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Jeep History Timeline75 Years in the Making

Car aficionados throughout the world know the Jeep as the vehicle for adventure. This brand has crafted tough and rugged vehicles for nearly eight decades, but how did it all begin? Ray Laethem CDJR takes a deeper look into Jeep history to explore its pathway to global success. From its debut in World War II to its popular introduction into the civilian market, the powerhouse Jeep has had quite a journey to the new millennium. Learn all about the Jeep history timeline below, then check out the new inventory at our dealership!

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World War II

  • 1940: The U.S. Army took bids from over 100 automakers to create a “light renaissance vehicle” that could handle anything. The result was the template for the Jeep, known as the Willy’s Quad.
  • 1941: The Jeep slimmed down, shedding over 2,000 pounds to create the lightest Quad yet. The Willys-Overland went into production immediately, and 16,000 models were created.
  • 1945: The Jeep was introduced to the civilian sector. This model was heavily modified for better comfort on modern roads: new shock absorbers, plush seating, tailgate, reinforced frame, and more.

Civilian Life

  • 1953: Jeep was sold for over 60 million dollars, and it built its brand as the largest maker of 4×4 vehicles.
  • 1954: The CJ-5 was given a softer look with extra comfort features, while retaining its off-road prowess.
  • 1961: A two-wheel drive Fleetvan was introduced to the marketplace. It was built for practicality for light-duty jobs, like mail delivery services.
  • 1962: Jeep dipped its toe into the luxury market with the debut of the Wagoneer 4×4 SUV.
  • 1970: The Jeep brand became property of American Motors for a whopping 75 million dollars.
  • 1979: The Jeep Cherokee enters the market as a response to the energy crisis. This smaller vehicle became a staple of the Jeep lineup.

Modern Success

  • 1993: The Jeep Grand Cherokee arrived, blending both on- and off-road functionality with style. This model would sell well over 600,000 units for the decade.
  • 1997: The Jeep Wrangler wins the 4×4 of the Year Award, the fifth vehicle in the lineup to do so.
  • 2006: The Jeep Compass is introduced as a compact crossover that is available as a Trail Rated powerhouse.
  • 2017: The Jeep brand continues its legacy of innovation and reliability with new models like the ultra-tough Trailhawk and ultra-fast Trackhawk.
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Ray Laethem Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

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