In an interview with Hummer CEO Jim Taylor, The Detroit Bureau found out plenty about the company’s future plans under it’s new owner, Chinese heavy machinery maker Tengzhong.
In the short term Taylor says that the Hummer H3S will be built in a GM facility in Shreveport alongside the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Looking into the future, however, Taylor says that he expects future product development to happen in the U.S. – although where Hummer decides to set up shop will depend on what state gives the automaker the best incentive. As for the company’s main initiatives, they will be to build smaller vehicles that get better fuel economy.
Taylor said that the H4 is coming and that in the next five years Hummer will definitely have some sort of alternative energy vehicle, be it a hybrid, electric or diesel. In fact, he pointed out that Hummer already sells a diesel-powered H3 in South Africa – it just doesn’t meet U.S. emissions standards.
When asked if Hummer would go even smaller than the H4, Taylor said that it was an ongoing topic of discussion. He did, however, add that the most important thing for the company will be meeting stricter fuel-economy regulations, hinting that smaller and more fuel-efficient Hummers might be more of a necessity than a desire.
Additionally, Taylor commented that the trademark image of the brand is likely to change, as the bold Hummer grille and steeply raked windscreen is actually a hindrance to highway fuel-economy.
Most importantly, however, he outlined that Tengzhong is a company with deep pockets and is committed to the brand long term. The auto industry can chew through cash extremely quickly and so to ensure the longevity of the Hummer brand, it was necessary to find a company that was willing and able to look long term.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]