All is well with the Willy’s
Added: (Sat Mar 17 2007)
In New Delhi: Indian Times News Network has reported that the Willy’s Jeep which was popular during the Second World War in the forties was recently reported to be going strong. It should be noted that the Willy’s Jeep has become an icon before the 70’s and 80’s and has continued to be so until new age vehicles took over.
In a small and dusty town of Punjab, there is still a strong market for the old and abandoned Jeep chassis which automobile lovers go to shop. The largest second-hand jeep market of Moga has connoisseurs that have even descended from the hilly reigns of Shimla, and a number of other states. And that’s not all! Who would ever think that the famous Porsche preferring NRI clan in Punjab has become an avid follower of the Jeep Mandi?
According to Mohinder Singh, one of the dealers in Moga, “if you see the old chassis and new Jeep Willy’s, you will not be able to find even one fault in the car and one look at it will make you buy it. Furthermore, once the Willy’s price is told, next time you know it’s gone. It only takes about 60 seconds to sell a Willy’s. The price range of a Willy’s Jeep starts from Rs 1.65 lakh to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh. The Jeep with all its wonders is one incredible purchase.”
The abandoned chassis is fitted with a top of the line Toyota turbo diesel engine which is preferred for its high fuel efficiency and pick up performance and cost about Rs 40,000. Also available are modern accessories and chrome alloys with price ranging from Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000. The prices also include the margin of dealers that reaches up to Rs 30,000.
The Willy’s were given post modifications and are set to hit the road. The main road of Moga is flooded with different people especially during Sundays, who converge to the place not only to buy the latest Jeep but also to get the best set of wheels for their vehicles. The latest open air Jeep with its low price tag is not a bad buy at all especially since most of its components like for instance its Jeep exhaust manifold and other auto parts have undergone the same stern quality test as that of the range toppers.
Jagmohan Singh, another Jeep dealer in Moga, “There are close to 100 dealers here in the city and each dealer sold at least 10 Jeeps every week. That transpires into a lot of business for us. Many ministers and local MLAs also come here. In fact, most of the students purchasing the Jeep end up getting upgrades every week.”
The Moga Jeep Mandi has been in close competition with the Dabwali Mandi which is situated in Sangrur. But according to dealers from Moga they have been able to surpass the Dabwali benchmark since they sell more Jeeps. Most of the dealers purchase their chassis from army auctions but since the auction have ceased, dealers from villagers provide the Jeep Mandi with chassis. Such trade has not affected business at all. The Moga treatment to Jeep has been selling like hotcakes and this has been going on prior to the changes from the army side.
Submitted by:Lisa Ziegler