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Pope makes sensible vehicle choices for Juarez visit

Feb 12 2016

El PASO, Texas — Pope Francis could have any luxury vehicle at his disposal for travels but he once again has gone modest for his visit to Juarez, Mexico.

According to ACI Prensa news, the pope’s entourage will include two Jeep Wranglers, three Dodge RAM trucks and six Fiat 500L’s. The 11 vehicles were blessed by the Bishops of Mexico on Feb. 8.

The Sunland Park Dodge dealership in El Paso carries all three types of vehicles. The finance director Barbara Armendariz said she was excited by the pope’s choices.

“We’re very proud of the fact that the pope is going to be driving the Fiat, the Jeep Wrangler and also as well the RAM,” said Armendariz.

But, staff members like Matthew Valenzuela also said they're not surprised because each vehicle has a lot to offer.

“Jeep was used widely in the military, it's known to be strong , it's known to be safe, it's known to be very durable,” said Valenzuela. “It just shows that he wants to be safe and secure but then again it also shows that he knows what the right vehicle is.”

Valenzuela said all three types of cars have high safety ratings. Valenzuela adds that the Jeep Wrangler is often used by the military because of its strong frame, wide wheel base and its ability to handle off-road terrain. He said the Dodge Ram and the Jeep Wrangler are good for handling the hilly terrain and desert -like conditions that are in both El Paso and Juarez.

Carlos Pineda is a Fiat specialist. He says there's more than good gas mileage to the pope's choice in vehicles.

“He's a little bit more humble than the other popes so he got rid of all the high-end class vehicles like Mercedes and that's the reason he's driving a Fiat,” said Pineda.

Pineda also said the Pontiff's height could influence his car choice.

“Well he's really tall and he has some back problems so it's really a comfortable car to ride in,” said Pineada.

Armendariz said that interest in the Fiat has gone up since the pope was last seen in this type of car.

“We have had a lot of inquiries and people wanting to know about the Fiat since he drove it when he came to the U.S. and so we’re honored again that he he’s going to be driving the Fiat during his visit here in the borderland,” said Armendariz.

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