RUSH: CNBC has just reported that General Motors has sold its Hummer division to the ChiComs. So the Hummer will continue to be made. It just won't be made in the United States. The ChiComs are gonna make it. The question is: Will General Motors -- will Obama -- allow Hummers to be imported? Now, seriously, General Motors is going to be forced to make these little rattrap tinfoil cars, lawn mowers with seats. The guy who isn't running the company, he says, has mandated this. GM already makes these kinds of worthless little ecocars, but they're not going to be allowed to import them. They make them overseas. This is protectionism. It never has worked. It won't work in this case. So they sold off the Hummer, and they're taking it over to the ChiComs.
Well, the Army version of Humvee is a different car. Really the Hummer is just a different body on a Suburban chassis. They just put a different body on a Suburban chassis and make it a Hummer. It's related to the looks of the Army Humvee very, ever so slightly in appearance. But the Army doesn't drive these Hummers around. (interruption) Well, I'll have to... I've been asked, "Who makes the Army's Hummers?" Somebody Google it for me, Google "Hummer" and you'll get it. Hummer is an acronym for what the car is and it's a weird one. It's a typical government acronym and you'll find out who manufactures it. I just can't recall it off the top of my head. Here's a car, the Hummer, and it's been vilified. It's just a rotten SUV. They're going to build 'em in China. ChiComs are going to make 'em and don't know if we'll be able to import them or buy them in the United States.
RUSH: Jim in California, hi Jim, great to have you here.
CALLER: Hello, Rush, always a pleasure.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You're welcome. Yes. I just wanted to let you know that the Humvee, that stood for highly mobile multi-wheeled vehicle, and --
RUSH: That's what it was. Say that again.
CALLER: Highly mobile multi-wheeled vehicle.
RUSH: And it's officially the Humvee.
CALLER: Yeah, the Humvee, that's the military version. And then the civilian version of that, which is just the Hummer, and that stands really for nothing in particular. It was just --
CALLER: -- coined.
RUSH: You're right, exactly right. Hummer became a retail word for Humvee, but the official Army Humvee is a Humvee and it does have that acronym. It's weird, it's typical.
RUSH: And the average military Humvee, just the four-seat Humvee that we see tooling around Baghdad, I mean, the thing's, what, $250,000 or something, it's exorbitantly expensive?
CALLER: Yeah, well, they certainly did get up that high especially when you install armaments, the armor that was needed later on. The Hummer, the civilian version, I used to own an H1. The model was H1. That was made by American General also, because they call came down the same assembly line, Hummers and Humvees, up in Indiana. And it was interesting --
RUSH: Yeah, eventually General Motors bought it, the retail version of Humvee.
CALLER: General Motors when they made the Hummer 2s and the Hummer 3s they had their own assembly plant.
CALLER: And you were right about, yeah, it was just put on a Suburban-like chassis.
RUSH: Exactly. I usually am right.
CALLER: (laughing) Absolutely, but yeah, the Hummer, fortunately what was so attractive about that truck was the fact that it was on a super heavy frame just like the military Humvee.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, I'll tell you what I did. I traded in. I had a Z71 Suburban, one of the two SUVs we have that staff drive, and I traded it in last night for a 2009 Suburban. I wanted to get the latest model SUV I could get before Obama makes them illegal to have. I did. I got $11,000 on the Z71. It was a 2003. Thanks for the call out there, Jim, I appreciate it.
This is David in Oakdale, Minnesota. Nice to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you doing?
RUSH: Good. Excellent.
CALLER: First-time caller, long-time listener.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: With the sale of the Hummer division to the ChiComs, what are the chances that GM is going to hold true with their promise of saving more than 3,000 jobs in manufacturing here in the states?
RUSH: Well, the hell with that. They're going to close 12 factories, 18 to 20,000 GM jobs are lost, Obama said yesterday it's going to get worse, more plants are going to close and more parts distribution centers are going to close, dealerships are going to close. He left the dirty details of that to the CEO of General Motors, Fritz Henderson, to announce yesterday. Before I answer questions here about the Hummer I've got the name of the ChiCom company that has bought Hummer, but I don't know if manufacturing is gonna move to China and after it does I don't know if we're going to be allowed to import them. You know, that's the thing. Remember what I said yesterday, the ChiComs, despite Timmy Geithner, and Timmy Geithner, I don't think he's leveling with us today about what the ChiComs told him about, "Oh, we love your economic strategy, we're not worried." I don't think that's true.
I think Timmy, just as he lied about his taxes, is lying to us. I think one of the real dangers here, they own so much of our debt, they might finally say, "You know what, we're going to stop buying your debt and we're just going to start manufacturing products for our own population and we're going to build up our own economy so our own population can buy the stuff we make and we're going to stop relying so much on exports to you." So whether or not they're gonna export the Hummer back to us or still make it here depends on whether or not -- and I'm serious -- by 2016 any of us are allowed to own one.
RUSH: I checked some email during the break, and I got some people writing to me, "Rush, what do you mean if we're allowed to buy a Hummer down the road? What in the world are you talking about?" I kind of slapped myself upside the head and said, "What are you not getting?" Do you people -- I'm sorry. Not you people. Those of you who e-mail me, do you not understand what has happened out here? Forget what happened yesterday. We'll get to that in just a second. The Obama administration, remember that big press conference, well, you probably don't, since you're asking me what the hell I mean by "if you're allowed to buy a Hummer," Obama grabbed all of these state-controlled industries behind him in a ceremony in the Rose Garden to announce speeding up new CAFE standards. Now, the people standing behind him, he said, had all come together and they had all agreed it was a wonderful thing. They had no choice! They were bitch slapped into agreeing. They were whipped into agreeing.
Here's the bottom line. The new CAFE standards go into effect a year earlier than they were scheduled to and they're stricter. By 2016 the corporate average fuel efficiency or mileage per fleet is a figure that an SUV today does not meet. Now, thankfully corporate average means that all of the cars in a manufacturer's fleet must average the CAFE standard. So if you have an SUV that is below what the mileage is permitted to be they have to have a lot of other Podunk little cars that nobody wants in the fleet that get more mileage than the average that is required so that the SUV or the big car, big truck, balances out the little cars. But then go to yesterday where Obama says while saying he doesn't want to run General Motors, spells out the kind of cars they're going to build. No more muscle cars. The Camaro may be gone, and the Camaro is a profit center. The only muscle car they're going to hold onto is the Corvette, and they don't make a whole lot of those every year. It's all going to be little whirlybird cars, little beanie cars, lawn mowers with seats on them.
This is mandated because Obama says we've all gotta start driving this stuff to save the planet, to save the environment. We've gotta end our dependence on foreign oil so we move forward to today where a ChiCom company buys Hummer from General Motors. Now, let me give you a little history of this, going back to BusinessInsider.com August 18th of 2008, almost a year ago: "Despite how badly GM wants to dump the Hummer, a looming global recession (and of course high oil prices) may be putting the kibosh on that plan. General Motors (GM) had been in preliminary talks with automakers across Asia (including those in India and Russia) regarding the sale of its Hummer division. But now Chinese SUV maker Hunan Changfeng has broken off talks with GM and no longer has any interest in purchasing the gas-guzzler. Their remarks do not bode well for GM." So that's August of last year.
We jump forward to today, two stories, first from the New York Times: "General Motors has reached a preliminary agreement for the sale of its Hummer brand of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks to a machinery company in western China with ambitions to become a carmaker." So the company that bought Hummer doesn't even make cars yet. This is the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd., based in Chengdu. By the way, speaking of all this, in North Korea Kim Jong-il has named his successor, his 26-year-old son. What's the name of the kid? Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-il passed the torch to Kim Jong-un, but this is the younger son. Kim Jong-il considers his middle son, Jong Chol, too effeminate for the job according to his former sushi chef. I kid you not, from the Washington Post. According to Kim Jong-il's former sushi chef, Kim considers his middle son Jong Chol too effeminate for the job. This reminds me of Edward Longshanks, one-time king of England whose son he learned later in life was gay and he had trouble passing the torch to his son, had a big problem with the Scots back then.
So, Chinese company said to be buyer of Hummer -- stick with me here -- from DailyTech.com: "One of GM's most toxic assets has been the iconic Hummer brand. The lineup of gas-hungry mammoth vehicles fell out of favor among consumers last year as gas prices soared. ... The purchase will not include the military technology or military trucks developed by AM General, the original developer of Hummer vehicles." So a ChiCom company does not make cars that wants to get into the business has purchased Hummer from General Motors. Now, I haven't had time to read all the stories. I don't know. I can't answer the question right now whether or not they're going to continue to be made here or they're not going to be made here, they're going to be made in China. I can't tell you if they're going to be imported. But my guess is, and that's why I said, "If you're allowed to buy one," but here is the point. The ChiComs pollute this planet far more than we do. The ChiComs in much of their industrialized sector are a Third World nation in terms of clean up and dealing with pollution and so forth. Talk to anybody who's been over to Shanghai, Beijing, some of these places. Remember they were all worried about smog at the Olympics. They had anti-smog machines, they were going to blow up clouds and do all kinds of things last summer.
At any rate, here we are the greatest country in the history of the world, nobody has ever outdone the United States militarily, economically, in any category, you name it, and what are we doing? We're heading back to the Stone Age. We've got CAFE standards that are gonna put Americans in cars they do not want, while the ChiComs have just purchased Hummer for the express purpose of making them and selling them I would assume around the world, not just in China. Although, again, I don't know if they will be allowed to sell them here. It depends on how long Obama's presidency lasts and what kind of rules he puts in place during his one or two terms. I just think it's such an amazing thing to even say, "if we're allowed to buy one," in the United States of America. I'll tell you something else. This notion that the Hummer was something different than any SUV, gas guzzling, horrible thing, it's just a Suburban. It's got the chassis, you know, slight engine modifications. It's got the chassis of a Chevrolet Suburban. They just put a different body on it.
In fact, this was one of the most brilliant moves General Motors ever made. It cost nothing to develop the damn thing. It didn't require a new manufacturing -- well, maybe a new plant, but they didn't have to retool from scratch to build the thing. Just design a new body, put it on the Suburban chassis, gussie it up inside and make people think it's a brand-new different car, and they charged a lot more for it than they did a Suburban. But of course now with gas prices four dollars a gallon last summer, well, there goes the Hummer, nobody liked it anyway, ugly piece of garbage, blah, blah. All BS.
RUSH: I'm still getting e-mail from people who think, "Rush, you know, you're just going too far here when you say things like, 'If we're allowed to even buy a Hummer.'" You know, I smile. At the same time I get frustrated. It was I, El Rushbo, in 1997, who warned you that your SUV was a target and that they were going to try to get you out of it, and here it is 12 years later and we have a president in the White House whose objective is just that. Now, we have the audio on this. I don't have it at my fingertips here but you remember Obama saying, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times, and then just expect that other countries are going to say, okay"?
"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he said. Just like CEOs cannot fly their jets to Vegas anymore. They can't fly 'em anywhere without a bunch of guilt descending on them except Obama can get on his that we pay for go wherever he wants. "We can't drive our SUVs, eat as much as we want, keep our homes at 72 degrees all the time and then expect other countries are going to say, okay." So you're going to run around and apologize for us. We're going to defer to what the rest of the world wants. This guy's got a chip on his shoulder about this country. He intends to cut this country down to size. He intends to return the nation's wealth to its "rightful owners." This guy's got a... I'm telling you, folks, him and his wife, too. He's got a huge chip on his shoulder.
RUSH: I just want to let you hear it in Obama's own words.
OBAMA: We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes at -- you know, 72 degrees at all times and -- whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra, and then just expect that every other country is going to say, "Okay. You know you guys go ahead and keep on using 25% of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3% of the population, and we'll -- we'll be fine. Don't worry about us." That's not leadership.
RUSH: Right. Well, that's May 18th, 2008, when he said that, and here he is, president, and guess what? It is a legitimate question to ask. Will we be allowed to buy SUVs by 2016? SUVs as we know them today. I have no doubt that somebody's going to design a car that looks like an SUV that weighs about a matchbox or something, that holds maybe two people and one sack of groceries but it's going to look like an SUV of some kind.
RUSH: Okay, so the Hummer, the environmentalists, the UAW, our government chased them off to the ChiComs, are going to be built by ChiCom workers, and they're still going to be putting CO2 in the atmosphere. Wouldn't it have been better if we could have continued to build them here at a lower wage rate even, but still employ more Americans? But no, no, no, no, the government, UAW, and the environmentalist wackos will not allow it.
RUSH: Cameron in Athens, Michigan. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. It's a pleasure to be here.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Thank you for everything you do for this country.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: We really appreciate it.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: I've been a GM customer for 39 years. The first car I ever bought was a '55 Chevrolet, and I've owned every one of their North American products but Buick and Hummer over the last 39 years. I've worked for suppliers that have supplied General Motors. I've worked with their engineers. I've found them to be a very professional, highly innovative, creative company. But after tomorrow, my relationship with General Motors will end.
RUSH: Well, I think everybody's relationship with General Motors has ended. Those who continue to buy cars from General Motors are not really buying from General Motors. We're buying from Obama.
CALLER: Well, General Motors has had a target on their back for several years. I mean if you remember back when GM was posting record quarterly profits, the Democrats and the mainstream media were just vilifying them to no end like they do Exxon now.
RUSH: Absolutely. You know, back when they owned EDS, Electronic Data Systems... They bought that from Perot. They owned Hughes Electronics. They owned a lot. Roger Smith was buying up a lot. They were really diversified. Stock price was way up. Some of the businesses did well; some didn't. But, you're right, they were as big a target as Big Oil is today.
CALLER: And you are right. You are right about the H2 Hummers being, you know, out of reach of Americans because thanks to the Democrat inclusion of language (I believe it was in an EPA bill a few years ago) that ended the civilian version of the H1 Hummer. We can no longer get them because they were legislated out of existence.
RUSH: Yeah. The H1 was closer to the military version.
RUSH: That's the one Schwarzenegger had and was driving around.
CALLER: Yep. He had several of them. He had six.
RUSH: He might have had one of the first ones that was manufactured for retail that was a direct descendant of the military version.
CALLER: Yeah, because he drove a couple of them in his movies, and he really liked them. So they made one for him.
RUSH: Yeah. He was driving the kids to school with them when Maria wasn't looking.
CALLER: Yeah. They're great vehicles, as I say, it's too bad because this company, if left alone -- and, like I say: Working inside the automotive industry, I don't think people realize how much it costs to bring a new car to the market, everything that is involved. I mean, they have to crash test hundreds of vehicles prior to that.
RUSH: I know.
CALLER: It's ridiculous.
RUSH: I know. Most people don't understand most things about businesses they've ever worked in.
CALLER: Well, like I say it's too bad. Overregulation since the late 1970s, when the first CAFE standards came about, and it's killed Michigan.
RUSH: Tell me again why your days of buying General Motors are finished?
CALLER: The biggest reason is because after looking at the way Social Security has been run and Medicare and anything the government runs. Anything that the government that is run by liberals touches, they destroy it. So it's not worth having. It will be overpriced and it will be completely worthless.
RUSH: You know what they'll bring back? Not on purpose. They'll bring it back due to their incompetence. Planned obsolescence. I swear, when I turned 16 back in 1967. Back then, I know what the plan was. You buy a car, usually you got a three-year loan on the car, and when you were within months of paying it off the car starts breaking down. Planned obsolescence. It was designed that way so that you trade it in and get a new one. Then, you know, the Germans and the Japanese started making cars that didn't break down in three years, and you didn't have to trade them in as soon. Now, they cost more as a result.
CALLER: And they're already doing that.
RUSH: Now, what's going to happen... Yeah, what's gonna happen is planned obsolescence will be back because of the incompetence. I mean, the guy that's dismantling General Motors is a Yale almost-law school graduate, who may not have ever even been inside a dealership, much less a factory. Thirty-one-year-old guy. Thanks for the call out there, Cameron. I appreciate it.