SHANGHAI: China's engineering giant Tengzhong may finalize a deal with General Motors as early as this week to acquire the US automaker's premium off-road Hummer brand.

The deal would mark the first significant Chinese acquisition of a beleagured US automotive brand, though at this stage, the move has not been approved by the Chinese government.

Tengzhong, which is expected to retain the existing Hummer senior management and operational team, as well as the current dealer network, has been in detailed negotiations with GM since June.

The Hummer is currently sold in more than 30 countries, including China.

It is understood that the price tag for the car is around $170 million, (£104m; €118m) which is much less than the $500 million that GM first looked for, but is in line with market expectations.

Tengzhong's lack of experience in the car industry has raised eyebrows, but China's commerce ministry has defended the move; saying such a deal is entirely normal for a company seeking to take advantage of the global downturn.

Chinese auto maker BYD meanwhile has announced that it is to sell its E6 electric car in the US next year with a price tag of some $40,000.

The car is likely to be available in Europe in 2011.

Data sourced from Reuters; additional content by WARC staff