GENEVA -- Hummer may produce its H3 mid-sized SUV in Russia, says Hummer General Manager Susan Docherty.
Avtotor, a contract knockdown assembler in Kaliningrad, Russia, builds the H2 for European sales.
Docherty says General Motors will consider building the H3 in Europe "if it makes economic sense.
"I have not yet talked with Avtotor about the H3," Docherty says. "But who is to say it wouldn't do it with the H3 as well?"
Avtotor built 140 H2s last year. The assembler also builds cars for other GM brands and BMW.
Hummer is trying to boost sales outside the United States, and Europe is a prime target.
Hummer sold 430 H2s in Europe in 2003, its first sales year there. Last year, 600 H2s were sold in Europe.
Few Hummer H1s are sold in Europe because it is too wide for the streets. The H1 is the civilian version of the Humvee military vehicle.
The new smaller H3, which shares an architecture with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, starts production this summer at GM's Shreveport, La., plant. U.S. sales of the H3 will begin this spring.
The H3 goes on sale in Europe late this summer with a 3.5-liter I-5 engine. The H3 will be offered with a diesel engine in Europe, Docherty says.
A premium Hummer H1 Alpha with a diesel is offered in the United States. The automaker is weighing diesels for the H2 and H3.
"We absolutely need a diesel for Europe and global sales," she says. "But we have not decided which one. It will be something out of the GM parts bin, and it will be something that ensures the H3's off-road capabilities."
Docherty expects to sell 500 H3s and 600 H2s in Europe this year. In 2006, she expects the brand's European sales to hit 2,000 units. Hummer's global sales goal is 30,000 units this year and 55,000 to 60,000 in 2006.
Hummer will appoint a European distributor within weeks.
Hummer has a deal with Dutch importer Kroymans Corp. to distribute the H2 in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Kroymans also is the Cadillac distributor.