February 28, 2005,
Auburn Hills, Mich.
From July 23, 1941, to the present day, the Jeep® brand has stood for authentic four-wheel-drive capability, innovative technology and continuous refinement. Through Willys-Overland, the “Jeep” initiated the 4x4 segment more than six decades ago and kicked off the compact “sport-utility” boom with its four-door, 4x4 Jeep Cherokee in 1983. Today’s Jeep vehicles are still directly descended from the first Jeep vehicles.
The Jeep brand name — trademarked internationally since 1950 — has become one of the best known of all consumer brands in the world and an international byword for off-road capability. Jeep vehicles are now available in more than 120 countries, and more than nine million units carrying the famous Jeep badge have been sold.
Over the last 60-plus years, the Jeep brand has built a reputation for delivering rugged, versatile vehicles with real four-wheel-drive power. Jeep has always been the hero, not just in military terms, but also in less glamorous situations like plowing fields or aiding rescues in natural disasters.
The decades have been filled with pioneering, trend-setting vehicles, from the wartime Willys MB to today’s models. Having defined the sport-utility segment with industry firsts, the Jeep brand will continue to lead the SUV market into the future.
Highlights from six decades of Jeep
1941: Willys-Overland wins U.S. Army contract to produce Willys MB
1944: First civilian Jeep — the 1945 CJ-2A — is produced
1945: The industry’s first all-steel station wagon is created
1949: Four-wheel-drive station wagon foreshadows the future of the 4x4
1950: Jeep is registered as an international trademark
1954: 1955 Jeep CJ-5 is introduced
1962: 1963 Jeep Wagoneer is unveiled, the first Jeep vehicle designed from the ground up for a civilian purpose
1972: Quadra-Trac®, the first completely automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system is launched on the 1973 Jeep Wagoneer
1983: New 1984 Jeep Cherokee offers 4x4 power in a smaller package, kicking off the modern-day sport-utility boom
1992: 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee is introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and is driven through the glass walls of the Cobo Exhibition Centre; European production of the Grand Cherokee begins in Graz, Austria.
1996: New 1997 Jeep Wrangler — icon of the Jeep brand — is unveiled
1998 1999 Grand Cherokee revolutionises the upscale SUV again
2001: New Jeep Cherokee is presented and begins production
2004: Jeep Cherokee and Cherokee Renegade take on fresh new appearances plus new powertrains including the new 2.8 VGT CRD engine
Fully leveraging the Jeep brand
Arguably one of the most recognised brands worldwide, the Jeep brand has often been referred to as a “lifestyle” rather than simply an array of highly capable vehicles. Jeep vehicle owners, their families and friends have an affinity to the brand that is reinforced by their high demand for events and products that fit the Jeep lifestyle.
By building on its owners’ enthusiasm, the Jeep brand continues at the forefront of relationship marketing by offering unequalled opportunities to explore the abilities of the vehicles through various driving events in their markets. A prime example of this is Euro Camp Jeep, a three-day annual gathering exclusively for Jeep owners/enthusiasts and their families from all across Europe.
Europe is also home to many country Jeep Clubs organised and run by ownerenthusiasts. Additionally, the Jeep brand endeavours to meet consumer demand for quality outdoor, adventure and lifestyle products through Jeep licensed merchandise.