TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Reuters) -- Upstart automaker Avanti Motor Corp. has agreed to change the design of a large sport utility vehicle that General Motors claimed in a lawsuit was a "knock-off" of its popular Hummer H2 SUV, the two companies said on Friday.
Avanti, which sells about 150 of its handcrafted cars a year, reached an out-of-court settlement with GM to make some minor changes to the Studebaker XUV, reviving the Studebaker name four decades after it went out of business.
Avanti agreed to change the design so it looks more like the 1963 Studebaker Wagonaire than the Hummer H2, GM said.
"There are going to be some changes made in the car's design, but we're talking really minor alterations," said Don Collignon, a spokesman for Avanti.
He said the Studebaker XUV (short for "Xtreme Utility Vehicle") will have a more streamlined look rather than the boxy Hummer H2, but it will still be a massive 215.5 inches (547.4 centimeters) long.
Among the changes are a steeper slant to the windshield and front pillar, the removal of hood latches and vents and larger side windows, Avanti said. Avanti had planned to make some of those changes regardless of the lawsuit, Collignon said.
Production of the Studebaker XUV is expected to begin in the fall at Avanti's plant in Villa Rica, Georgia. The SUVs will have a starting price of around $75,000 and Avanti expects to sell about 1,000 a year, Collignon said.
"GM has protectable trademark rights in the configuration of the Hummer H2, and we will protect those rights against anybody who attempts to infringe GM's valuable intellectual property." GM trademark attorney Chuck Ellerbrock said in a statement.
The Avanti lawsuit wasn't GM's first legal entanglement involving Hummer design.
DaimlerChrysler AG unsuccessfully sued GM to try to force it to the change the grille on the Hummer H2, which it said copied the the seven vertical slots on the front of its Jeeps since World War II.