Over the 80 years of Jeep’s existence, the business has been bought and sold many times. But, at the moment, who owns Jeep? Stellantis is the current owner of Jeep and is a multinational car manufacturer established by Fiat Chrysler Motors and the French company PSA Group.
After the merger of the two companies, Stellantis now owns 14 well-known automotive brands, including Maserati, Peugeot, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and, of course, Jeep.
- The early years of Jeep
- Who Owns Jeep? – Chrysler’s acquisition of the company
- What happened to Jeep in 2007?
- Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler
- Jeeps – where are they made?
- Which factory produces Jeep Wranglers?
- Other Jeep models manufactured in the United States
- Are you interested in who owns other popular brands?
- Who Owns Jeep? – Conclusion
The merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group
The merger was planned for early 2019, but the coronavirus outbreak caused a lengthy delay. This meant the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group only occurred in January 2021. By revenue and volume, the merger made Stellantis, the third-largest car manufacturer in the world.
Jeep belonged to Fiat Chrysler prior to the merger of the two companies. But it wasn’t always like that. So, here is a rundown of all the companies that have owned Jeep since it was formed.
The early years of Jeep
Jeeps have been around since the start of World War II in the 1940s. Willys-Overland was the company that developed the first Jeep. The formal “Jeep” name, however, couldn’t be trademarked before June 13, 1950.
Entrepreneur Henry J. Kaiser spent $60.8 million purchasing Willys-Overland in 1953. To put that in perspective, in 2023, that’s equal to roughly $675 million. Willys-Overland was then rebranded as Willys Motors Incorporated, but in 1963 changed its name again, this time to the Kaiser Jeep Corporation.
Kaiser Jeep was eventually acquired by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1970, costing them about $75 million. But it doesn’t end there…
Who Owns Jeep? – Chrysler’s acquisition of the company
In 1987 American Motors Corporation was bought by Chrysler for $1.5 billion, also acquiring Jeep in the process. Jeeps were still being manufactured by Chrysler until 1998, when they merged with German car manufacturer Daimler-Benz.
Daimler-Benz and Chrysler agreed to a $36 billion merger in May 1998. Thereafter they were known as DaimlerChrysler AG. Jeep was owned by DaimlerChrysler until they eventually sold it in 2007.
What happened to Jeep in 2007?
Cerberus Capital Management purchased the bulk of DaimlerChrysler’s stake in Chrysler in 2007. Jeep then fell under the ownership of the private equity company from 2007 through 2009.
Cerberus had owned Chrysler for a mere two years when they filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately for Cerberus, gas costs were soaring, and Chrysler sales had fallen. Due to this, the business was struggling to compete with companies like General Motors and Ford.
Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler
In 2009 Chrysler had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Fortunately, Fiat intervened to prevent their collapse. In January 2014, Chrysler was sold to Fiat after they obtained the last ownership interest.
In 2009, Fiat acquired a 20% initial interest in Chrysler as part of an agreement facilitated by the American government. Their ownership interest could rise to 35% if Fiat could fulfill certain energy-efficiency requirements. Fiat continued to buy shares until they got full ownership of Chrysler in January 2014.
Following Fiat’s acquisition of the remaining Chrysler shares in 2014, the two businesses were reborn as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA for short.
Chrysler’s current involvement with Jeep
Stellantis has owned Jeep since the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler merger in 2021; therefore, the Stellantis umbrella includes the brands Chrysler and Jeep.
Jeeps – where are they made?
Jeep sells cars in more than 140 countries and operates ten facilities across six different nations. However, Jeeps are primarily built in America. The majority of the assembly process takes place in the United States, while many international factories produce transmission and engine parts.
India, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, and China are some of the other countries that also have Jeep manufacturing facilities.
Jeep manufacturing operations in Italy
A town in Italy by the name of Melfi is largely responsible for the assembly of the Jeep Renegade. There, they also produce the Fiat 500X. Other Jeep models, such as the Gladiator, Wrangler, and the popular Cherokee, however, are all manufactured in America.
As mentioned earlier, Stellantis has production facilities all around the world, being the larger parent firm. Jeeps are made by several of these manufacturers for export to international customers.
Which factory produces Jeep Wranglers?
Toledo Assembly Complex
The Toledo Assembly Plant, located in Toledo, Ohio, is responsible for manufacturing Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees. In this factory, Jeep Wranglers have been assembled for many decades now. The complex is made up of two parts: the Toledo North Plant and the Toledo Supplier Park (or South Plant). That’s not all, though.
History of The Toledo Assembly Complex
The Toledo Assembly Complex has a lengthy history behind it. It is situated on the former site of the Parkway Annex and Stickney Plant. Electric Autolite constructed the Stickney Plant back in 1942, and Kaiser Jeep bought it in 1964 for use as a machining and engine facility.
The Parkway facility, on the other hand, was the oldest industrial complex in North America. It served as Willys-Overland’s primary manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters in the early 20th century. Initially, it was mainly military Jeeps that were being made at Parkway until they later also started making Jeeps for the civilian market.
Modern changes to the Toledo Complex
Fast forward to 1981, when the American Motors Corporation repurposed the facility to make cars after the company had acquired Kaiser Jeep. Then, in 1987, after Chrysler’s purchase of AMC, the Parkway and Stickney plants were renamed the Toledo Assembly Complex.
The new Toledo Supplier Park, or South Plant, was constructed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2005 to replace the Parkway and Stickney factories. Once the factory had opened, production of the 2007 model Jeep Wrangler JK was underway. The Toledo South Plant was responsible for manufacturing more than two million JK Wranglers until 2018, when the last one left the assembly line.
By December 2017, Fiat Chrysler had revamped the Toledo North facility as well. They began manufacturing the JL Wrangler, the fourth-generation Jeep Wrangler. Later the facility was upgraded with new equipment in order to begin manufacturing the Jeep Gladiator. By April 2019, they started shipping Gladiators to dealers.
The Toledo North facility is where the Jeep Wrangler is still manufactured today. Almost 6,500 people are employed by the Toledo Complex, which spans 312 acres and an impressive 3.64 million square feet.
Other Jeep models manufactured in the United States
While Jeeps have been produced at the Toledo Assembly Complex the longest, there are a few other factories in the U.S. that also produce Jeeps:
- Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) – produces the Jeep Cherokee
- Jefferson North Assembly Plant (Michigan) – produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Warren Truck Assembly (Michigan) – produces the Jeep Wagoneer and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer
- Mack Avenue Engine Complex in Michigan also produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee
Are you interested in who owns other popular brands?
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Who Owns Jeep? – Conclusion
Now we know that Stellantis owns Jeep at the moment, and we also know a little more about Jeep’s history and its impact on the world.
The Toledo Assembly Plant continues to serve as the Jeep Wrangler’s inaugural site more than 30 years after it was opened. Along with the additional Stellantis factories, not only do these plants supply jobs to the area, but also the economic advantages that come with it.
Enjoy your Jeep!