April 3, 2007,
Ask Jeep® vehicle owners to explain the Jeep experience in 100 words or less, and sooner or later, they’ll whittle their way down to just seven:
“It’s a Jeep thing. You wouldn’t understand.”
While those new to the ways of Jeep employ the phrase only occasionally, Jeep veterans tend to utter the succinct sentence with some frequency, and with good reason: They rely on it to explain a range of behaviors, such as why Jeep vehicles are in practically all their family photos. Or why they speak in code, expounding on CJs, TJs and XJs. Or why mud is allowed to remain caked on their Jeep vehicles for weeks. And why they consider roads with obstacles — boulders, fallen trees, railroad ties, gullies, ruts, knee-deep mud, small bodies of water, etc. — beautiful.
“People who are passionate about Jeep are dedicated enthusiasts, and they enjoy a lifestyle that embodies many of the same values of the Jeep brand – authenticity, mastery, freedom and adventure,” said John Plecha, Director – Jeep Brand Marketing and Global Communications, Chrysler Group. “Jeep owners truly have an emotional bond with the brand.”
At Jeep, this bond dates back to 1941, when the Willys-Overland company delivered 1,500 light reconnaissance vehicles, called the Willys Model MA, to the U.S. Army. Improved versions were called the MB, but eventually, those vehicles came to be known as the Jeep.
Today, with the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty mid-size SUV, Jeep offers customers the freshest, most capable and widest range of sport-utility vehicles under one brand in the industry.
The Jeep vehicle family consists of seven SUVs. In late 2006, production began on the newest member of the lineup, the all-new Jeep Patriot. Earlier that year was the debut of the redesigned Jeep Wrangler two-door, the icon of the brand; the all-new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the first-ever four-door Wrangler; and the all-new Jeep Compass. The Jeep Commander — the first Jeep vehicle with seven-passenger seating — was introduced one year earlier. It shares its platform with the Grand Cherokee, a descendent of the Wagoneer and the legendary Grand Wagoneer.
All have the signature Jeep seven-slot grille, clamshell hood, trapezoidal wheel arches and a variation of round headlamps. And all Jeep vehicles have die-hard fans that stay connected to the brand through Camp Jeep, Jeep Jamborees and a global Jeep licensing program.
Camp Jeep®, an annual three-day extravaganza of outdoor activities for the entire family, is one of the most successful owner-loyalty events in America. Every year since 1995, thousands of Jeep vehicle owners and their families gather in a pristine corner of the country to drive their Jeep vehicles on 4x4 trails ranging from Scenic to Difficult; to enjoy live entertainment, good food and the camaraderie that comes from being a member of the Jeep family.
Camp Jeep has a range of activities for all ages: mountain biking, scuba diving, crafts, off-road driving instruction courses, a museum on the history of Jeep, plus many children’s activities. Hugely popular are engineering roundtables where owners can ask questions and make suggestions about their vehicles with Jeep engineers.
Camp Jeep 2007 is scheduled for July 26-28 at the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County, Va., near Charlottesville. This is the sixth time that Camp Jeep has been held there. The last time Camp Jeep was located in Oak Ridge, in 2004, more than 10,000 people attended. The first Camp Jeep was held in Camp Hale, Colo., in 1995.
In 1953, 4x4 pioneer Mark A. Smith organized the first-ever Jeep Jamboree and voyaged across the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the old Rubicon Trail. In 1954, Willys Motors — then manufacturer of Jeep vehicles — became involved with the adventure, and Jeep Jamborees have been an off-road tradition ever since. Today, more than 30 of these weekend events are held around the country each year.
Jeep Jamborees are two-day, family-oriented-four-wheel-driving adventures that cater to every level of expertise so they’re fun for everyone — from novice to veteran and everyone in between. Any Jeep vehicle with a 4-low transfer case can participate. That includes everything from stock vehicles to highly modified rigs. Experienced guides help navigate motorists through scenic switchbacks and some of the most challenging off-road driving in America.
The Jeep brand has been an internationally registered trademark since 1950. Since then, the brand has set new licensing standards with a strategic approach to brand extension that has resulted in a diverse global automotive licensing program.
Global sales account for more than $500 million annually, thanks to expanded global distribution in more than 40 countries and on six continents. The diverse lineup of unique and innovative consumer products range from strollers, infant carriers, toddler bedding and room décor, pet strollers and pet joggers to footwear, watches, electronics, luggage, bikes, outdoor knives and hand tools.
Jeep licensed consumer products are sold on the Jeep brand Web page, Jeep.com, and are also available at many retail outlets, as well as 57 free-standing stores and more than 300 shop-in-shop boutiques in department stores around the world.
“Camp Jeep, Jeep Jamborees and our Jeep licensing programs help strengthen the bond between the brand and our Jeep customers,” said Plecha. “This bond spans generations. It encompasses lifestyles and life stages. It is a bond held together by the brand’s core values of freedom, adventure, mastery and authenticity. Even Jeep owners who rarely go off-road appreciate knowing that if they did, they could do so with confidence. It really is a Jeep thing. And we do understand it.”