Thursday, November 09, 2006

GM seeks to lift overseas sales of Hummer brand

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
GM seeks to lift overseas sales of Hummer brand
Bloomberg News

General Motors Corp. wants to boost international sales of its Hummer brand to about 25 percent, more than double the current share, the division's chief said.

"I can see it occupying perhaps 25 percent of the sales going forward," Hummer General Manager Martin Walsh said Monday. A new South African plant will help burnish the brand's image outside the U.S., he said.

Hummer is one of only two GM brands to add U.S. sales in 2006. Hummer sales rose 44 percent through September to 53,236 vehicles as the H3, the brand's smallest model, almost doubled. Saturn has posted GM's other sales gain this year.

Global sales now account for 10 percent of Hummer's sales, Walsh said. GM sales outside the U.S. have grown twice as fast as the industry average in the past six years, as the world's largest automaker added brands including Cadillac and Hummer in markets such as Russia and China.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said in September the Detroit-based automaker was considering adding two or three new Hummer models, including a pickup truck and smaller sport utility vehicle.

For much of the world, Lutz said, the H3 is considered a "fairly large vehicle." The H3 weighs about 4,940 pounds (2,245 kilograms), according to Consumer Reports' Web site.

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