Hummers used to be a symbol of American greatness, or gratuity -- if there's a difference. Now a Chinese manufacturer is buying the company. How the mighty have fallen? Or, how the almost-as-mighty have been suckered into buying a worthless car company?

The New York Times reports that the GM has agreed to sell its Hummer SUVs and trucks to the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd., a western Chinese machinery company that would like to start making cars. (Some advice from American experience: Don't make Hummers.)

The deal, which analysts predicted would be around $500 million, represents the final insult to a company that rose to prominence in the early years of the Iraq war, as Americans shared in the aesthtic experience of road combat. Back in 2003, when Hummers were selling like hotcakes or war rationales, corporate spokeswoman Heather Hal said this about her brand: "The folks who buy Hummer are confident, self-assured and entrepreneurial. They like the vehicle because they see in it what they see in themselves." So let's applaud China's confidence, self-assuredness and entrepreneurship. The symbol of American gratuity will soon be transporting heavy duty in central Asia. Welcome to Fareed Zakaria's world.


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