Jeep: Company History, Current Models, Interesting Facts ...


Jeep is an American automobile company that was founded in 1941. Their first model was produced in this year and is known as the oldest off-road vehicle ever produced. Though the first models were produced for the United States Army, civilian models became available after World War II in 1945. The first Jeep inspired a whole new type of vehicle in the form of a light-duty off-road utility vehicle. Jeep is currently a division of the Chrysler Group LLC, which itself is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A.

Company History

Jeep got its start in 1941 when Willys MB started producing the first model for exclusive use by the United States Army. The United States and the Allies used these Jeeps extensively during the Second World War and during the postwar period as well. The first Jeep is famous as the oldest off-road vehicle ever made. It was a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.

The first Jeep was so successful that a civilian model of it was made in 1945. These civilian models instantly became hits as well. They inspired a wide range of other off-road vehicles, both from the Jeep company and other automakers. The name Jeep has even come to be used as a name for certain types of off-road vehicles, even though it got its start as the name of the model Willys produced. Shortly after, the name of the company itself was changed to Jeep.

Jeep continued coming out with new civilian models after World War II. During the next twenty years, they were owned by several different companies. Though they focused on consumer markets during these years, they still placed emphasis on creating Jeep models for military and government use.

Chrysler Group LLC is the current owner of the Jeep brand. They continue to produce a wide variety of models to this day.

It is interesting to note that while most modern day Jeep models are intended primarily for on-road use, the company continues to market their off-road capabilities. They continue to produce certain models meant for off-road driving while certain models aren’t meant to be taken off the roads. The Jeep Wrangler, for example, is one of the few remaining models that can be effectively taken into extreme off-road situations without post-production modifications. It is known for its strength, durability and rugged design.

Flagship Model

A mid-size SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the current flagship model of Jeep. Though many other SUVs are manufactured with body-on-frame construction, the Grand Cherokee’s unibody chassis is one characteristic that helps set it apart from other models.

The Jeep Cherokee was first introduced in 1993. However, the company had been developing the car since at least 1989. The Cherokee has gone through four generations since its introduction. The fourth-generation model, the current one, has been on sale since 2010.

The fourth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee looks much the same as it did when it was first released. It retains classic Jeep styling albeit with an updated modern and sleek body style. The flagship Grand Cherokee is a luxury SUV and its interior features prove the fact. Leather trim, real wood accents, and a variety of state-of-the-art electronic options are only the tip of the iceberg.

But the Jeep Grand Cherokee is not all about looks and luxury. It is also about performance. The fourth-generation model of the vehicle has won over 30 awards in categories ranging from off-road capability to luxury to value to safety. It is the most awarded SUV of all time.

An electronic version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, manufactured in partnership with Amp Electric Vehicles, is slated to be available in the near future.

Current Models

Nine models are currently sold under the Jeep brand name and logo. Of these, only five are actually manufactured by Jeep. The company’s current models include:

Jeep Renegade BU: The Renegade BU is a subcompact SUV.

Jeep Wrangler: The Wrangler is a compact or mid-sized four-wheel-drive off-road SUV. It is currently offered in a number of editions including the Wrangler JK (compact two-door SUV), Wrangler TJL (compact two-door pickup truck), Wrangler Brute Double Car (compact four-door pickup truck), Wrangler JK Unlimited (mid-size four-door SUV), and Wrangler J8 (mid-size military SUV).

Jeep Grand Cherokee: The Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV. It is the brand’s current flagship model.

Jeep Compass: The Compass is a compact SUV.

Jeep Patriot: The Patriot is a compact SUV.

Jeep Cherokee KL: The Cherokee KL is a mid-size SUV.

Interesting Facts

In addition to manufacturing vehicles, Jeep is also a brand of apparel aimed at outdoor lifestyles. While the clothing brand is not very popular in North America, there are between 500 and 1,500 Jeep Apparel outlets in China alone. This vastly outnumbers of the amount of Jeep auto dealerships in the country.

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