Production begins on Jeep® J8 vehicles in Egypt
“We’re pleased to recognize this important milestone and the role of both Chrysler and the Arab Organization for Industrialization,” Hussein Mustafa Mohamed, Chairman, Arab American Vehicles Co., said. “The launch of the incredibly versatile Jeep J8 and the anticipated demand for its export is an economically significant event for Egypt.”
The Jeep J8 marks the Jeep brand’s return to commercial and military vehicle production with a thoroughly modern vehicle designed to meet the needs of both government agencies and nongovernment organizations.
Originally unveiled at the 2007 Defence Systems and Equipment International military trade show in London, the Jeep J8 is available as a two-door with an extended pickup bed for personnel or equipment transport, or as a four-door multipurpose vehicle. It will be produced with numerous vehicle-body and seating configurations in either right- or left-hand drive. The two-door version, for example, can be configured as a personnel carrier with seating for up to eight.
“The Jeep J8 combines legendary capabilities and dependability that makes the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited famous, with unmatched cargo capacity and an exceptional towing rating,” Thomas Hausch, Chrysler LLC Vice President—Europe, Middle East and Africa, said. “The Jeep J8 is also an exceptional value, priced below other vehicles designed for humanitarian and military work.”
Hausch noted that Jeep vehicles debuted in 1941 as the workhorse of the military. With a 67-year reputation for off-road capability and utility in both civilian and military applications, Jeep vehicles are a benchmark, Hausch said.
With the 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as a starting point, Jeep engineers increased the vehicle’s capability and versatility. The frame of the Wrangler Unlimited is reinforced for increased ruggedness and to allow payloads up to a maximum of 2,952 pounds. Axles, brakes and suspension components are engineered specifically for more demanding military and civilian government use, including using a leaf-spring suspension in the rear. The J8’s Command-Trac® four-wheel-drive system allows maximum versatility and performance in both on-and off-road conditions.
The Jeep J8 is powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces 158 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, providing towing capability of up to 7,716 pounds. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The J8 also features a unique air-intake system with special filtration and a hood-mounted snorkel that enables the J8 to ford water up to 30-inch deep and operate in sandstorm conditions for up to five hours.
While not designed for front-line combat operations, the Jeep J8 is fully armor capable and excels in a variety of duties ranging from command vehicle to troop/cargo carrier, ambulance, communications vehicle and other duties—also making it suitable for civilian government applications. Tow eyes and heavy-duty bumpers allow the Jeep J8 to be easily transported by airplane or helicopter.
Nonmilitary applications of the vehicle include: humanitarian organizations, aid programs, relief efforts, public safety agencies, geologic-exploration companies, survey teams, ranching duties, forestry work, oil industry support, fisheries, general utility and other applications requiring versatility.
Arab American Vehicles Co. is a manufacturing joint venture between the Arab Organization for Industrialization (51 percent ownership) and Chrysler LLC (49 percent ownership). The plant, a 1.29 million square foot facility located on the outskirts of Cairo, was established in 1977 and produced its first vehicle in 1978 (Jeep CJ-6). A work force of 680 builds 17,600 vehicles annually.
Initially Arab American Vehicles was established to serve the Egyptian and Arab military forces by providing them with the American CJ-series Jeep vehicles, the descendants of the world’s first four-wheel drive military vehicle—the Willys. After meticulous testing, the armed forces of several Arab countries chose the CJ over other vehicles.
Arab American Vehicles also builds the Jeep Cherokee (Liberty in the United States) for retail sale in the region.