Monday, January 14, 2013

Jeep – Italian Style

When you think of Italian cars, a Jeep isn't the first thing that springs to mind. For me, I always associate a Jeep with World War II or old episodes of “M*A*S*H.” Much like the Hummer, it had roots as a war vehicle that later was spun off into domestic production.

FIAT is trying to change the way you perceive a Jeep. The Italian automaker unveiled plans in December to begin production of a Italian subcompact Jeep model. It will be based on the same platform that will be used in the production of the Fiat 500L crossover. 

There are going to be a few differences with this new Jeep. The “Jeeplet,” as it's being called,
will be available exclusively in all-wheel drive. Future models will also carry a trail rating that makes it possible to use them for off-road activity – just like a traditional Jeep.

FIAT is going all out in its efforts to remake Jeep into an international brand. The automaker is going to invest more than $1 billion euros into the plant which will manufacture the new Italian Jeep model. It is also planning to export these models all across the globe. Ken Garff DCJ, a Jeep dealer in Utah, is one of many U.S. auto dealers that can hook you up with this newest Jeep.

Success will come when Italy is associated with Jeeps as often as it is with Spaghetti, the Roman Empire and Mafia families. The best way to accomplish that objective? Simple: make the Italian “Jeeplet” the centerpiece of a popular action movie.

Look at what “The Italian Job” did for the Mini Cooper. Do you think anyone beyond auto enthusiasts knew these cars existed before Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron used them as getaway cars in one of the all-time best cinematic chase scenes? The Jeep can comb that same ground and soon everyone will be racing to their nearest Jeep dealer to snap up the latest model.

Put a hot actress behind the wheel and a bad guy in pursuit and the car pretty much sells itself. 


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