TEXT OF STORY
Steve Chiotakis: It could happen as early as this week. General Motors is in final negotiations to sell America’s most infamous sport-utility brand, Hummer, to a heavy equipment maker in Southwest China. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman wonders how different Hummer will look Chinese-style.
Mitchell Hartman: Not much, at least at first. Hummer would be owned by the Chinese, but the hulking SUVs would still be made in the U.S., saving about 3,000 autoworker jobs.
Analyst George Magliano at IHS Global Insight says the Chinese are muscling into the U.S. auto industry for one simple reason:
George Magliano: American technology.
Magliano says the Chinese are on a crash course in car-making so they can feed their exploding market and take on the world.
Magliano: Companies in China get into the auto business left and right. They’re looking to buy their way in and buy the expertise.
The change in ownership won’t make much difference to Ray Ciccolo, either. He owns a Hummer dealership in suburban Boston. He says sales are down from their heyday, but as long as someone’s making and marketing Hummers, he’ll have buyers.
Ray Ciccolo: A customer that does an awful lot of off-road driving. The other is a customer that just wants to drive something different.
And doesn’t mind driving around 6,000 pounds of steel that gets 12 miles a gallon.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.
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