American trade mark of automobiles headquartered in Toledo, state of Ohio was created in 1941. At present it belongs to the company Chrysler. The name of this brand had turned into a common noun in many languages identifying an offroader. The first offroader Jeep was designed by the American engineer Karl Probst in 1940 within the scope of the tender of American Army. It presented a four-wheel drive automobile Bantam BRC with carrying capacity of 1,4 tones and open body. Later its construction was improved by the companies Willys-Overland and Ford Motor Company which received basic contracts for the delivery of models Jeep Willys MB and Ford GRW of the US army and its allies.
Informal name Jeep appeared thanks to American journalist Katherine Hillyer in 1941 after testing the car Bantam. There is an opinion that the brand received such a name because of phonetic combination of the first letters GPW – abbreviation of Ford. In the result Jeep became a trademark of the firm Willys-Overland in 1945. Since the beginning of peacetime the company Willys offered a model of minibus for civil use. This rear-wheel drive vehicle had a seating capacity of seven passengers but its performance wasn't excellent as its maximum speed reached not more than one hundred kilometers per hour. In 1946 all-wheel drive version of this minibus that is considered to be an ancestor of modern model Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced for the first time.
1960-s became a period during which the market of off-road vehicles SUV was forming. The American firm initially focused on investigation and development of models with the system of full drive. The first results of this activity appeared in 1962 when a new universal Jeep Wagoneer of J-series was presented. The beginning of the new decade was marked by the change of owner when the firm became the property of American Motor Company. The new owner launched all-wheel drive universals Jeep Wagoneer equipped with the biggest engine V6 with one camshaft. Technical characteristics of Jeep Wagoneer witnessed significant developments in 1973 as a new transmission Quadro Track became a completely automated system.
In 1984 new versions of the model Jeep Cherokee with two and four doors were produced. Jeep Cherokee became the only four-door car among compact models with two full drive systems. In the end of 1980-s the concern Chrysler began to control the American company and ten years later its structural subdivision Jeep became a part of the transnational corporation Daimler Chrysler. In 1997 Jeep presented a new model Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show. An updated model Cherokee that continued glorious traditions of the trademark and intended for the market of USA was introduced in 2001.
During its history reliable and undemanding universal all-wheel drive Jeep vehicles have always been heroes – not only in conditions of war but also in agricultural areas and rescue operations during natural disasters of national scale. Last decades were filled with realization of pilot decisions, creation of autos which set fashion starting from model Willys MB of war time and ending with modern cars. Having mastered niche of sport-utility autos brand continues to lead in the segment of SUV cars.