We've briefly touched on the subject the of the growing rivalry between the Jeep and Hummer brands - most noticibly with the 7-slotted grill lawsuit that took place over the past couple of years (Hummer 1, Jeep 0).
A long-simmering dispute between the beefy sport utility brands Hummer and Jeep has heated up with one-upmanship claims and accusations of copied designs.
The mud-slinging between the off-road SUV brands began nearly three years ago when DaimlerChrysler AG’s Jeep claimed the about-to-be launched Hummer H2 from General Motors Corp. copied its grille.
That battle ended when a judge allowed the H2 to go into production, but now the war has moved from the courtroom to television commercials, the printed page and the auto show floor.
At stake is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable segments of the market. With sales of the Hummer H2 far above forecasts since it was launched 19 months ago, and GM making plans to expand the brand, Hummer is making a serious run at Jeep’s claim to be the premier American off-road SUV.
The latest spat began when Jeep took a shot at Hummer with a recent TV ad that claims Jeeps are better in the mud.
The commercial shows several kids in Jeep pedal cars slogging through an obstacle course, while a yellow Hummer-like SUV, labeled “Imitator,” gets stuck in the muck. A boy in the Hummer look-a-like can only shake his head when a girl says; “If it’s not Trail-Rated, it’s not a Jeep 4x4.”
The ad recalls a Hummer spot, set to the song “Happy Jack” by rock group The Who, in which a boy wins a soapbox derby with a Hummer-like car by outsmarting his opponents and driving off-road.