Avantis Studebaker XUV Sport Utility Will Have to Change
Avanti Motor Corp., best known for its reincarnated Studebaker Avanti replica, has agreed to modify the design of its upcoming sport utility vehicle. The two companies came to an amicable agreement out of court.
First shown at the Chicago Auto Show, the Studebaker XUV (Xtreme Utility Vehicle) came under fire for looking like a “knock-off” of General Motors Hummer H2, or at least thats what the lawsuit stated.
Avantis Studebaker, at a targeted 150 handcrafted units per year, is hardly a threat to the popular H2, but trademark infringement is trademark infringement and the tiny automaker will have to make changes.
Modifications to the front and rear fascia will help the XUV to look more like the 1963 Studebaker Wagonaire, which ties the famed name to some historical relevance, a positive result.
“There are going to be some changes made in the cars design, but were talking really minor alterations,” said Don Collignon, a spokesman for Avanti.
While still massive, at 215.5-inches long, Collignon said the new Studebaker sport utility will look more streamlined compared to the boxy H2, with more rake to the windshield and A-pillar, taller side windows, exterior vent modifications and no hood latches. Collignon added that Avanti had already planned to make many of these changes, lawsuit or not.
This is good news to GM, that doesnt take what it sees as plagiarism lightly. According to GM trademark attorney Chuck Ellerbrock, “GM has protectable trademark rights in the configuration of the Hummer H2, and we will protect those rights against anybody who attempts to infringe GMs valuable intellectual property.”
GM are well versed in protecting Hummer design cues after fighting DaimlerChrysler AG who attempted to force a Hummer grille change, citing it was too close in design to the legendary seven vertical slot Jeep grille, part of the storied 4x4s design since the World War II Willys.
Avanti is said to be starting production of its Studebaker XUV this fall at its Villa Rica, Georgia facility. At a base price of approximately $75,000 Avanti hopes to sell about 1,000 units per year.