Jeep can trace its roots back to WW2 as a four-wheel-drive military vehicle produced jointly by Willys-Overland and Ford Motor Company for the U.S. Army.
The first civilian Jeep was produced in the mid-1940s with new features such as a tailgate, an external fuel cap and a side-mounted spare tire, and targeted mainly toward farmers and the construction industry.
The CJ-3B and the CJ-5 had been introduced in the 1950s. The CJ-5 can be credited as having the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle, continuing for 30 years.
The company changed owners and was sold to Kaiser in 1953.
The 1960s saw the birth of the Wagoneer, which was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission and in 1965 a V6 engine became available as an option on the CJ-5 and CJ-6.
merican Motors Corporation bought Kaiser-Jeep in the 1970s. The company unveiled new technology with the introduction of the world`s first automatic permanent four-wheel-drive system.
The 1980s saw the introduction of the Cherokee and Wrangler [which replaced the CJ series] that increased in popularity as the decade progressed.
In 1987 American Motors was purchased, with the Jeep brand becoming part of Chrysler`s Jeep/Eagle division.
One of Jeep`s most popular models, the Grand Cherokee, debuted for 1993. This handsome, midsize SUV offered considerably more comfort and luxury than the smaller Cherokee while still providing stout off-road capability.
Jeep fell under the umbrella of DaimlerChrysler after a merger in 1998. This partnership resulted in a few new models, such as the Liberty and Compass, with the Jeep Compass being a favourite for sale in South Africa. Current Jeep model range for sale in South Africa: Compass, Grand Cherokee SRT8, Cherokee, Patriot, Wrangler, and Wrangler Unlimited.
Jeep is now part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.