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Seen as the next step in the automaker’s efforts to sell or otherwise get rid of the Hummer brand, several Hummer dealers are saying GM is offering them deals to buy out their operations. In addition, GM paid dealers bonuses early, based on last year’s sales.

Many believe GM is taking the measures in an attempt to avoid legal action from its dealers, a scenario it faced when Oldsmobile was put out to pasture. Dealers have already announced their displeasure when GM brass made a few remarks about possibly selling or closing down the Hummer brand, saying it is hurting their sales.

“Hummer is quietly getting dealers to sign off on their stores and making deals with each one,” Hummer dealer Tim Kelly said in an Automotive News report. Another dealer said he is in talks with GM to sell his dealership but signed a confidentiality agreement.

GM wouldn’t officially comment on its latest moves, but did pay Hummer dealers second- and third-quarter Standard of Excellence bonuses, which average at least six figures. The amounts were based on those from 2007.

Dealers report news of the sale of the brand made top sales people at the franchises jump ship, seeking employment elsewhere.

Hummer has already been struggling as gas prices make the gas-guzzling vehicles unattractive to prospective buyers, with sales falling nearly 60 percent in June.
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