A limited-edition Jeep® vehicle with an unusual name and solely aimed at U.S. military members stationed overseas was a big hit and a sell out last year.
The Wrangler Oscar Mike features a special star patch on the seats, unique bezels of brushed aluminum and Rubicon wheels. The vehicle, which comes in tan, green and black, does not have a “military” look, but includes an Oscar Mike badge on the front driver’s side quarter panel.
In military jargon, Oscar Mike means “On the Move.”
The idea for the vehicle started almost two years ago when the Jeep® brand team and the Chrysler Group’s International organization got together to explore the idea of doing a special vehicle for U.S. military personnel. The group started with a list of 30 potential names, whittled it down to 15 and then began the debate to narrow it down to ultimate winner.
“We sat down with the Overseas Military Sales Corp. and asked them what we could do to help relate better with our military personnel stationed abroad,” Mike Zdonek, Manager—International Management-International Operations, said. “We brainstormed for a while and came up with the Wrangler Oscar Mike.”
A Wrangler Oscar Mike was the grand prize at a Thanksgiving Day celebration at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan that involved a series of races in dressed-up push carts.
The vehicles were sold only by the Overseas Military Sales Corp., which represents the Chrysler Group, as well as some other automakers, at U.S. military bases overseas. The Oscar Mike was only sold to members of the four military branches of the U.S. military stationed outside the United States.
“We wanted to do something unique and special for our military personnel stationed overseas,” Zdonek said. “We believed the Jeep Wrangler would have the closest affinity for people in the military and that’s why we went with the Wrangler.”
The company was surprised by the positive response to the vehicle, Zdonek admitted. Only 200 Wrangler Oscar Mike vehicles were made last summer and all were sold, he said.
The vehicles were made at the Toledo Supplier Park plant in Ohio where the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are made, Zdonek noted. The company’s Design Office got involved in designing the logo and the name has been registered, he added.
Part of the sales program included the Overseas Military Sales Corp. giving away one of the vehicles as part of a promotion in Afghanistan last Thanksgiving. Members of the military who purchased one of the vehicles while overseas can take delivery of the vehicle once they return to the United States.
“I think we raised the awareness among U.S. military personnel about our vehicles and about the company as we thought enough of them to create a special vehicle for them,” Zdonek said. “It’s our way of saying ‘thank you.’”