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GM confident in Hummer sale

DETROIT, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Top executives at General Motors Co. said they were confident the sale of its Hummer brand would meet with Chinese government approval and move forward.

"I'm optimistic it's going to happen," President of General Motors China Kevin Wale said to reporters at the Automotive News World Congress.

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Last week, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre Jr. said, "as far as we know, it's proceeding like it should proceed," the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

GM agreed to sell the Hummer brand to Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. in October. But the deal, which has a Jan. 31 deadline to close, requires approval from regulators in China -- a mandated step for companies breaking into a key businesses.

GM is scheduled to close down its Pontiac brand, but has not made final decisions on Saab and Saturn, which have garnered some interest from buyers who later backed away from signing an agreement.

Separately, Wale said GM sold 1.8 million vehicles in China in 2009, a 67 percent increase from 2008, the Free Press said.

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