Jeep is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), one of the world’s biggest automakers. FCA owns several popular
automotive brands including Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. The Jeep brand is a division of FCA US LLC,
a subsidiary of the Italian-American parent company.
Jeep wasn’t always made by FCA, 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.
Does Chrysler Still Own Jeep?
Yes, Chrysler still owns Jeep. Chrysler is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. When Fiat bought the remaining shares of
Chrysler in 2014, the merged companies became Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
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.
FCA, 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 7,000
workers. The facility comprises the Toledo South Assembly Plant and Toledo North Assembly Plant. Production of the Jeep
Wrangler occurs at the Toledo South plant.
Located on the site that used to be the Stickney Plant and Parkway Annex, the Toledo South plant has a rich history.
When Chrysler bought AMC in 1970, 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
In 2006, FCA replaced the Stickney and Parkway plants with the all-new Toledo South Assembly Plant. After opening, the
new facility began producing the 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK. Two million JK Wranglers were produced at the facility before
making way for the JL Wrangler.
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.
Is PSA Buying FCA?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and European car alliance, PSA signed a deal to merge in late 2019. PSA Group is a French
automobile manufacturer that owns Peugot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall, and Opel.
According to CNBC, they will become the fourth-largest carmaker once the 50-50 merger deal is complete. The merger will
help both companies reduce costs and become more competitive.
Nothing is set in stone yet, as the deal is expected to close in the next 12 to 15 months. The companies still need to
win over the support of American and European regulators. Jeep may soon have a new owner, but the name is yet to be
Sources: FCA, Jeep.com, Car and Driver, Daimler, Reuters, CNBC | Image Credit: Jeep