MILITEM: the American off-road energy with Italian luxury
If a “Made in Italy” tag immediately makes you think of artisanal craftsmanship and premium materials, you’re not alone ― and that’s what the family behind MILITEM aim to deliver with every luxury car model they create.
The Cavarzan family works in the automotive business since the early 80s, when they founded one of the first official American car dealership in Italy. Their name gained even more notoriety in 2003, after signing a contract with General Motors and suddenly becoming the official importer for the once extremely popular Hummer brand in Italy. When Hummer officially closed in 2010, the Cavarzan family, with their MILITEM brand, stepped up to fill the gap left by the massive, cubic and luxurious vehicles able to rival icons such as Porsche Cayenne or Mercedes Benz G-Wagon.
The result: a perfect hybrid between American off-roaders infused with timeless, Italian design and premium leatherwork.
Scroll to read a chat with Andrea Cavarzan, son of the brand's founder, on how the MILITEM family captures the best of both worlds when it comes to luxury off-roaders, and what continues to drive them forward.
MILITEM creates luxury with a core of American off-roaders. Why did you start this close connection to the industry of luxury?
MILITEM is 100% an Italian family business.
My family and I have been in the automotive industry with the company Cavauto for 40 years, as the most representative US car dealer in Italy. The connection between us and American brands became closer in 2003 when my father, Hermes Cavarzan, signed a contract with General Motors to be the unique official importer of the Hummer brand in Italy.
For a decade, Hummer represented a real status symbol of the luxury American off-roader ― a massive, cubic vehicle that became a real competitor of the Porsche Cayenne and the G Wagon. After the official closing of the brand Hummer in 2010, we tried to focus our attention and effort on developing something by ourselves that could replace the gap left by the brand.
On the other hand, we are Italian, we represent the “Made in Italy” ― we are classy, luxurious, and have some of the best craftsmen in the world: masters in design, leather stitching, engineering etc. Starting from these fundamental pillars, we created MILITEM, from the Latin word representing the first lane knight, the revolutionary. In order to be revolutionary, we tried to combine the American off-roaders with Italian hand-made luxury.
Why do luxury, handcrafted leather, and "made in Italy" drive together so well?
I’m not sure why, but for some reason the “Made in Italy” always represents something hand-crafted by highly qualified artisans. Moreover, the most famous companies in the luxury fashion industry used to produce their hand-made leather products in Italy with specialized craftsmen. With MILITEM, we want to do exactly the same.
A great leather interior has an incomparable fragrance. Why is considering the full experience of driving so important when crafting a car?
The exceptional craftsmanship found in every MILITEM model turns each journey into a destination. The interiors of our vehicles are crafted in order to emulate a first class seat feeling for every passenger with a combination of substance, style and quality. Every MILITEM aims to steal the show on any road.
Omni-sensitivity while driving a MILITEM is the focus of every project. We believe that our vehicles are able to provide drivers and passengers with the essence of living an immersive experience in the MILITEM world.
A well-crafted car requires a material with a high standard of sustainable process, from production to finish. Can you explain how your process of picking the right materials works? What is an important part of all that?
Behind the creation of every MILITEM model there are months of studies, prototyping, and identifying the best suppliers and craftsmen. In order to obtain the best quality for a high-end product, we do a lot of market research in terms of advanced crafting techniques combined with extraordinary materials.
For the body, we work mainly with VTR or Carbon Fiber components. Carbon fiber models are made through modern techniques of vacuum packing and then finished and painted layer by layer by our coach builders. For the interiors, we choose to craft exclusively with Italian fine leather, also available in Napa version. Moreover, we have a partnership with Alcantara® for using their fabrics in order to upgrade the technical and the performance aspects of our models, for those who want more from a MILITEM. A great job has been done with the stitching; in fact, we re-created the upper side of our star-logo on the central seats surfaces through structural interventions.
What are the next steps for MILITEM?
We want to remain visionaries and push MILITEM to create unique products that will always stand out from the crowd, for whoever wants more. We would like to be the choice of extravagant and forward-thinking millennials; MILITEM is oriented for those who rent their commuting working vehicle and keep their free-time luxury off-road SUV independently at-home, and reach every destination without any compromise.
In addition, I would say that we are putting a lot of effort in the performance department of MILITEM to continually exceed customer expectations. The future holds many surprises!
When American durability meets Italian luxury *chefs kiss*.
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