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Fiat-Chrysler Will Build Some Jeeps In Italy From 2012

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2011 Jeep Patriot

2011 Jeep Patriot

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For some, the Jeep brand, and its legendary vehicles, are American icons. But soon, some Jeeps will be built at a Fiat plant in Italy, with about half of the factory's output earmarked for export back to the U.S.

With modern automobile manufacture becoming an increasingly global affair, it's not a surprising move--particularly because Fiat-Chrysler also wants to build some Alfa Romeos on the same Jeep platform, and Alfa's primary market is still in Europe.

American brands aren't as "American" as they used to be, either, with many models manufactured in Mexico or Canada. So perhaps the migration of some of Jeep's SUVs to Italy will slide right under the radar. Or perhaps not...

Jeep's reputation for reliability and longevity is not particularly high thanks to decades of cost-cutting at both the home company and its suppliers, sometimes shoddy quality control, and a willingness of dedicated Jeep fans to deal with their various "quirks." Pairing Jeep's own reputation for fallibility with Fiat's poor American perception might be a recipe for disaster, however.

We'll have until late 2012 to pontificate on the matter, as the first vehicles to roll out of the joint Alfa/Jeep operation won't be on the market until the third or fourth quarter of that year. Let us know what you think about an Italian-built Jeep, built by Fiat, does for your perception of the brand in the comments below.

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Comments (8)
  1. Chances are the Jeeps built in Italy will be for the European and Asian markets. The Alfa Romeos will be the more likely vehichles to be imported to the US.

  2. Fiat is not so bad if Opel (GM) will sell Fiat cars rebadged Opel...

  3. Jeeps not reliable or long lasting ARE YOU SERIOUS?
    I can think of no vehicle that can match Jeep for rugged off road ability and its' global reputation for longevity and dependability. Where in heavens did you get your information and draw your conclusions?
    I know dozens of Jeep owners and they would NEVER think of buying anything else, myself included.
    I think anything with a Jeep brand will stand for class leading on/off road capability, dependability and longevity. Have you never heard of TRAIL RATED ?
    That's not a slogan but a guarantee only Jeep can claim. Look for the Italian Jeeps to be fully engineered under Jeep supervision and the product to be worthy of the JEEP badge of quality, unmatched in any segment in which it competes. ONLY IN A JEEP!

  4. Jeep Grand Cherokees used to be built in Austria by Steyr-Puch later Magna-Steyr for European sales.

  5. As the author stated, many Jeep loyalists put up with the quirks and will spare no expense to keep their Jeeps running. Jeep gets its share of bad press from Consumer Reports. Like any other vehicle, some swear by them, some swear at them.

  6. I have owned three Jeeps all Grand Cherokee's and the build quality and reliability was excellent. I don't know where you get this stuff unless you read that "Commie Rag", Consumer Reports. Chrysler doesn't pay those Puto's off like Toyota does and look what happened when they were giving Toyota a free pass. Fiat's, Alfa's and Lancia's are quite nice and well built and personally I don't think there will be any question as to the quality and reliability of the Italian built Jeeps.

  7. Had a 07 Patriot and now a 09 Compass. The quality is far less than what I expected. Just had new tires put on at 35,000 miles which is probably suspension related. While the tire store was torquing up the lug nuts he broke a wheel stud, which really surprized me. I've had some Fiat's too, back in the '70's; which were of very questionable quality, dumb designs and cheap parts. So unless Fiat designers and greedless directors have changed their means and methodologhy, I expect Jeep may become a sorrowly missed thing of the past like so many other USA icons: Pontiac, Mercury, Saturn, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, the list goes on. It seems to me it is the good ole fashion work and financial ethics, if Italy's is no better than USA, then solong Jeep.

  8. Can you say Fix It Again Tony?

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