State media describes Tengzhong's sale as “a snake attempting to swallow an elephant”
24 June 2009

Hummer’s proposed sale to a Chinese machinery manufacturer has been met with continued derision among China’s media and car industry.

GM has agreed a deal with Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., but there remain doubts that the sale will be ratified by the Chinese government.

Industry analysts, the Communist state media and car executives have all questioned the Sichuan’s move, with one news agency describing it as “a snake attempting to swallow an elephant.”

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A Chinese Communist party spokesman said: “Is it an international acquisition or an international joke?”

China's official Xinhua News Agency said that Sichuan's move could be simply a publicity stunt to try and raise its profile and gather capital for the firm.

It said: “It couldn't achieve this result (of raising its profile) even if it spent $100million (£60million) on advertising.”

China's Ministry of Commerce said at a press briefing that Sichuan had yet to file for government approval for its Hummer acquisition.

He said it was normal for Chinese firms to go global, but he seemed to pour cold water on the Hummer deal when he said: “We hope Chinese companies learn more about international market rules and development trends in their industries and make prudent investments.”

The US government is unlikely to block the sale of Hummer to a Chinese company as part of GM’s restructuring process, as it is eager to offload GM's unprofitable assets.

Mark Tisshaw

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