While the rest of the automotive world simply stared at the news reports about Toyota’s decision to name all its new 2012 model-year cars and trucks “Prius” in a move to further cash-in on the small hybrid’s brand-equity, GM’s legal eagles leaped into action – renaming all of its new 2012 model-year cars “Prius” and filing a lawsuit against the BBC’s hit show Top Gear.
A source within GM’s legal team was willing to speak with Gas 2.0, explaining that “GM brass is sick of people calling them ‘Government Motors’ on account of the bailout, when one of the lawyers said ‘You know, there are some advantages to being ‘Government Motors’ we haven’t really played up. We might as well roll with it.’ Then everyone started talking about the US government’s sovereign immunity and the marketing guys started getting all excited.”
“Sovereign immunity” is, in short, a provision within the US Constitution that states that the federal government cannot be sued without its consent. Once the lawyers explained the idea to the marketing guys, they all realized that, by embracing their role as a federal agency, GM could say and do just about anything it wanted. The end result, of course, is today’s announcement that GM’s new cars and trucks will be named “Prius”, effectively preventing Toyota to continue using the name within the US. Our source went on to explain that “the general attitude was that Toyota’s lawyers could stuff it.”
GM’s attorneys then decided to go after the BBC’s hit show Top Gear, which is also in a legal battle with Tesla Motors over a 2 year-old episode which falsely showed an electric Tesla Roadster running out of “juice” just 55 miles into the test, and being pushed into a garage by 4 men. “We own the Prius name now, and of course there’s the
Chevy Prius Volt, so we have a stake in electric cars. The BBC is making all EV manufacturers look bad, so we’re losing business because of it as well. Besides, we’re the government now. We have the nukes.”
At this point, I inquired about whether GM had spoken to Congress or to President Barack Obama. “No, we haven’t,” she said, “but we have a little something else we’ll be rolling out this afternoon which I think will get him to ‘see things our way’.” and showed me the hastily-drawn logo, below.
GM’s official announcement of the “Prius” change-over is scheduled for later this afternoon – if you plan to TiVo the press conference, be sure to double-check today’s date.
Source: Ms. April Fuhlz, Esq.; within GM legal department.