With a 75-year-old history, wondering who owns Jeep is a common occurrence among casual fans. Itís no secret that the Jeep brand might have changed hands a few times in its long life.
Fiat, who makes Jeep today, is also the owner. Considering the many occasions the Jeep brand has avoided extinction, itís still here. But itís been a long bumpy ride to get where we are today.
The birth of Jeep vehicles came about around 1941. However, Jeep models were government vehicles only and didnít officially even have the name ìJeepî yet. So we can kind of skip those early Willys and MB Jeep models, among others, who were more the birth parents of the Jeep, rather than being branded as such.
In 1944 after WWII, way before custom Jeep accessories came to prominence, the Jeep began its life as a civilian vehicle. At this stage in time, Jeeps were owned and built by Willys-Overland (who also built them during the war, along with Ford). They built the Jeeps until 1953 when Willys Motors, the company who owns Jeep at this time, bought the line and continued to build them until 1970. The Jeeps produced were primarily the beginning of the CJ-series Jeeps weíve come to know, including the CJ1, CJ2, CJ2A, CJ3A, CJ3B, CJ5, CJ6, and CJ7.
AMC (American Motors) bought the Jeep brand in 1970 and sold Jeep vehicles until 1987. If you ever wondered why a company might be called ìAmerican Motorsî, their vehicles were often a combination of other car manufacturerís parts. Their engine might use a Ford starter, and a Chrysler automatic transmission, and so on. Quick side note, a company called RENO controlled all the production on the 1986 Jeep models produced that year. AMC, who owns Jeep during this time, is responsible for the introduction of the CJ8 Scrambler, Cherokee XJ, and Wrangler YJ Jeep vehicles.
Chrysler bought the Jeep brand in 1987 and sold them until 1998 when they were bought out by Daimler Chrysler, who produced Jeeps until 2007. Chrysler was responsible for the Grand Cherokee ZJ and Grand Wagoneer ZJ.
From 2007 to 2009, the Jeep brand was owned by Chrysler LLC, until they went bankrupt. Then Jeeps were made by the Chrysler Group LLC from 2009 to 2013.
The Jeep was passed around until it was bought by Fiat. Fiat, who owns Chrysler, is now known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), who still produce the Jeep line of vehicles today in 2017.
This almost seems like an episode of ìWhoís on Firstî with Abbott and Costello!
Fiat, who owns Jeep now, owns several other well-known brands for cars and trucks as well. Names such as Maserati, Chrysler, Dodge Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Abarth make up the extensive list of brands under the Fiat umbrella.
So there you have it. The interesting lineage of the Jeep. Did you take notes?
Don't worry, check out Eric's video he'll bring you up to speed.