Breaking news, folks -- Hummer is not coming to China.
Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company pulled out of a deal to buy the Hummer brand from General Motors, apparently because the Sichuan-based company failed to get regulatory approval before a required deadline.
However, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday that it never received an application from Tengzhong regarding the proposed purchase that would have given the company an 80 percent stake in Hummer. The deal was supposedly valued at $150 million.
As a result of the deal falling through, GM has started shutting down operations for Hummer. The development is the latest setback for GM trying to unload its unwanted brands.
Back in October Tengzhong had agreed to buy the Hummer brand, trademark, trade names and intellectual property license rights to build Hummer vehicles. The company was also going to take on existing dealer agreements.
Representatives from the two companies had taken pictures with each other a few months ago in Detroit, which seemed like it was going to be a done deal.
"We are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed," said John Smith, GM's vice president of corporate planning and alliances. "GM will now work closely with Hummer employees, dealers and suppliers to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner."
In a separate statement, Tengzhong said it was "disappointed that the transaction cannot be further pursued, but the company respects the outcome."
Perhaps after the fallout of the financial crisis, or realizing there isn't a huge market for Hummer vehicles, or after the climate change summit that it might be politically incorrect to acquire the brand, or that they didn't have the know-how to properly manage a foreign brand, Tengzhong pulled out.
The public may never know the real reasons behind the decision, whether it was politically motivated or not, but it's an interesting development considering China's bid to expand its expertise and reach overseas.
In the meantime there's a silver lining to this story -- with the end of Hummer these giant gas-guzzling vehicles will eventually become obselete and we'll all be able to breathe a little easier.