Jeep is a brand of American automobiles that is a division of FCA US LLC (formerly Chrylser Group, LLC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The former Chrysler Corporation acquired the Jeep brand, along with the remaining assets of its owner American Motors, in 1987. Jeep's current product range consists solely of sport utility vehicles and off-road vehicles, but has also included pickup trucks in the past.
The first Willys MB Jeeps were produced in 1941, making it the oldest off-road vehicle ever made, and the first civilian models were produced in 1945. It inspired a number of other light utility vehicles, such as the Land Rover. The original Jeep vehicle that first appeared as the prototypeBantam BRC became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Alliesduring World War II, as well as the postwar period. The term was common worldwide in the wake ofWorld War II, as American forces employed engineering solutions to military problems
The brand has gone through many owners, starting with Willys, which produced the first Civilian Jeep (CJ) in 1945 and who were the first granted the trademark in 1950. Willys was sold to Kaiser Motors in 1953, which became Kaiser-Jeep in 1963. American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased Kaiser's money-losing Jeep operations in 1970. The utility vehicles complemented AMC's passenger car business by sharing components, achieving volume efficiencies, as well as capitalizing on Jeep's international and government markets.
The French automaker Renault began investing in AMC in 1979. However, by 1987, the automobile markets had changed and even Renault itself was experiencing financial troubles. At the same time, Chrysler Corporation wanted to capture the Jeep brand, as well as other assets of AMC. Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987, shortly after the Jeep CJ-7 was replaced with the AMC-designed Jeep Wrangler or YJ. Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler. DaimlerChrysler eventually sold most of their interest in Chrysler to a private equity company in 2007. Chrysler and the Jeep division operated under Chrysler Group LLC, until December 15, 2014, when the name was changed to FCA US LLC.
Jeeps have been built under licence by various manufacturers around the world, including Mahindrain India, EBRO in Spain, and several in South America. Most of them were based on the CJ-3B model of the original Willys-Kaiser design.
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