Jeep is an American automobile brand which is a division of Chrysler Group LLC, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian multinational automaker Fiat SpA Former Chrysler Jeep Corporation acquired the brand, along with the other assets of the owner American Motors in 1987. Jeep current product range consists solely of sport utility vehicles and ATVs, but also included trucks in the past.
The first Willys MB Jeeps were produced in 1941, making it the oldest off-road ever made vehicle, and the first civilian models were produced in 1945. It inspired the number of other light utility vehicles, such as Land Rover, which is the second oldest 4WD brand. The the original Jeep vehicle that first appeared as prototype Bantam BRC became the primary light 4-wheel drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II and the postwar period. Many Jeep variants serving the similar military and civilian roles, as they have been created in other nations.
Jeep took root in the Second World War as the name of the military vehicle now iconic four-wheel drive produced by Willys-Overland and Ford for the U.S. Army. The name is a mystery ; The popular belief is that was transformed from “GP ” or “general purpose “, although the others have suggested that it was a nickname derived from a character that appears in the Popeye comic strip of the time.
In the mid-1940s saw the introduction of the first civilian Jeep, the CJ-2A. It featured many features that are not available in military versions, as a back door, external fuel cap and a spare tire mounted on a side, and is mainly directed towards farmers and construction workers.
Jeeps civilians caught in the public, and by the 1950s, they have introduced new models like the CJ-3B and CJ-5. The CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle, continuing for 30 years after its introduction in the early 50s. The company changed hands during this decade as Willys-Overland was sold to Kaiser in 1953.
Jeep broke new ground in 1960 with the debut of its Wagoneer. Aimed at active families, so early SUV was the first four-wheel drive vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. A new ” Dauntless ” V6 became available as an option in the-5 CJ and CJ-6 in 1965. This was the first time a Jeep CJ could be equipped with a V6. Packing 155 hp, horsepower engine almost doubled that offered by the standard four-cylinder.
By the 1970s, the Jeep had changed hands again, with the purchase of Kaiser-Jeep by American Motors Corporation. New models like the CJ-7 and Scrambler were deployed. The company also unveiled a new technology with the introduction of the first full-time automatic system of four-wheel drive in the world. Nicknamed Quadra-Trac, which was available in the CJ-7, as well as the full-size Jeep trucks and wagons. During this decade, the fortunes soared as Jeep four wheel drive vehicles became increasingly popular with large sections of American buyers.
The 1980s saw the introduction of the Cherokee and Wrangler. The Cherokee was one of the first of the new generation of SUVs-medium high riding car that exploded in popularity as the decade progressed. The Wrangler replaced the CJ series in 1987 and provides the raw functionality of the CJ along with more comfort features. That year also saw the purchase of American Motors Chrysler, Jeep branded by becoming part of the Jeep/Eagle division of Chrysler. One of the most popular models from Jeep, Grand Cherokee debuted for 1993. This handsome midsize SUV that offers more comfort and luxury that smaller while still providing robust Cherokee off-road capability.
Jeep fell under the umbrella of DaimlerChrysler after Chrysler and Daimler-Benz merged in 1998. This partnership resulted in some new models, such as the Liberty and Compass, but none was able to achieve great sales success. In 2007, Daimler sold Chrysler Group to a private equity firm. It is now under the control of Fiat.
More recently, the company has added a couple of models to its line enticing and made significant performance and quality improvements under the hood and inside the cabins. As such, we expect Jeep not only keep a loyal group of customers, but also bring new fans into the fold.