Jeep heads for the desert: Beep, beep!

March 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 27 (UPI) -- U.S. auto brand Jeep, made by Chrysler, is headed to an annual party in the desert with momentum on its side, the brands top executive said.

"We are starting off the year with a lot of momentum … . The products that we are producing are resonating," said Mike Manley, president and chief executive officer of Jeep.

The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday global Jeep sales reached 592,000 in 2011. This year, global sales have risen 37 percent in January and February compared to the same two months of 2011. U.S. sales in the same two months are up 34 percent.

The annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari is scheduled for March 31 through April 8. The company uses the festive event not to race with Wile E. Coyote or Road Runner, but to test new ideas and get feedback from the roughly 10,000 Jeep aficionados who show up for the occasion.

This year, the Chrysler division plans to exhibit the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which is a Grand Cherokee SUV designed as an off-road vehicle.

It will also display a two-door Jeep Wrangler that has a cabin positioned on top of the front axle. The cab uses conversion parts, including a new portal axle from Mopar, Chrysler's parts company.

Four other customized Jeeps will be on display, the newspaper said.

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