GENERAL Motors may sell off its gas-guzzling Hummer brand as motorists opt for fuel-sipping models in the wake of rising petrol and diesel prices.
The company has also announced that it will close four truck plants in the United States and Mexico and launch the electric Chevrolet Volt car within two years.
GM’s chief executive said the manufacturer would cut total production by 500,000 cars – from 4.2 million to 3.7 million a year – because rising oil prices had triggered a structural shift that had drawn the American population away from buying large vehicles.
He said: ‘These fuel prices are changing consumer behaviour and changing it rapidly. We don’t believe it’s a spike or a temporary shift. We believe it is, by and large, permanent.’
Wagoner said GM’s future was in producing smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles and in fast-growing emerging markets.
Part of GM’s efficiency drive is a strategic review of its Hummer brand that could include either a partial or complete sale.