"I think all Hummer-owners in China will think their cars are downgraded," said Jun, who bought the H3 through a specialty importer last year for 900,000 yuan ($130,000).
"From the point of view of supporting Chinese products, we are very glad a Chinese company is capable of buying the brand," he said. "From a selfish point of view, I don't really want this to happen."
Tengzhong plans to invest more in research and development to bring more fuel-efficient Hummers for the U.S. market, CEO Yang Yi said in a statement Tuesday. Yang said Hummer's headquarters and operations will remain in the U.S. and the company will continue to be led by its existing management.
Hummer's CEO, James Taylor, said the company wants to launch an "aggressive global expansion." The company said it expects to expand its dealer network, including to China.
Tengzhong gave no other details and spokespeople did not respond Wednesday to requests for more information about its plans and the company's background.
Tengzhong's Web site says the company is privately owned, though that status can be murky in the Chinese system. Comments posted Wednesday on Chinese Web sites for car lovers asked whether China's military financed the Hummer takeover.
GM and Tengzhong gave no financial details of the deal. Tengzhong has not released details of its sales and profits but said earlier it broke ground in October on a 3.5 billion yuan ($500 million) factory to make oil field equipment.
Acquiring and reviving a troubled foreign brand is an established strategy for Chinese automakers that want to speed their development. One leading manufacturer bought Britain's MG-Rover brand in 2006. Another makes London-style taxis with a British partner.
But those Chinese companies already made cars. Tengzhong says its strengths lie in producing construction vehicles, power equipment and building materials.
The communist government is encouraging Chinese enterprises to expand abroad to diversify the economy. Companies have invested in foreign banks, oil companies and mines. Beijing-based personal computer maker Lenovo Group expanded into Western markets by acquiring IBM Corp.'s PC division in 2004. But Beijing is warning buyers not to be too hasty or to attempt overly ambitious takeovers that carry with them debts and other costly obligations, and government-owned banks are unlikely to finance deals that are considered too risky.
China's booming auto market could help to revive Hummer, said Zhang, the analyst.
Monthly auto sales have surpassed those of the United States so far this year and set a record of 1.15 million units in April. Sales of SUVs and other luxury models are growing at double-digit rates. That is despite sticker prices that exceed the lifetime income of the average Chinese worker.
"If they come to China and manufacture here, lower the price and improve the fuel efficiency, then there should be a market here," Zhang said.
If the new owners stick to the United States, "you cannot grow," he said. "In the U.S. market, the customers' attitude is very clear. They want to shift to more fuel-efficient vehicles."