A Facebook page and website purporting to sell merchandise for the proposed General Motors Specialty Vehicles brand is understood to not have the official backing of the US car giant.
Meanwhile, another person whose address is listed in the Northern Territory, has registered four variations of the GMSV name, including General Motors Specialised Vehicles, General Motors Special Vehicles, GM Special Vehicles, and GM Specialty Vehicles.
There appears to be no link between the website and Facebook page selling GMSV merchandise – and the individual who has registered four versions of the GMSV name.
Research by CarAdvice has found none of the above have any official link to – or backing by – General Motors, Holden, or Holden Special Vehicles.
The GMSV merchandise website and Facebook page list for sale t-shirts, caps, car care products and other items with a logo that appears to replicate elements of the Holden Special Vehicles typography.
The Facebook page and website have wording which says “official licenced merchandise”.
The GMSV logo appears to include elements of the Australian and USA flags.
In its business name filings, the logo on the GMSV Facebook page and website is described as having a “southern cross in rectangle with horizontal stripes”.
It lists a business address in Broadbeach Waters, QLD – about 1700km away from Holden’s Port Melbourne head office and Holden Special Vehicles in Clayton.
A statement to media from Holden Special Vehicles – which is in negotiations to transition to General Motors Specialty Vehicles with the closure of the Holden brand at the end of this year – said: “That (GMSV merchandise) website and trademark has no affiliation with HSV or the Walkinshaw Group in any way”.
GMSV is yet to be formally established in Australia and, therefore, has not begun selling or marketing a range of merchandise.
CarAdvice has been told the GMSV merchandise pages and business registrations – all of which were established after Holden announced on 17 February 2020 it was closing its Australian operations by the end of the year – have been brought to the attention of the General Motors legal department in Detroit.
CarAdvice has made phone contact with someone attached to the GMSV merchandise Facebook page and website, but we were asked to call back when the person responsible for it was available. We will update this story with their response.
It is unclear if any of the entities are in breach of Australian or international copyright law given that GMSV is yet to be formally established.
However, as this article was published, the GMSV Facebook page and website claim to offer for sale "official licenced merchandise".
General Motors is known to defend its copyright vigorously, from copycat wheel designs to merchandise.
CarAdvice thanks reader Shaun for bringing this website to our attention.