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Fiat supplies EU President’s fleet

by Bill Cawthon on

During today’s informal meeting of the European Union Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs, Fiat-Chrysler introduced the vehicle fleet which it is providing to the Italian government for use during its six-month Presidency of the European Council. The company will provide all official transportation for delegations and VIPs during the term.

Fiat-Chrysler was chosen as official supplier by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a competitive bid process.

Leasys, Fiat-Chrysler’s vehicle lease company, will handle the no-cost, six-month lease and manage the fleet of 61 vehicles, including 40 Fiat 500Ls and one Fiat Panda, all of which are natural gas hybrids and 20 Fiat Ducato mini-buses with MultiJet turbo diesel engines. All vehicles in the fleet are gray and display Italy’s EU Presidency logo.

Provision of vehicles at no cost or a nominal charge is quite common among automakers. In the U.S., the custom-built Cadillac limousines used by the President are leased to the government for a dollar a year.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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