FIAT Chrysler Automobiles is celebrating the first year of Jeep Renegade production with a new virtual factory visit tool, accessible via Google™ Maps. Launched exactly a year ago, the Jeep Renegade was a ground-breaking vehicle for the brand in that it was the brand’s first ever compact SUV and also the first Jeep vehicle built in Europe. Today, more than 135,000 Renegade units have rolled off the Melfi production line in Italy so far, contributing in no small way to the Jeep brand’s continuing growth, having achieved its most successful sales year ever in 2014 with more than one million units sold.
More recently, Jeep has enjoyed its best August sales month ever in North America while in Europe Jeep is the region’s fastest-growing automotive brand so far in 2015, with the new Renegade already established as a best seller in Italy, France and Austria. The second quarter of 2015 was the best sales quarter ever for Jeep in the region with 23,000 sales. The new compact SUV has also notched up several significant awards in Europe, including “New Car of the Year 2015” as voted by Quattroruote readers in Italy; “Best SUV of 2015” according to Spain’s influential Coches.net website and “4×4 of 2015” in France’s “4×4 Magazine”.
To celebrate this important production milestone, the Jeep brand is now opening the virtual doors of the Melfi factory in Basilicata where the first FCA model to be manufactured in collaboration between Italy and the USA is assembled. By searching for “SATA – Società Automobilistica Tecnologie Avanzate S.p.A. – FCA Italy” or just “FCA SATA Melfi” on Google™ Maps, visitors can explore the entire production cycle of one of the most advanced automotive plants in Europe, where almost 8,000 employees and 968 robots produce the Jeep Renegade and FIAT 500X to a silver medal certification standard, according to WCM (World Class Manufacturing), an international methodology for optimizing the manufacturing cycle.
Making the experience as immersive as possible, a total of 3,924 pictures were taken over the course of three days. Stitched together using a special algorithm, which creates an immersive 360° horizontal and 290° vertical environment, these images are used to offer 327 different panoramic viewpoints, each of which consists of 12 HD photos.
Users thus have the possibility of “moving” inside the plant and exploring the details that interest them – with the same intuitive dynamic offered by Google™ Street View – as they travel through the factory’s four productive units: stamping, body-in-white, painting and assembly. They also have the option of in-depth investigation of certain processes via seven 30-second video clips.
The Jeep Renegade is priced from £16,995 OTR with a variety of finance and PCP deals available from £199 per month with a £1,000 Jeep deposit contribution*. More information is available at www.jeep.co.uk