Jeep is synonymous with off-roading, blazing your own trail. With numerous Trail Rated models, this brand is known for its capability and fun. However, the manufacturer has also developed the reputation for comfort and sophistication inside these exciting models.
The company that would become Jeep was first known as Wills-Overland, established in the first part of the 20th century. This brand was the second-largest auto manufacturer in the US, behind Ford during the period of 1912 to 1918.
During World War II, the company was involved in projects for the military. The manufacturer was one of two companies to bid on a job for the army but lost out to American Bantam. However, when the army became concerned that Bantam wasn’t a large enough company to meet the demand, the design was given to Willys and Ford to build. Willys developed what was known as the Quad, which would later be equipped with an even more powerful engine. This design would later be used to develop the first Jeep, which was originally named MB.
Willys applied to have the name of Jeep trademarked, but it would take seven years for the name to become a trademark after civilian Jeep vehicles were put on the road. The seven-slot grille was also trademarked, which was a transition from the nine-slot design of the military models.
Other models came along to capitalize on the success and name of Jeep. A station wagon was added to the lineup in 1946 and a truck the following year. The Jeepster was another addition that came about in 1948. Kaiser Motors became the owner of Willys, which led to the renaming of Kaiser-Jeep.
Less than two decades later, in 1970, American Motors Corporation purchased the company. Chrysler also started purchasing assets, which would lead to mergers until AMC moved under the umbrella of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA.
Today, Jeep has developed into a well-known and easily recognizable brand, which continues to honor the seven-slot grille and capability of early models. While the Jeep Wrangler is certainly the most distinct model, it is only one in a varied lineup.
The most awarded SUV in North America is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which now offers the Grand Cherokee L with three rows. The sophistication of this model lends itself to a different type of buyer than the Wrangler. The Jeep Cherokee is a smaller SUV, built for traveling around the city, on the highway, and off-road. In recent years, the Jeep Gladiator has made a comeback as the only truck in the lineup and the only open-air model on the market.
Jeep has also reintroduced the Wagoneer as another rugged model for buyers. As the manufacturer moves forward, it is focusing more of its efforts on alternative fuel models, such as the Wrangler 4xe.
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