LAS VEGAS — Dan Towbin, owner of Towbin Hummer and several other Las Vegas dealerships, plans to close the Hummer store and open a Smart franchise, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“I feel very aligned with the brand,” Towbin said. “Neither General Motors nor I wanted to go this way.”

Towbin Hummer is one of the largest Hummer dealerships in the U.S. and the eighth to close so far this year. Earlier this month, GM COO Fritz Henderson said that the automaker hoped to complete the sale of the Hummer division by the end of 2008 or early 2009, citing "significant interest" in the brand. Meanwhile, sales of Hummer's three models have declined by nearly 50 percent year-over-year.

The Journal also noted that Hummer buyers received an average of $8,861 in incentives last month, an industry-high 22.6 percent of the MSRP. Towbin reported average incentives closer to $6,000 per unit, not including GM's employee-pricing discount.

Towbin's chain of dealerships includes luxury franchises such as Rolls Royce, Bentley and Infiniti, which were made famous as a backdrop to A&E's "King of Cars" reality TV series. His next franchise will sell the ultralight, ultracompact Smart cars, which made their U.S. debut this year.

The full text of the Wall Street Journal article can be read here.