America’s Love Affair with the Jeep

 

It has been almost 80 years since the first Jeep was designed, and the vehicle continues to capture the imagination of people all over North America. The brand remains so strong that it has been said that if the Jeep division was spun off from its parent Fiat Chrysler Corporation, it might be possible that the Jeep division alone would be worth more than Fiat Chrysler. So what is it about a vehicle that has always been about functionality that inspires people to buy them in large numbers?

History Can Be Inspirational

The original development of the Jeep was a hard-fought battle that meant it almost didn't exist. When the Army asked for designs, there weren't many companies that responded. Fortunately, over time, Ford, Willys, and Bantam came together to share in design responsibilities. As the Willys' Jeep won the contract, the other companies took a secondary role in helping with design and manufacturing. Hundreds of thousands of Jeeps were produced for the war effort. From a brand perspective, equally important was the notion that after the war, thousands of Jeeps were left overseas. That created an instant market for parts and new orders. It also created a worldwide awareness of how useful Jeeps could be.

Willys fought hard to use the Jeep as its own car after the war, continuing production even in the face of a lot of government interference about intellectual property. They eventually won and haven't looked back since. Their marketing of Jeep as a legendary vehicle set the tone for consumers to see how well it could perform in off-road and inclement weather conditions.

A Classic, Timeless Design

As the 1950s got underway, the consumer version of the Jeep was seen in parking lots all over the country. The returning GI's adopted them, as did people who were interested in driving off-road for recreation. Because the state of roads in the U.S. weren't comparable to today, having a vehicle that could handle adverse conditions made a lot of sense for consumers. The CJ-5 model became a mainstay for almost 30 years.

The Luxury SUV Brings Change

As Jeep entered the 1980s, the Wagoneer and the Cherokee became priorities. Their development and success in the marketplace spurred the growth of the worldwide SUV market. Because there was an interest in moving away from utilitarian cars in some segments of the population, Jeep started to redesign the original Jeep, adding comfort features to the Wrangler that would allow those that wanted style with their performance to enjoy the open road. The Wrangler began to share an engine and other components with the Cherokee, updating the entire Jeep line.

Today's Jeep Rubicon even has electric differential locking and other features that make it rugged yet technologically advanced from a performance perspective.

Constant Innovation

For some, it is amusing to think that a design that changed little over the course of four or five decades could actually remain innovative. Yet the Museum of Modern Art sometimes exhibits Jeeps as an example of the best in modern design. In addition, some SUVs like the Land Rover are stylistically descended from the original Jeep.

In terms of performance, perfecting their solid axle system and creating specialized springs that enhance the driving experience are two examples of how Jeep maintains an edge in the marketplace.

Easily Customized

In terms of customization, the Jeep has created one of the largest aftermarkets of any vehicle because many owners that off-road like to modify them. As owners can easily make changes to the vehicle, they remain one of the most popular off-roading cars.

Enjoy the Open Road

For a while in some parts of the country, going out to the parking lot after a shopping trip proved to be difficult for some Jeep owners because they had trouble locating their car because so many other Jeeps were parked there. At the same time, wherever there is an open road or a sunny day, Jeep owners usually find ways to take advantage of their capability to take the top and the doors off so they can experience freedom while they drive.

If you go back to the Jeep's inception and look at how it was tested for acceptance by Congress by driving it up the stairs of the US Capitol Building, Jeep owners' penchant for taking Jeeps out on narrow trails on muddy days starts to make sense.

Jeeps also blend in well in urban areas where the parking is tight. Although the current Jeep is longer than the original, it is still one of the easiest cars to park on a crowded city street. Since the US postal service has used the Jeep for decades, solutions to the obstacles that they face on their service routes have already found their way into all Jeep models, making it easier to maneuver in urban areas.

Another thing that owners like about Jeeps and the open road is that their design remains traditional in terms of its focus on simplicity when it comes to parts. Decades ago, if you had a problem far from help, it was possible to create a solution or easy fix that would put you back on the road until you could make a more permanent repair. Today, you can avail yourself of the same advantages. Moreover, when you do go out and look for parts, you will find that they are very competitively priced.

Jeeps help people express themselves as individuals. After almost 80 years, the love affair shows no signs of abating. When it comes down to it, the appeal of driving a car that allows you to go almost anywhere in relative comfort is something that will probably never go out of style. Since Fiat has continued the fine tradition of building what their customers want, the new Jeep will continue to attract those who want a pure driving experience. Lock in your warehouse pricing today at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

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