Avanti Responds to GM Lawsuit Over Studebaker XUV

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Studebaker XUV

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Studebaker XUV

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Hummer H2

CHICAGO, Feb. 17 -- Today, Avanti Motor Corp. announced that plans to roll out the 2004 Studebaker Xtreme Utility Vehicle (XUV) will move forward, despite a recent lawsuit filed by General Motors Corp. General Motors' suit contends that Avanti's Studebaker XUV "knocks off" the shape of GM's Hummer H2 and will confuse the public.

The story of David and Goliath came to mind when Avanti Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Kelly was questioned about the recent lawsuit filed by GM. "There will not be any confusion on the part of the car-buying public," said Kelly. "Put both vehicles side by side, and there's no question that the Studebaker XUV is distinctly different."

Kelly stated that Avanti Motor Corp. never considered using GM, Hummer or H2 designs for their Studebaker XUV. It was also noted that no GM parts were used to build the new Studebaker XUV. "There are no parts of an H2 Hummer that fit on a Studebaker XUV," Kelly said. "Furthermore, the Studebaker is based on original concepts and designs developed by Avanti Motor Corp. The Studebaker XUV has a completely different body style, from the front end to the rear gate, and it has sliding rear side doors and a sliding rear roof, the same as a 1963 Studebaker Wagonaire." The two vehicles in question share absolutely no common parts.

The Avanti Studebaker is more than two feet longer than the H2, and features a rounded hood, distinct front grille, and unique body molding. It also includes several features not found in the GM offering, including power- sliding rear doors and a power-retractable rear roof.

Avanti believes that this frivolous lawsuit was presented to the small manufacturer by General Motors in order for GM to create a monopoly on the market of boxy, utility-type vehicles, thus preventing Studebaker, Ford, or even Chrysler from producing this type of vehicle in the future.

The Hummer H2 is no stranger to legal action. Ironically, last year Daimler-Chrysler sued GM over the design of the vehicle, claiming the grill was a knockoff of the Jeep's classic seven-slot front.

About the Avanti Studebaker Xtreme Utility Vehicle

The 2004 Avanti Studebaker XUV measures 80 inches wide, 79.6 inches tall and 215.5 inches long, with a 134-inch wheelbase and a curb weight of 5,900 lbs. It will be offered with either a 325-horsepower, 6.0-liter turbo-diesel V8 or a 310-hp, 6.8-liter V10. The V10 may be equipped with an optional supercharger, which raises the engine rating to 425 hp. A five-speed automatic transmission will be offered with both engines. The Studebaker's use of the Ford F-250 platform will enable the vehicle to be serviced by an established dealer network.

About Avanti Motor Corp.

Avanti Motor Corp., located in Villa Rica, Ga., is the largest independent carmaker in the United States, and is now in its 40th year. It can be found on the Web at www.avantimotors.com .

For more information, contact Mike Rosen or Don Collignon at Meyer/Fredericks & Associates Ltd., (312) 782-9722.

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