Since Jeep’s start in 1940, it has been tossed between various ownership’s The plucky Jeep began its life with Willys Overland, who was responsible for the manufacturing of the Willys MA in 1941; then US Army was in need of military vehicles that fitted the description; “light reconnaissance vehicle,” and of the 135 companies they went to, only 3 replied: Willys, Ford and Bantam. A prototype; the ‘Quad’- due to its 4 x 4 system – took 75 days to complete from the original design. In 1950 Willys were granted the trademark of Jeep, but by 1953 Kaiser Motors had purchased Jeep and soon became ‘Kaiser-Jeep’ 10 years later in 1963. This short-lived ownership was soon ended by financial problems, as American Motors Corporation (AMC) got out their wallets and bought Jeep in 1970. This was a great move for AMC, because they could incorporate Jeeps utilities with their passenger car business; they could share components and best of all have maximum gain on Jeep’s international and government markets. But this too was to end because Chrysler wanted a taste of the Jeep life.
After Renault had started investing in AMC during 1979, it seemed that they too were beginning to have financial worries by 1987. Now the most recent owner of Jeep for over 20 years, Chrysler still have Jeep’s being pumped out the factories and onto the roads. It wasn’t long after they bought the company that they started releasing new models. Jeep’s Wrangler (YJ) (1987) made its debut; given a wider track, angled grill, rectangular headlights (once seen on the Cherokee, are now no longer witnessed other than on the Wrangler), and all new swanky modern upholstery. This ‘civilised Wrangler’ replaced the CJ series and was in constant production well in to the 90’s. Chrysler took Jeep and nestled them firmly under their wing, bringing them into the Chrysler Jeep / Eagle Division family, or now ‘Chrysler Group LLC’.