In a strange twist of fate, the plant that once built big, gas-hungry Hummers has been bought by a startup looking to build electric cars.
On June 22, Chinese-backed electric car startup SF Motors announced plans to acquire AM General’s commercial vehicles plant located in South Bend, Indiana. This is the plant where AM General built civilian models like the Hummer H2 for General Motors prior to the automaker’s bankruptcy and eventual demise of the Hummer brand late last decade.
AM General will retain its separate plant for military vehicles located at the same site. The two plants have always operated independently, and following the close of the transaction, they will belong to totally separate and independent companies.
No details on the price SF Motors is paying for the plant have been released. The good news is that the electric car startup plans to keep the 430 staff currently involved at the plant. AM General was in line to close the plant at the end of the year when its current manufacturing contract is due to expire, and those 430 jobs would have been lost.
SF Motors is the new electric car brand of China’s Chongqing Sokon Industry Group, which manufactures commercial vehicles as well as automotive components. SF Motors has its headquarters in Santa Clara, California along with R&D centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in the Chinese cities Beijing and Chongqing.
SF Motors hasn’t revealed any details on its electric cars apart from them being environmentally friendly and connected.
In related news, an American startup, Bob Lutz and Henrik Fisker’s VLF, is building Hummer H1s for sale in China. VLF is using AM General’s Humvee C-Series kits and is building the military-strength SUVs at its plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan.