Who Makes Jeeps? Learn Everything About Who Owns Jeep?
Can only army people use jeeps? Were they made only for the army? And what about civilians if they want to use it? The confusion regarding making and owning the jeep brand and its products has persisted for many years. There are many questions that a car lover is eager to know about a jeep.
Jeeps were simple vehicles specially designed for military purposes in World War II, but after the war ended, the production of jeeps started for civilian use. First designed by the American Bantam Car Company, now it is under the hold of a multinational automotive manufacturing corporation, namely Stellantis.
To further understand who makes jeeps and learn in detail about who owns them, let’s bear with me.
Who makes jeeps?
Learning about the makers of jeeps isn’t an easy task. Currently, Stellantis, a combination of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the PSA Group, makes jeep cars in various manufacturing plants and delivers them through their different suppliers worldwide. The best way is to jump directly into the evolution of the jeep brand to know the details.
The evolution of the Jeep Brand
The jeep brand started in 1944, and till 2022, it has undergone several changes. A need laid the foundation for the existence of the Jeep brand in 1940; after that, many companies became the owner but couldn’t get the number of sales they had decided, and in the end, Chrysler won the game and now successfully running it in collaboration with PSA Group. Let’s dive deep into the evolution of the jeep brand.
Why are Jeeps needed? (World War II)
To win the war, the American army needed a four-wheeler vehicle, and they called 135 companies to make a design. Two companies, American Bantam and Willys-Overland, agreed. Still, on short notice, only the former provided the design by hiring a freelance designer Probst who offered the entire plan of BRC within two days. The company submitted the bid with complete blueprints on July 22, 1940.
American Bantam started the work and sent the hand-built prototype for Army testing on September 23. Everything was according to criteria except the engine torque, and at that point, Willys and Ford came on the screen.
The three companies developed their prototypes, Bantam’s BRC, Ford’s Pygmy, and Willys’s Quad, and sent them for field testing. Spicer was the only supplier of components to all three companies.
Willys-Overland won the initial production contract due to their addition of the powerful “Go Devil” engine in their Quad.
For higher production, on Willys-Overland’s request, the US Government allowed the Ford company to manufacture jeeps. Willys-Overland’s Model MB and Ford’s Model GPW were the final jeeps the companies delivered to the army. But in 1942, the military stopped the delivery because the companies used their trademarks stamped on different jeep body parts. And thus, the process of production of jeeps stopped until 1945.
Willys-Overland era (1944–1953)
Though the company stopped production, Willys-Overland was still the owner of jeeps. But instead of doing the same thing, they came with other products:
- Jeep Station Wagon in 1946
- Jeep Truck in 1947
- Jeepster in 1948
But the year 1952 proved unsuccessful for them, especially after their reentry into the passenger car market with Willys Aero, to whom they had said goodbye after choosing jeep as the primary attention.
And in 1953, the Willys-Overland was merged with Kaiser Motors, which they named “Willys Motors” and later, in 1963, changed to Kaiser jeep.
Kaiser-Frazer era (1953–1970)
After the merger in 1953, kaiser-Frazer stopped both the Willys Aero and their passenger cars and focused only on jeeps. Their decision was not fruitful, and their business went to a loss.
When did AMC own the jeep brand? (1970–1987)
Thus, in 1970, American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased kaiser-Frazer. The following year, in 1971, AMC created AM General, a separate subsidiary to split Jeep’s whole car lineup from the leading company.
In 1979, Renault, the French automaker, invested in the company and took the jeep to the world through European dealerships and independent importers. From 1976 to 1986, the eleven years were the best for jeep lovers. This is because of the introduction of CJ-7 in 1976, XJ Cherokee in 1985, and Wrangler in 1986.
AMC got too many sales, but the downfall started in 1987 due to a sudden change in the automobile market.
When Chrysler Corporation bought the Jeep brand? (1987–1998)
And from 1987, the jeep brand went under a big name when Chrysler Corporation purchased the AMC but continued only its jeep brand. Chrysler, in 1998, merged with Daimler-Benz and came with the name DaimlerChrysler.
After the merged company sold its interest in Chrysler in 2007, the Chrysler Group LLC ran the operation of Chrysler and the Jeep division.
Does Fiat own the Jeep brand? (2007–2021)
In 2009, Fiat bought the 20% share and continued the process until it reached 100%. On December 15, 2014, due to 100% shareholding, it further folded into FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). Till 2021, the FCA proudly operated the jeep brand.
Who makes jeep today? (2021–2022)
In 2021, a cross-border merger took place on a 50-50 basis called Stellantis N.V. The union is between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), an Italian-American company, and the PSA Group, a French one. Nowadays, this cross venture is making jeeps in America.
Who owns Jeep now?
Now, you better know that Stellantis N.V., a multinational automotive manufacturing corporation, is now the new owner of the jeep brand. Although, many companies worldwide are making jeeps under the license and providing the world with what they want.
Jeeps in France
Jeeps were also manufactured in France by Delahaye, a family-owned automobile manufacturing company, and by Hotchkiss et Cie under license from Willys after 1954.
Jeeps in Japan
From the year 1953 to 1998, by using the original Willys-Kaiser design, the Mitsubishi company manufactured 30 designs of jeeps in Japan.
Jeeps in the Philippines
The Philippines came with a jeepney, formed by just widening and lengthening the rear “tub” of a jeep to get the work of a taxi or bus from it. They also built owner-type jeeps by using stainless steel bodies and surplus parts. Those vehicles were replicas of Jeeps.
Jeep in China
Beijing Jeep Corporation, Ltd is the company that builds and supplies jeeps. It was the first joint venture between AMC and Beijing Automobile Industry Corporation. The main aim was to manufacture Jeep Cherokee (XJ). It started in 1984 and then went to Chrysler’s hand when they bought the AMC.
Now DaimlerChrysler and DaimlerChrysler China Invest Corporation are the new owners of this venture.
Jeep in India
Willys CJ3A jeep production at Mahindra began in 1949, and the vehicles were put on the market the same year. This offroader was the first vehicle of its sort that the company had ever manufactured in its entire history. Off-road and equipped with four-wheel drive, the CJ3A was a vehicle developed with the Indian market in mind from the beginning. But in 2016, the direct entry of the jeep brand into the Indian market occurred.
Are Jeeps made in America?
Yes, the majority of Jeeps are made in the United States. In addition, a total of ten plants are working in six different countries, and they ship jeeps to more than 140 countries. Manufacturing facilities for Jeep may be found in the following countries:
- United States
A significant number of worldwide factories are responsible for producing components and parts of jeeps. However, the majority of the actual assembly takes place in the United States.
Are jeeps made in Italy?
The Melfi Assembly Plant in southern Italy is one of the most productive operations in Italy and is where some Jeep models, like the Renegade, Fiat 500X, and the Compass, are manufactured. At the same time, the Jeeps like Cherokee, Wrangler, and Gladiator are all assembled in the United States of America.
What is the most recent production of the jeep brand?
Their most recent product line is Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer. By 2025, the company intends to launch four new all-electric SUVs in North America, including a luxury Grand Wagoneer and an off-road vehicle called the Recon that the Wrangler inspires.
Are jeep and dodge the same company?
Jeep and Dodge are not the same company initially; they are different brands. Jeep and Dodge came under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles umbrella and were associated with each other just by sharing the same parent company.
Similarly, after the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the PSA Group under one name, ‘Stellantis,’ both vehicles, ‘jeep and dodge,’ are again become children of the same parent.
Is the jeep a good car to buy?
Though all jeeps are best in their fields, the wrangler holds the most importance. It won among competitors, which list contain not only other jeeps but also other like Toyota, Porsche, Dodge, and any other SUV on the road.
Should I get a jeep wrangler?
For offroad adventures and conquering challenging and poor road conditions, nothing is better than choosing a jeep wrangler for your next trip.
Jeeps are worth buying, not only for the military but also for civilians. They look classy and durable if you care thoroughly. From UTVs to SUVs, Stellantis N.V. (a grand merger of FCA and PSA) have a wide production range.
The available jeep brand products are Cherokee, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Compass, Gladiator, Renegade, Patriot, and the most recent and best Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer. So, let’s choose your favorite SUV and double up your trip enjoyment.
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