GM is so inept it can’t even sell a Hummer

It took some time but Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. finally realized what a bad idea buying Hummer would be. Yesterday the Chinese company announced it was pulling its offer to purchase the brand. From the start, the attempt to dump Hummer has been another testament to the company’s ineptitude. GM began trying to sucker someone into paying for the brand in June of 2008 – when gas was averaging $4.10 a gallon.

The Hummer’s greatest success may be as a metaphor for the past decade. It was a bloated, self-indulgent vehicle with no purpose other than to say, “Look how much debt I can take on just to show off how much debt I can take on.”* It proclaimed a belief that markets never go bad, in this case that gas will always be cheap. However it isn’t much of a stretch to say a similar belief permeated the minds who thought real estate could only gain in value.

The Atlantic is floating the scary idea that Hummer may not yet be dead and that someone may yet come along and revive the monster. Get the pitchforks and torches! Let us storm the castle and cut off the beast’s head and drive a stake through its transmission! For capitalism’s sake, follow me!

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See also Hummer, slang meaning of.

*I know there are farmers and others who actually used the damn thing for work purposes, they are exempt from this metaphor.

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Would you buy a used metaphor from GM?

The astoundingly badly run General Motors Corp. has decide that now is the time to try to sell off the Hummer brand.

“Unfortunately, it’s just a sign that once again they’re behind the curve,” said Peter Jankovskis, a chief investment officer with OakBrook Investments, which owns GM shares in some of its portfolios. “If they were looking to sell the Hummer brand, the more sensible thing would have been to do it three years ago. They’re not going to get anything for it. Just in terms of timing, it’s a very poor example.”

I’m no auto genius — which I’m at least willing to admit — but walking past a Hummer dealership this past weekend told me everything I needed to know about the brand and its future. Even the tumbleweeds were avoiding the place.

The Hummer has managed to combine a double entendre and gross conspicuous consumption since it hit the civilian market in 1992. GM bought it in 1999.

At the same time, the Detroit auto maker affirmed its commitment to funding production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric-hybrid vehicle, with a target of hitting showrooms by late 2010.

An electric car?!?!? What a great idea!!!!! Why didn’t GM think of this before … wait, never mind.