Who Owns Jeep?Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Alison Smith
Jeep is owned by Stellantis, a global automotive company formed by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA Group merger. The company owns 14 popular car brands including Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Ram, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.
FCA and PSA Group officially merged on January 16, 2021. The merger had been in the works since late 2019 but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the merger, Stellantis became the third-biggest carmaker in the world by revenue and the fourth biggest by volume.
Before the two automakers merged, Jeep was owned by FCA. That wasn’t always the case, though. In fact, Jeep has changed hands many times over the past several decades. Here’s an overview of who has owned Jeep since the very beginning.
Who Owned Jeep Before FCA?
Jeeps were first produced by Willys-Overland. Used as military vehicles, Jeeps date back to the 1940s and the beginning of World War II. Willys-Overland produced the first vehicles called Jeeps. Willys wasn’t able to trademark the official “Jeep” name until June 13, 1950.
In 1953, Henry J. Kaiser bought Willys-Overland for $60.8 million. The company changed its name to Willys Motors Inc. before becoming Kaiser Jeep Corporation in 1963.
In 1970, American Motors Corporation (AMC) bought the company for around $75 million.
When Did Chrysler Buy Jeep?
Chrysler bought Jeep in 1987 when they purchased AMC for $1.5 billion. Chrysler continued to produce Jeeps until they merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998. Daimler bought Chrysler in a merger of equals for around $36 billion.
DaimlerChrysler AG became the new company name after the merger. DaimlerChrysler owned Jeep until they offloaded the company in 2007.
Who Owned Jeep in 2007?
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management owned Jeep from 2007 to 2009. In 2007, DaimlerChrysler sold its majority stake in Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management.
Chrysler sales had decreased and gas prices were skyrocketing. This made it difficult for the company to compete against Ford and General Motors. Cerberus only owned Chrysler for two years before going bankrupt.
When Did Fiat Buy Chrysler?
Fiat bought Chrysler on January 21, 2014, after acquiring the remaining ownership interest. Fiat swooped in to save Chrysler from failing after they declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.
In a deal fostered by the U.S. government, Fiat bought an initial 20% stake in Chrysler in 2009. If they met certain fuel-efficiency standards, that ownership interest could increase to 35%. Fiat kept purchasing shares until they reached 100% ownership in early 2014. After Fiat bought the remaining shares of Chrysler, the merged companies became Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
Does Chrysler Still Own Jeep?
Jeep is owned by Stellantis, which was formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group in early 2021. Both Chrysler and Jeep are now brands under the Stellantis umbrella.
Where are Jeeps Made?
While Jeeps are made in America mostly, Jeep has 10 plants in six countries and sells vehicles in over 140 countries. Jeep’s manufacturing plants are in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, China, and India.
Many of the international facilities make transmission and powertrain components. But most of the assembly itself occurs in the U.S.
Are Jeeps Made In Italy?
The Jeep Renegade is assembled in Melfi, Italy, along with the Fiat 500X. The Cherokee, Wrangler, Compass, and Gladiator are all assembled in the United States.
Stellantis, as a larger parent company, has manufacturing facilities all over the globe. Some of these factories produce Jeeps for international consumers.
Where are Jeep Wranglers Manufactured?
Jeep Wranglers are made at the Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio. The facility has been producing Wranglers for the past several decades. The complex has 3.64 million square feet of floor space on 312 acres and employs almost 6,500 workers. The facility comprises the Toledo Supplier Park (South Plant) and Toledo North Plant. Production of the Jeep Wrangler occurs at the Toledo North plant.
Located on the site that used to be the Stickney Plant and Parkway Annex, the Toledo Supplier Park has a rich history. When Chrysler bought AMC in 1987, they acquired the Stickney and Parkway plant and renamed it the Toledo Assembly Plant. The Stickney Plant was built in 1942 and was acquired by Kaiser Jeep in 1964. The facility was mainly a machining and engine plant until AMC converted the plant for vehicle production in 1981.
The Parkway plant was the oldest manufacturing facility in North America. It was the main manufacturing plant and headquarters for Willys-Overland in the early 1900s. Parkway started out producing military Jeeps there before producing Civilian Jeeps.
In 2005, FCA replaced the Stickney and Parkway plants with the all-new Toledo Supplier Park. After opening, the new facility began producing the 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK. Over two million JK Wranglers were produced at the facility before the last one rolled off the assembly line in 2018.
FCA moved production of the next-generation JL Wrangler to the newly updated Toledo North Plant in December 2017. The Toledo Supplier Park was retooled for the production of the Jeep Gladiator, which began shipping to dealers in April 2019.
Now over 30 years later, the Toledo Complex remains the starting point for the Jeep Wrangler. It also provides the area with job opportunities as well as economic benefits.
Sources: It's Official: Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group Are Now Stellantis, Car and Driver | Chrysler's Complicated Parentage: Who Owns It Now?, MotorTrend | Jeep Is Worth More than Fiat Chrysler, Says Morgan Stanley, CNBC
Image Credit: Jeep