck a deal to sell its Hummer truck unit to
a privately owned Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd. in
The Hummer and other large vehicles have been a drag
on the U.S. auto industry since fuel prices spiked in 2008 and the recession
GM said it sold 5,013 Hummers worldwide in the first
quarter, down 62 percent from the 13,050 that it sold in the same period of the
Hummer isn't the only brand that GM is leaving
behind. The automaker will also shed its Pontiac, Saturn and Saab brands and cut
loose more than 2,000 of its 6,000 U.S. dealerships by next year.