Group LLC’s Jeep brand offers olive as a primary color in three of its 70th Anniversary models, but the auto maker maintains there is nothing drab about their interiors.
Special-edition ’11 Liberty, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs can be had with dark olive seats that recall the military uniforms in vogue when Willys-brand general-purpose vehicles, later called Jeeps, made their battlefield debut in 1941.
“The Jeep brand’s legendary heritage and capability have made it iconic – well-known and loved throughout the world,” Mike Manley, Jeep President and CEO, says in a statement. “Since they were first produced in 1941, Jeep vehicles have been the authentic benchmark for off-road capability.”
Expected in dealer showrooms before second quarter, the 70th Anniversary Edition models debut today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Versions of the Jeep Patriot and redesigned-for-’11 Compass, classified as small cross/utility vehicles in Ward’s segmentation, offer slate-colored seating. All anniversary-edition models have chestnut-colored accents and piping.
Other features include commemorative badges and logos, unique instrument clusters and a new exterior color called “Bronze Star.”
Prices range from $22,170 plus a $700 destination charge for the Patriot edition to $35,770 plus $780 destination for the flagship Grand Cherokee.
More than 368,000 Jeeps were built for use during World War II,says. The brand name is believed to have evolved from the vehicles’ “GP” designation, for general purpose, or from a whimsical Popeye cartoon character of the day named “Eugene the Jeep.”
The Anniversary Edition Jeeps mark the brand’s most recent influx of military-themed models. In October, Chrysler unveiled an ’11 Wrangler model dubbed Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Chrysler partnered with gaming industry giant Activision Publishing Inc. to produce the Wrangler, which boasts 32-in. tires and unique graphics. Call of Duty is a popular video game produced by Activision.
The 70th Anniversary unveilings come on the heels of a solid sales year for Jeep. Deliveries jumped 25.7% in 2010, compared with 2009, according to Ward’s data.
The Wrangler was the brand’s volume leader with 94,310-unit sales, a 15% increase from prior-year. But the redesigned-for-’11 Grand Cherokee led the way in the final quarter of 2010 with 36,458 deliveries to Wrangler’s 22,687.
The top-line Jeep’s fourth-quarter tally was more than two-and-half-times the volume it recorded in like-2009, according to Ward’s.