DETROIT -- The Chinese manufacturer planning to buy General Motors' Hummer brand will expand Hummer's lineup -- including vehicles with alternative powertrains -- and retain its U.S. dealerships, Hummer CEO Jim Taylor said last week.
GM said it plans to sell Hummer to the Chinese equipment manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., of Sichuan province. Terms were not disclosed.
"We've been in talks with these guys for over six months," Taylor told Automotive News. "The reality is in China you have folks that are willing to make investments all over the world. They see a lot of growth potential with this brand both inside and outside of China."
The preliminary agreement means Hummer's 150 U.S. dealerships will be safe as long as the sale goes through, Taylor said.
He said corporate average fuel economy requirements will be a challenge for Hummer in the United States. U.S. fleets must average 35.5 mpg in the 2016 model year.
Hummer's smallest vehicle, the H3 SUV, gets 14 mpg city and 18 highway.
"The immediate challenge is to regain our sales momentum," Taylor said. "Then we have to go after some product changes that will get us into that space where we are compliant with new federal regulations.
"You'll see a broader lineup. That means more models and alternative powertrains that meet the federal regulations."
Taylor will remain CEO, but it is unclear where Hummer will base its U.S. engineering and corporate offices, he said.
Sichuan Tengzhong is a privately owned maker of heavy special-use vehicles, structural components for highways and bridges, and construction machinery.
GM said the deal is scheduled to close by the third quarter and should secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs in manufacturing and engineering and at Hummer dealerships.