Despite an infusion of federal funds, there are reports that General Motors (GM) – the nation's No. 1 and the world's No. 2 automaker is preparing to declare bankruptcy on June 1. GM was leader of the pack for 77 years until 2007 when Toyota surpassed it as the globe's top car seller. Meantime, the company is fielding offers for its king gas-guzzler, the Hummer, which has attracted interested bidders despite its enviro-hostile rep and dismal sales.
Detroit-based GM has received over $13 billion in government support since last year to keep it afloat despite slumping sales, in part due to the firm’s reliance on gas-eating sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks. These vehicles have fallen out of favor in the face of rising oil prices.
The Detroit News reports that GM is mulling declaring bankruptcy and reorganizing in a way that would enable it to retain its most promising Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands. That means the electric-gas hybrid Chevy Volt would continue its rollout, even though GM expects to lose money on the first generation of the high-tech vehicle, according to Automotive News.
As for the Hummer, it turns out that three undisclosed bidders have offered to take it off GM's hands for a cool $100 million to $200 million, Reuters reports.
In other Hummer news: a company called Raser Technologies has plans to turn a Hummer H3 from an environmental nightmare into a hybrid dream machine that would get about 100 miles (161 kilometers) per gallon of gas, according to David West, vice president of marketing for the Utah-based company. “We are resurrecting the Hummer as a green Hummer,” he says.
Raser Technologies is set to debut a prototype of its electric drive train technology built into an H3 at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress next week in Detroit. West says the drive train could be adapted for pickup trucks, such as the Ford’s F-series of trucks, the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram, the No. 2 and 3 best-selling trucks, respectively, in the U.S. – a few lone bright spots for otherwise-ailing GM and Chrysler.
Like the comparatively diminutive Volt, owners would plug in a modified truck to power up its lithium-ion batteries, West says, adding: “It’s like a Volt on steroids.”
A Hummer H3 retrofitted by Raser Technologies to run as a electric-gas hybrid. Image Credit: Raser Technologies