It was originally a designation for MB cars produced by Willys-Overland since 1941 for the needs of the US Army. According to the documentation, they were marked "General Purpose" (translated as "general purpose"), or abbreviated "GP". As it turned out, these cars were able to occupy so many niches in the needs of the military that it was impossible to come up with a more precise direction for their use. The Willys MB carried weapons and other goods, delivered the wounded to the infirmary and fresh forces on the battlefield, they were used as vehicles for officers, scouts and signalmen laying cables, the base of the "jeep" made it possible to mount a machine gun on it, and even transport anti-tank weapons. During the years of World War II, the United States Army acquired more than 600,000 of these vehicles, to which the Jeep name is firmly stuck.
In 1944, the company released the first model intended for free sale. The Civilian Jeep, or simply CJ-1A, became very popular among soldiers returning from the war and ordinary workers who needed inexpensive but reliable cars. A year later, the next model appeared on the market - the CJ-2A, which had an all-metal station wagon body, a rear door and windshield wipers. In the years that followed, Willys-Overland was first noted for the Jeepster phaeton, and then released its first four-wheel drive vehicle, equipped with a powerful 6-cylinder engine.
In 1950, Willys decided to register the Jeep trademark. However, the products of the company at that time became not so popular, and in 1953 the company was bought out by Kaiser, which decided to invest in expanding the range of produced cars. Yet jeeps remain Willys' core business. In 1954, the Jeep CJ-5 saw the light, which had a more rounded shape compared to its predecessors. The demand for this model became so great that it underwent only minor modifications from time to time, and continued to be produced until 1963, when it was replaced by the Wagoneer, the first four-wheel drive car to have an automatic transmission. Two years later, an upgraded version of the Super Wagoneer was released, equipped with a new engine that had a capacity of 250 horsepower - twice that of its predecessor. Jeepster was not forgotten either - the company released the Jeepster Commando, which had several body options, from a roadster to a van.
In 1970, Jeep became the property of the AMC concern. A well-chosen slogan that portrayed the brand's cars as off-road adventure vehicles took their popularity to new heights. The company continued to release new models, not forgetting to equip them with the latest technical innovations that increase the cross-country ability of jeeps. In 1974, the legendary Cherokee line was launched, the firstborn of which had a monocoque body with two doors. Two years later, the company also introduced a four-door version. Also, in 1976, the CJ-7 and CJ-8 models came out, but they were far from the popularity of the "Indians".
In 1983, the next generation Cherokee was introduced. Cars have decreased in size, thus becoming more versatile and maneuverable. The cars were offered with a choice of two transmission options, each of which allowed 2/4-wheel drive shifting on the fly. Three years later, the company introduced the Jeep Wrangler, as well as the first pickup, the Comanchee.
In 1987, the AMC concern, and with it the Jeep, were bought out by the Chrysler corporation. The new owner continued the line of quality SUV development, and by 1990 the number of Cherokee sold exceeded 1 million units. In 1991, the Grand Wagoneer and Comanchee models were discontinued, and a year later the company presented an updated Cherokee line at the Detroit Auto Show, which again gained universal recognition. These cars became world-class flagships, holding on to the podium until 1996, when they were replaced by the Jeep Wrangler. The company has firmly established itself as a leader in the production of off-road vehicles, offering customers reliable, comfortable and beautiful cars.
In 1998, Daimler and Chrysler merge into a global corporation, the range of which has covered almost all areas of car production. The new version of the Jeep Cherokee, released shortly thereafter, once again became the world's leading SUV. She possessed not only high cross-country ability, but also a luxurious interior, as well as high comfort when driving on an asphalt highway. The next generation of these cars, released 3 years later, raised the quality bar again. In the following years, the firm limited itself to reworking the Jeep Cherokee, offering customers updated SUV options equipped with the cutting edge of the automotive industry. So, in 2005, a sports version of the Grand Cherokee was presented, which was equipped with a 4.7-liter standard engine, and as an option, it could receive a turbocharged diesel engine with a volume of 3 liters or a 5.7-liter gasoline engine, in which the technology of turning off part of the cylinders was applied ...
In 2006, the company released a 7-seater Jeep Commander based on the Grand Cherokee. The car received a modern transmission Quadra Drive II, which allowed the torque to be redirected electronically to any wheels. Also, a front-wheel drive comfortable Compass and a new variant of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 were presented. The latest model had a HEMI engine and was the first SUV capable of crossing the 100 km / h mark in 5 seconds. The following year, Jeep revamped the legendary Wrangler, which received both 3-door and 5-door variants. Also, in 2007 the parent corporation "Chrysler" separated from "Daimler", and 2 years later an alliance with "FIAT" was concluded, which made it possible to survive the difficult time of the global economic crisis without any significant losses. Since 2010, Jeep has shown a steady upward trend in sales. So, in 2012, the record for the number of sold cars of the brand was broken - more than 700 thousand units.
The company did not stop there, but continued to release new models. In 2013, together with Mopar, an off-road accessories manufacturer, the American brand Jeep introduced a series of concepts on 37-inch wheels. In July 2014, on the basis of the Fiat platform, serious work began on the preparation of the Italian competitor Chevrolet Tracker. It continues to this day.
In the same year, Jeep modified the Grand Cherokee model. The changes affected the engine, the power of which increased from 468 horsepower to 475, and accordingly the acceleration speed to hundreds decreased by 0.1 second (up to 4.9 seconds). In addition, the manufacturer has worked to improve sound insulation, as well as exterior and interior design. Less than a year later, the company made the Grand Cherokee even more powerful, adding 15 more horsepower and reducing fuel consumption.
In 2015, the head of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles alliance, Sergio Marchionne, expressed his sympathy for the Range Rover SUV and decided to try to release something similar, only under the Jeep brand. So far, the model is in development, its release is planned for 2016.