JEEP is a brand considered to be the epitome of Sub-Urban Vehicles (SUV) as well as in the off-road vehicle class. The brand has established itself as the 'go-to' vehicle when it comes to an SUV or an off-road vehicle. The company focused on developing and manufacturing vehicles which concentrate on the aspect of off-road travel. Established on the verge of World War II, the Jeep was primarily used by the U.S. Army as a light 4x4 vehicle to support its soldiers in the battlefield. Jeep is considered to be the oldest 4x4 vehicle in mass production through which other companies developed similar models in the commercial vehicle market.
Tested in 1941 and established in 1943, Jeep has made a remarkable brand name in the world of SUV's. Similarly, the company started developing commercial vehicles for consumers since 1945. Since the establishment of the company, Jeep has had a number of owner companies. At present, Jeep is produced by 'Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)' whereas its previous owner was, 'American Motors Corporation (AMC)'. The company has been an inspiration to develop light utility vehicles since World War II and has manufactured SUV's, pickup trucks, and luxury SUV vehicles as well. The company has been following its motto of producing vehicles for freedom, adventure, authenticity, and passion for 75 years. The company also propagates its slogan of "Go anywhere, do anything" which is not just a tagline but also embodied in the company's vehicles.
The initial production was through the 'Willys' 4x4 jeeps for the army and then moved towards the commercial section where family wagons which could also be used in off-road terrains were produced. The 1960's was the decade of station wagons, pick-up trucks, and vans for the company with popular models like; Wagoneer, Fleetvan, and Gladiator. The 1970's was the time when the company’s ownership was transferred to AMC which focused on re-developing the previous models like the Wagoneer as well as the pickup trucks and Renegade jeeps. Furthermore, 1980s was the golden decade for the company after the takeover by AMC. From 1980 to 1989, the company introduced the SUV in the production line-up with popular models like Cherokee and Wrangler which are the top models of the company till date.
From the initial period till date, the company has been able to provide a wide range of SUVs and off-road vehicles in the automobile market with advancement and upgrades especially from the 1990s which has led the company to mark its brand name as one of the pioneer companies to develop SUVs. Since 1990's the company has introduced newer models like the consumer favorites such as the Compass, Wrangler, Cherokee, and Renegade. Amongst these, the Wrangler is most popular worldwide with its off-road features which are not found in vehicles produced by other competitors. Following the company's slogan of producing vehicles which could go anywhere and do anything, the tagline has been completed by the Wrangler. Also, the Compass and Cherokee has taken over the luxury class SUV division. With the development of its high production vehicles like the Wrangler, Cherokee, and Compass; the company has restored it production line which has enhanced sales and allowed the company to grow.
Talking about the popular productions of the company at present, the Wrangler is the trademark of the company. It has been inspired from the jeep that was produced in the World War II phase. The idea of the Wrangler was initiated in 1986 and developed through decades to result in its latest version, the 2017 model (4th generation Wrangler). The concept of Wrangler was to produce a 4-door compact (mid-size) 4x4 off-road vehicle which became instantly popular. The concept has been derived from the CJ-7 which was developed during World War II. The Wrangler has been updated and developed into 4 generations and the 4th generation is the current one.
The first generation Wrangler YJ which was extended from 1986 to 1995 was basically a 2-door SUV and convertible models with features that focused more on off-road travel performance rather than comfort. The second generation Wrangler is the TJ which was updated in 1996 and was produced until 2006. Changes were made in the appearance and performance, such as the rectangular headlamps which were changed into round ones along with changes in the suspension and wheel base. Similarly, the third generation Wrangler was named JK which was updated in 2006 till 2017. Besides the updates on the performance parts, the major change was the shift from the traditional 2-door to the 4-door vehicles while the 2-door is still in production. The Sahara and the Rubicon were the popular models of Wrangler with Sahara being the roofed SUV and Rubicon having an open carriage space in the rear.
The fourth generation Wrangler was unveiled in 2018 which is the JL type with upgrades like the interiors, a redesigned transmission, and other upgrades. The Wrangler comes in four different models; Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon each having a tad bit variant features. All the models are off-road trail rated designed. The Sport S is also a preferred model as it has a number of features which offers an adventurous experience with advanced features for safety and comfort. Finally, the Sahara and the Rubicon offers a pure adventurous riding experience with advanced 4x4 systems for off-trail driving.
From the concept of the Wagoneer, the Jeep Cherokee is popular due to its compact SUV features and presently as the crossover SUV from the company. The vehicle has received its name from a tribe of Native Americans called Cherokee. The Cherokee is also Jeep's initial lineup introduced in 1974 which has had a lot of upgrades till date and developed till the fifth generation as of now. The Cherokee is a Jeep trademark which has an immense history with the company. The updated designs of the Cherokee have gained massive popularity amongst the consumers looking for compact SUVs. The first generation Cherokee was the SJ model. Inspired by the designs of the Jeep Wagoneer and the Jeepster Commando, the Cherokee was produced initially as a 2-door SUV which had a long wheel base and a remarkable ground clearance. The SJ model has been in the market since 1963 to 1967. The Cherokee was marked as a 'sporty' vehicle which led to the term SUV production of Jeep. Also, a four door model was introduced in 1977. Similarly, the second generation Cherokee was named XJ continued its production of a similar body range vehicles from 1984 to 1990. Moving from the traditional Jeep of body-on-frame chassis, the Grand Cherokee was upgraded with a light-weight uni-body design gaining popularity amongst American consumers. The XJ model is also considered as the evolution of the 4x4 vehicles which with its popularity started replacing regular cars.
The third generation, named KJ was unveiled in 2001 and remained un-updated till 2007. This upgrade created a space for the Cherokee to have fame as a compact SUV as it replaced the previously famous Grand Cherokee with more comfort features in an off-trail travelling vehicle. The fourth generation (KK), was unveiled in 2008 which was debated as a similar design was sold by Dodge as the 'Dodge Nitro'. The fourth generation had a 2.8L turbo diesel and a 3.7L V6 gasoline versions along with 4, 5, and 6 speed gearbox versions. The vehicles also had automatic and manual gearboxes. The fourth generation was a test phase for the company from which the company introduced compact SUVs along with the advanced technologies upgraded for the vehicle. Lastly, the fifth generation Cherokee was introduced in 2014 which has been extended till date with upgrades in the performance as well as appearance. The Cherokee trademark of LED headlamps and tail lamps with an aggressive front grill was the charmer which consumers liked. The Cherokee has a variant of designs and models such as: Latitude, Latitude plus, Trailhawk, Limited, and Overland. Since its initiation, the Cherokee has gone through a lot of changes which for the 2019 design has been developed with utmost comfort in mind and technologies advanced for off-road trails.
Finally, the other compact crossover SUV is the next generation which has been developed by the company to maintain its position amongst the crossover developers. The Compass was amongst the first crossovers that were manufactured by the company focusing on the compact size for city driving and the comfort and off-road trail technologies for adventurous travelling. The first batch of the Compass was initiated in 2007 which with upgrades has been one of the highest selling vehicles of the company till date. The size, features, and durability of the Compass has led to the popularity of the model. The concept of the Compass was inspired by the company's previous model; Liberty.
The debut of the Compass after production in 2006 did not receive a proper welcome compared to the other Jeep models as it was more of a city vehicle which changed in 2011 when it was updated to suit off-road travelling. The first generation Compass (MK49) was manufactured in 2007 which existed till 2017. The vehicle was preferred more on the paved roads as a Compact Crossover SUV. In 2011, the Compass received a few upgrades like the facelift which resembled the Grand Cherokee. Besides the appearance, the company also upgrades the vehicle to maintain the company's reputation of developing adventurous vehicles for off-road trail which the Compass was later suitable for. Similarly, the second generation Compass was developed in 2017 which exists till date. The vehicle was manufactured in Brazil in 2016 with upgrades but is now being manufactured in India. The Compass also shares its history with Jeep Renegade and inspiration from the Grand Cherokee. The Compass ranges from a 1.4L to a 2.4L engine range of models. The vehicle has been a huge success in India with huge sales and more bookings. The Compass has introduces various models in the market with variant models such as: Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Trailhawk, and Limited. The Compass is a compact SUV which is suitable for paved road driving as well as off-road trail travelling.
Jeep can be introduced as a company which inspires off-road travelling and adventures. According to the Auto portal figures of India, the Indian manufactured Compass has sold around 20,000 vehicles since May 2017 till date. This depicts the growing popularity of the Compass in the Indian market along with its distribution overseas in Australia, England, and Thailand. The company is now entering the Nepali automobile market through Life Automobile Pvt. Ltd. The company has also been selling Fiat vehicles in Nepal since 2014 and will be introducing a few of the Jeep models soon.