DETROIT -- General Motors is taking its Hummer brand, and its H3 SUV, global.
Starting late next year, GM will build a global version of the H3 at a GM plant in Struandale, South Africa. The additional volume will be dedicated to export markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa and will focus on content, such as right-hand drive, for H3 products sold exclusively outside North America.
The total investment is expected to be $100 million.
Hummer will also add a diesel engine at a later date.
Assembly of the H3 will begin during the last quarter of 2006 in the Struandale production facility in Port Elizabeth. Annual production volume of the mid-sized SUV for export markets could eventually exceed 10,000 units per year, according to Maureen Kempston Darkes, president of GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
Hummer's H1 and H2 models have been sold primarily in the United States and Canada, although GM began exporting H2 to countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East last year.
The GM plants in Port Elizabeth currently assemble Opel and Isuzu products.
Production of the H3 will begin this spring at GM's Shreveport, La., plant. Those vehicles are primarily destined for markets in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
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