Mahindra Axe

India’s Economic Times reported that General Motors has approached Indian companies Tata and Mahindra regarding a possible offloading of the Hummer brand to either of the two companies. GM has seen Hummer sales fall as much as 60.2% in the past year, which is really not surprising at all considering the price of fuel and how much of the black gold it takes to get those giant trucks moving.

Mahindra already has its own Indian version of the Hummer called the Mahindra Axe (shown above). Two versions are available, a 4.0 litre petrol version using a GM Vortec engine, or a 2.7 litre turbodiesel powered by a Mercedes-Benz derived Ssangyong engine, similiar to the one in the Rexton.

The diesel version can achieve between 8 to 9km per litre of diesel, while the petrol version achieves between 6 to 7km. The fully independent suspension Axe is currently for defense usage, but a civilian version is expected to arrive next year, and will come with an automatic transmission.

In the big picture, General Motors continues struggling financially. The company lost US$38.7 billion in 2007, which completely overshadows whatever black or red that we’ve ever seen in Proton’s books.

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has been under pressure from shareholders to cut his own US$15.7 million annual salary in face of the company’s financial struggles and buck up on performance, or “have the Japanese come in and run the whole place”, as suggested by one shareholder John Lauve.

Mary Ann Wiley, a 77 year old GM shareholder for the past 70 years attended her first shareholder meeting this year. Her personal comment to Wagoner: “I came to scold you for your greed. If the company does not do well, management should take an equal hit, and I don’t think they’ve taken an equal hit.”

She also criticized GM for unnecessarily spending money renting the Hotel DuPont’s Gold Ballroom for its annual shareholder meeting, instead of using a factory.