April 26, 2006

Fiat lends James Bond bulldozer to chase villain

MILAN (Reuters) - British secret agent James Bond has
chased the world's most dangerous villains in everything from
cars to spaceships, but in his latest adventure, his vehicle of
choice will be a bulldozer.

In the opening scene of "Casino Royale," the 21st
instalment of the popular movie franchise, Bond will pursue his
latest enemy in a four-wheel W190 bulldozer supplied by Fiat,
the Italian industrial group.

Although its vehicles have appeared in a number of movies
including the Alfa Romeo Spider in "The Graduate," it is the
first time that Fiat will have one starring in a Bond movie.

"We are very happy and proud of it," said spokeswoman
Silvia Cassani, who assured that none of the bulldozers,
excavators or loaders supplied to the movie's producers were
destroyed in the mayhem usually associated with a Bond action

Cassani said the product placement was part of Fiat's
advertising efforts as it recovered from a debilitating crisis
suffered a few years ago.

She said the movie, starring Daniel Craig, the first blond
Bond, was a good medium to advertise the bulldozer made by New
Holland, Fiat's construction equipment division, even though
Bond's fans were mostly young males interested in the latest

"We have a diverse clientele," she said. "We don't just
have old farmers."

Ford Motor will also be using the movie to promote the
Aston Martin, which will be driven by Bond after being behind
the wheel of a BMW 750 iL in previous adventures.

Production officials on the set of the movie, scheduled for
release by Sony Corp's Columbia Pictures in November, were
unavailable for comment.