The news that an obscure Chinese heavy equipment manufacturer is probably making government officials pull their hair out in frustration, writes Andrew Peaple of the Wall Street Journal. “Beijing is keen for Chinese companies to expand overseas,” he allows. “But they’re also hoping for some common sense.” Instead we have Sichuan Tengzhong, a small company that lacks English-speaking execs, taking over an American icon.
Sure the deal is small in terms of dollars—at most a mere $500 million will change hands—and Sichuan Tengzhong will compensate for its cultural and language barriers by leaving American management in place. But cross-border auto deals rarely work out, and the Hummer brand is fraught with inconvenient symbolism. And, Peaple writes, Hummer “isn’t exactly a snug fit with Beijing’s efforts to promote a more environmentally friendly image.”