During his North American tour, Pope Francis has been spotted riding in both a white modified Jeep Wrangler and a black Fiat 500L. While the pope himself has been receiving celebrity levels of attention from crowds and the press, his Fiat Chrysler popemobile – the Jeep as well as his 500L—have been causing FCA to experience an increased interest in their products.
Fiat Chrysler was chosen to supply the Pope’s cars for his US tour, and as a result the Wrangler and the 500L are both receiving quite a bit of attention. Dealerships have even reported having a separate display area for the models for buyers interested in emulating Pope Francis’ rides.
The Jeep is, of course, an iconic American brand and widely recognizable, while the Fiat 500L is far more popular in Italy than in the United States. The two vehicles, as well as Fiat Chrysler’s Italian-American roots, seem to be the pope’s way of bridging the gap between Vatican City and his American audience. FCA is hopeful this will also stir some American interest in the Fiat 500L, a compact car.
In any case, the Fiat Chrysler popemobile and Pope Francis’ 500L are both causing a stir in the media due to the pope’s preference for modest, affordable vehicles.