According to Automotive News, Tata and Mahindra may be interested in buying up the rapidly-depreciating remains of GM's dying uber-SUV brand, Hummer.
You may remember Tata Motors as the subcontinental automaker that picked up Jaguar and Land Rover after Ford cast them off like last season's ugh boots, and is now in the process of turning them around and sending them back on their way to profitability. Will they (or Mahindra) be able to do the same with Hummer? In a global car market that is rapidly shunning thirsty SUVs and concentrating on fuel-efficient small cars and sedans, perhaps buying the biggest and heaviest SUV brand on the planet isn't the best idea.
It's still early days yet, as GM's CEO Rick Wagoner only said that GM was "considering" selling off Hummer on Tuesday. However it seems that GM are now actively pursuing interested parties, as India's Economic Times recently reported that bankers representing GM had already paid a visit to Tata and Mahindra. All three parties are remaining mum on the topic.
GM is clearly desperate to rid itself of the dead weight that is Hummer. Sales for the month of May fell by a massive 60.2% compared to the previous year, and the rising cost of fuel is only going to sway even more buyers towards less thirsty machinery. If we were Tata or Mahindra, we'd be politely declining GM's offer right about now...
June 6, 2008 - 2:00 pm ET
India's two largest automakers could be potential buyers for General Motors' struggling Hummer brand.
India's Economic Times reported Thursday, June 5, that bankers representing GM have approached Tata Motors Ltd. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. about buying Hummer.
On Tuesday, June 3, GM CEO Rick Wagoner said the automaker was considering selling Hummer, which saw sales fall 60.2 percent in May from a year ago and 36.0 percent for the year from the same period in 2007.
It's unlikely that Hummer would be a target for any of the major U.S. or Japanese automakers, which are scrambling to cut truck production as rising fuel prices drive down sales of fuel-inefficient vehicles.
GM would not comment on the report today, saying the review of what to do with Hummer "is just getting under way." Mahindra and Tata both declined to comment on the talks.
Mahindra is planning to sell a compact pickup in the United States next year. It sells a series of SUVs in India under its Scorpio brand.
On Monday, June 2, Tata completed its $2.3 billion acquisition of the Jaguar and Land Rover units of Ford Motor Co. David Smith was named CEO of those units.
[Source: Automotive News (subscription required)]