The car manufacturer with headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, United States, has been around since 1941. It is currently owned by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group. Previously, it was part of the Chrysler group, which bought American Motors in 1987, Jeep being a part of this company. True to its heritage, Jeep currently produces only SUVs and off-road vehicles.
The original Jeep was the prototype Bantam BRC. Willys MB Jeeps went into production in 1941 at the onset of World War Two specifically for the American military. During the war, the Willys Jeep gained a reputation for sturdiness and was ubiquitous on the Western Front as the machine of choice for transporting troops.
The first civilian models were produced in 1945 and started a new era for the automobile, as they inspired other manufacturers to take the same path, such as Land Rover with its legendary Defender.
Willys was sold to Kaiser Motors in 1953, which became Kaiser-Jeep in 1963. American Motors Corporation (AMC) bought Kaiser's Jeep operations in 1970, as Jeep was losing money. In 1979, Renault invested in AMC, but this only lasted until 1987, when the French company ran into financial trouble itself. The remains of AMC and the Jeep brand were sold to Chrysler.