History Of Jeep: Join the Jeep Legacy – Conquer New Frontiers Today
1940 – 1949 – Military origin
In June 1940, shortly after the outbreak of World War II, a competition was held in the United States to design a combat vehicle. Bantam Motor Company and Willys-Overland, which presents a quad, are the companies that come to the call, later joined by Ford. Willys is the winner, and the result is the final MB of 1941 (although everyone knows it as Jeep ), of which 650,000 units were manufactured during the war.
After the conflict ended in 1946, Willys adapted the Jeep to civil use, and the first model was the CJ-2A (Civil Jeep 2A). Later the Station Wagon AS appeared and, in 1948, the CJ-3A and the Jeepster.
1950 – 1959 – First merger
Henry J. Kaiser buys Willys-Overland and, under the name Kaiser Willys Motors Inc., exclusively develops Jeep projects, a name registered as a trademark in 1950. The first result is the CJ-3B.
About the MB, this new model provides modifications to the body; it remains in production for 15 years. But the real change comes at the end of 1954, with the legendary CJ-5.
Its longer wheelbase allows more interior space and new suspensions that provide greater comfort. It soon captures the attention of new offroad enthusiasts and, even with significant modifications, lasts until the 80s.
1960 – 1969 – Luxury arrives
The Jeep range acquires versatility, comfort, and performance in a few years of actual 4×4 expansion. All thanks to models like the Wagoneer in 1962, the first TT luxury and predecessor of the current Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.
In 1963 the company was renamed Kaiser Jeep Corporation. In ’65, the Super Wagoneer arrived, the ‘pinnacle’ of elegance, and the Dauntless V6 155 HP engine (a power that doubles the old Hurricane mechanics). The Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-6 incorporate this new engine.
The second generation of the Jeepster, called Comando, offered multiple forms in 1967, provided in Station Wagon, convertible, roadster, and pick-up versions.
1970 – 1979 – Birth of the Cherokee
Kaiser Jeep Corporation was absorbed by American Motors Corp., Which by the end of the decade, already produced 660 cars a day (in 1974, AMC manufactured 175 Jeeps a day, which gives an idea of the expansion 4x4s). The company improves on the CJ-5 and CJ-6 with stronger axles, more powerful brakes, and wider tires, and introduces the Renegade, a limited edition of the CJ-5.
In 1973 the Quadra-Trac system arrived, the first automatic permanent all-wheel drive device. A year later, the Cherokee was born, one of the most successful SUVs in the world. Although it shows an aesthetic similar to that of the Wagoneer, it soon takes on an identity of its own.
The CJ-7 was presented in 1976 with a plastic or canvas roof and steel doors. The decade closes with the launch of Wagoneer Limited: for the first time, the level of luxury of a 4×4 is comparable to that of a passenger car.
1980 – 1989 – A new symbol: the Wrangler
The American automobile industry begins the eighties in a deep crisis, but activity does not stop at Jeep. In fact, in 1984, the new Wagoneer and Cherokee were introduced; now, they have different personalities and sophisticated traction systems.
Faced with buyers’ demand for more comfort and equipment, Jeep launched the Wrangler in 1986, the successor to the CJ-7. It brings a spectacular improvement in comfort, 4×4 efficiency, and interior aesthetics; In addition, it retains the durability and image of its predecessor.
Just one year later, Jeep changed hands again, being acquired by Chrysler Corporation on August 5, 1987.
1990 – 1999 – Welcome Grand Cherokee
In 1990, the millionth Cherokee, a red Limited, rolled off the Toledo, Ohio, assembly line.
A year later, the leadership position of the model is reinforced by the new 185 hp engine, which is also incorporated into the Wrangler shortly after that.
In parallel, efforts are focused on the development of a new 4×4 that sets a new stage. The result exceeded all expectations: the Grand Cherokee disclosed in the Hall the Automobile of Detroit of 1993.
On the other hand, the Jeep Wrangler continues to dominate half of the American off-road market, but after its eleventh year of life, it is replaced by the completely redesigned Jeep Wrangler 97.
2000 – 2008 – International expansion
After 60 years of history, Jeep ( sold in more than 100 countries ) has become an international symbol of 4×4 efficiency.
Since 2000, Jeep Spain has maintained the legend with vehicles such as the Cherokee, the Wrangler, and the Grand Cherokee, wholly renewed.
Likewise, the Commander, the first seven-seater Jeep, lands in Spain. And in March 2007, the four-door version of the legendary Jeep Wrangler was launched.
2009-Act – New owner
In 2009 and after a deep crisis, the Fiat Group took over the majority control of the Chrysler group, to which Jeep belongs. The brand undergoes a profound restructuring, despite which it does not lose its presence in Europe, as it happens to Chrysler and Dodge.
In 2013 and after the last version launched in 2011, Jeep debuts a new generation of the Grand Cherokee e, representing a notable change, making it a more modern and technological car.
In addition, the new Cherokee also debuts in 2013, a name that the brand had stopped using after the cessation of production in 2001.