Off road vehicles and the sport of ‘off roading’ have a large and enthusiastic following across the country and, in fact, around the world. It’s a variation on the old ‘my car’s faster than yours!’ jibe, only in this case it’s ‘my car can go where your car can’t!’ Combine this competitiveness with the typical American love of the outdoors and our country’s astounding natural beauty and you have the sport – and accompanying lifestyle – of off-roading.
True off road vehicles are much more than mere SUVs. These beasts have to survive anything the wilderness can throw at them. Boulders, rivers, mud, sand or snow – a good off road vehicle will eat ’em all for breakfast and keep on rolling over hill and dale. When official competition between off road vehicles takes place, it’s usually either Rally Racing, Desert Racing or the relatively new sport of Rockcrawling. The latter is a sight to see, as spindly vehicles, with some slight resemblance to Jeeps, crawl over incredibly rough courses made up of huge boulders and wind-carved rock formations with the agility of overgrown spiders!
Now, your standard off-the-rack SUV or Hummer isn’t any slouch when it comes to mild off-roading, even though precious few sold in urban areas really get tossed about in conditions displayed in their television commercials. Off-roading is as much about image as it is about exploring the wild, less-travelled terrain where pavements are non-existent. When you’re an off-roader, it’s all good!
Production vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from family cars to off-road vehicles and much, much more. Each production vehicle manufacturer will create a number of models for mass production, thus providing people with a wide choice of vehicles to suit their needs and budgets. The auto production industry is a perfect example of market forces in action – successful vehicles sell in great quantities and for a long time, while models rejected by the market are soon withdrawn. The history of the automibile reflects the changing tastes of the buying public, whose demands are quickly met by the production vehicles designed and produced by automakers worldwide – and competition for consumer dollars is fierce.
In the United States, the main manufacturers of production vehicles are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (now officially DaimlerChrysler) – traditionally known as ‘The Big Three’. There used to be many more independent automakers, but almost all have gone out of business or have been absorbed by their larger rivals. Some of these bygone makers of American production vehicles were Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, Nash, Willys and Kaiser. A few of these small independent manufacturers joined forces to form American Motors (AMC), but even this wasn’t enough to ensure survival and AMC was bought out by Chrysler in the mid 1970s.
Foreign production vehicles began arriving on American shores after the Second World War. Names like MG, Triumph and Jaguar (England), Volkswagen and Mercedes (Germany), Fiat and Alfa Romeo (Italy) and Renault (France) achieved varying amounts of success here. However, it was the Japanese who have made the biggest impact, and are now the largest foreign-owned manufacturers of production vehicles in the USA. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru are the biggest names and most successful.
Many types of production vehicles are manufactured to directly meet certain automotive needs. Jeep specializes in off-road vehicles that are able to cope with rough terrain and are perfect for adventurous people who want to explore. Porsche and Lamborghini are well known for their powerful and luxurious sports cars. If there’s a recognizable need in the market, you can be sure the automakers will address it with a new production vehicle!
The Jeep is an auto with a special place in the national life of the United States. This unique type of automobile was born during the early years of World War II. The U.S. Army needed a vehicle for light reconnaissance over difficult terrain. The Jeep from Willys met the specifications very well. The basic objective of Jeep design has remained unchanged in the decades of peace which followed the war. The Jeep is your best choice of auto when you need to negotiate surfaces of uncertain quality.
The Jeep has an amazing record of keeping abreast of cutting-edge auto technology. Owners can have the best of a rugged image with great amenities. Though “GP” is military jargon for new equipment under test, the latest Jeep models have evolved in to autos which can hold their own at top social events, as much in any tough outdoor environment. The Jeep can stand up to any grade of international competition. It is something of a bulwark against the domination of the U.S. auto scene by Japanese and German players, though Jeep does benefit from its own Mitsubishi links.
Jeep sponsors top sports events. It has a big hand in bringing the best outdoor entertainment and recreation options to customers-whether real or in terms of potential. The Jeep brand strongly associates with a sportive personality, and is a brand to drive with pride. Passenger comforts and safety are designed to please guests and the family as much as does the owner and driver.
The 2007 Compass can hold its own against top Japanese SUV competition. Electronic controls on 4-wheel drive can have you handle any off-road challenge like a pro. The modern looks are really eye-catching. The 2007 Patriot goes a step further with separate 4-wheel control systems for paved roads and for off-road conditions. Traditionalists will love the 2007 Wrangler, which delights with thoughtful touches to embellish the most rugged features. The round headlamps and fold-down wind shield are special touches of tradition in our age. The Unlimited Wrangler has amazing luggage space, and can take 5 adults in luxury. All-in-all, Jeep has something special for every auto lover, with best-value performance features.