Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 20:51 UK

GM discusses sale of Hummer brand

A Hummer H3
GM announced in June it was reviewing the future of the brand

General Motors is discussing the sale of its Hummer brand with a number of potential buyers, the firm has said.

It is part of the car giant's plans to shift its focus away from trucks and large sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Sales of the gas-guzzling Hummers have fallen sharply as rising fuel prices have forced consumers to switch to smaller and more efficient vehicles.

GM recently announced plans to close four factories making the larger models in Mexico and North America.

The company would not confirm the names of any of the parties it is in discussion with.

There has been speculation that two Indian car makers may be interested in Hummer - Tata Motors, which bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, and rival Mahindra & Mahindra.

When GM announced in June that it was considering selling the Hummer brand, analysts said the company should have put it up for sale a couple of years earlier to get the best price for it.

The Hummer's design was based on a military vehicle, known as the Humvee.

Footballer David Beckham used to own one, as did former film star and governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, though he had his Hummer converted to run on biofuel.

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