The meeting between past, present and future
Friday, 16 de February de 2018
We met with a group of Jeep Willys collectors in view of the factory where the Jeep Renegade and Compass are born
“The Willys Jeep is the patriarch of the 4x4s,” argued public servant and pathfinder Sérgio Malta, 61, owner of a 1953 Willys CJ3. Born during World War II, the model continues to make history and bring together admirers of many generations. So much so, that Malta’s granddaughter, Raíssa Malta, 18, already accompanies her grandfather on all the trails. And, last Tuesday (22), these two visited for the first time the Jeep Automotive Plant in Goiana, Brazil, along with participants from the Jeep Willys Recife club. They saw up close how the Renegade and the Compass, heirs to the brand’s off-road spirit, are born.
In this meeting between the past, present and future of the automobile industry, 20 fans of the model were welcomed by the plant’s manager, Glauber Fullana. The manager stressed the “massive participation of Northeasterners and Pernambucans in the unit” and revealed that the relationship between Jeep and the state of Pernambuco began long before the most modern FCA factory in the world was erected in the state.
An eyewitness to this story is Antônio Justulino Barbosa, 74 years old, and 48 of those dedicated to FCA. This exemplary employee, who prides himself on having never missed a day of work, participated in the evolution of both the brand and its first advances in the State. That’s because he worked in the Jaboatão dos Guararapes unit (a municipality in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil) where the Willys used to be assembled in the 1950s, and is currently dedicated to the production of electric cables for the new Jeep factory. “It was all manual in the past. Nowadays, it’s much more modern”, he said during the meeting with Willys fans.
Technological advances also impressed those who are known as the internet generation. “I didn’t think I’d see so many robots, so much technology,” said Erasmo Moraes, 36, president of the club after a tour through the factory line. The couple Paulo Roberto Viana, 38, and Patrícia Souza, 28, was also impressed. “It’s like getting into the maternity of the Jeeps,” commented Viana.
But what every Jeep fanatic really expects is adrenaline! So, after the factory tour, the group went on their Willys to the entrance of Camp Jeep, a test track set up in front of the factory, where real road situations are simulated. The off road challenge, however, took place in a Renegade and a Compass. And of course, these two newest members of the Jeep family captured the hearts of our adventure lovers.
In addition to promoting recreational programs and trails, many Jeep clubs throughout Brazil also engage in various social actions. During the floods that punished many municipalities in Pernambuco in the second half of this year, for example, Jeep fanatics such as doctor Arthur Rangel, from the Jeep Willys Recife club, assisted the Civil Defense by providing donations and supplies. “The characteristics of the Jeep help overcome the terrain’s obstacles so we can access areas that are isolated in these major disasters,” explained Rangel.
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