Throughout the majority of the 20th century and well into the 21st century, Jeep has been manufacturing the vehicle of choice for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who likes to take the path less traveled. Jeep got its start designing for the military and, with its 4×4 technology, soon became a popular choice for many people around the world.
Continue reading to learn about one of the most successful and popular American auto manufacturers in history.
Beginnings in the Military
In the 1930’s, America found itself on the cusp of the war in Europe and began searching for a vehicle that could offer an advantage in a military setting. The Army decided to put out a request to numerous vehicle manufacturers in the hope that at least one could produce a model to their liking while following a very hasty deadline. The Army’s list of requirements for their vehicle included:
- A max weight of 1,300 lbs.
- A payload of 600 lbs.
- 85 lb.-ft. of torque
- 4-wheel drive
- Minimum ground clearance of 6.25 inches
Two manufacturers responded to the call, and the contract was eventually awarded to Willys-Overland. The company enlisted the help of Ford to manufacture the numerous vehicles that the Army required. The automobiles proved successful in combat, and many believe that the military term for the vehicle, “GP,” was eventually slurred into the term we know today: Jeep.
Creating a Brand
Ownership and Model Changes
Beginning in the 1950’s, Jeep began creating models that both mirrored and contrasted their military predecessors. In 1953, Willys-Overland decided to sell the Jeep brand to Henry Kaiser, who would have great significance for the brand.
Kaiser introduced numerous new models and body styles for Jeep, including the CJ-5 model in 1955; it would become Jeep’s longest running model at the time, with production extending into the 1980’s. Under Kaiser’s ownership, Jeep was also turned into an international brand, and the vehicles became marketed across the world.
In 1970, Jeep was purchased from Kaiser by American Motors Corporation (AMC), and the company decided to split production for civilian and military production in order to put more direct emphasis on each. Consumer attraction to the Jeep brand was reaching an all-time high, and production jumped significantly during the 70’s as SUV’s became popular choices.
In the 1980’s, AMC was responsible for formulating two of Jeep’s most iconic models to date: the Wrangler and the Cherokee. In 1987, Chrysler bought AMC and the Jeep brand came under the Chrysler umbrella where it remains today.
Jeep’s Modern Models
Jeep offers a variety of SUV’s that cater to both outdoor adventures and family travel. The classic Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited offer perhaps the most versatility when it comes to navigating areas that are impassible for other vehicles. The Cherokee and the updated Grand Cherokee provide plenty of off-road capabilities with a touch of luxury. The Cherokees can go from rugged roads to city highways seamlessly, and performs well on each.
For more compact options, Jeep introduced their Patriot and Compass models in 2007. These models provide a crossover body style with just enough ruggedness to have plenty of adventures. Lastly, the Renegade, Jeep’s newest model, is the friendliest price-wise and is great for those who may want to avoid higher prices at the pump.
If you can see yourself in a Jeep and want to take any model for a spin, Platte City Airport-Chrysler has you covered. Located in Platte City, Missouri, we offer a full Jeep lineup in our new and used vehicle inventory. Drop by anytime for a test drive or to have your questions answered.